Nothing like a little neighborhood hardcore show to drive away the cold and the rain. Been kinda quiet on the show front, so when the guys from 40ozfist invited us to come check out the show, we jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, they got moved from the Rave's basement venue to one of the side bar areas. Which also means the good sound of the basement was missing and we were left with a bad mix job with a smidge too much feedback. Such is life at the Rave.
Faces of Ruin was up first, and that's never the slot you want to play. The folks who came late missed a great thrashy death metal band. Ed, the vocalist, had some wonderful chunky vocals and the music was hard, fast and brutal. They set the pace. "Within Arms Reach" had a wonderfully sweet-sounding intro before it went into the fast-paced death metal that the band is good at. They closed their short six song set with "Seperation Anxiety," a phenominally heavy tune.
An Eternal Farewell was up next and there have been some changes since we last saw them. A keyboardist has been added, and a new bassist has taken over. Fresh from the road, they dedicated their set to a dear friend of the band who recently passed away. Far tighter than the first time we saw them and definitely more polished. While they only have their first song of the night, "Broken Torn But Still Bleeding," on their myspace page, the best song of their set was "Hell's Never Had So Many Beautiful Colors."
Imported for the evening from Lake County IL was No Conviction. A rounded hard core band, they don't rely on simply being heavy. They definitely have a following that will make the drive to Milwaukee to see the show. Vocalist Ryan worked the crowd like a well-seasoned pro. The cover of the Superjoint song "Fuck your Enemy" started out the set and drove the room nuts. I really liked the tempo and chunky guitars on "Sin Is In." Gotta love a song about one's own self-contempt. Unfortunately while they didn't suffer from feedback like most of the bands this evening, the drums overpowered everything else.
A party just ain't a party without a drunken boy being thrown around. And that's basically how the Writhen set started. Playing a mix of thrash, death and hard core, Writhen meshes well with the other bands on the bill. I really liked the rhythmic chunky guitars and the lower growling vocals. Johnathon, the vocalist, worked with the crowd wonderfully and took the time to share the mic with some of their fans. With songs about pain and torment, Writhen is looking at cracking open the darker side of life and making it brutal. "Born Into Hell" and "Eternal Suffer" were true highlights of their set for the evening.
For 40ozfist it seems to be a family affair for their set. Everyone is welcome on stage, provided they can get up there, and it's all love for the folks who came out to see them. It's all love and hardcore baby. Even on a local level, it is great to see that much love for their fans. The set was insane. Thirty minutes and eighteen songs. Brutal and fast paced, the set didn't leave much time to get a breath. I still dig the double vocalists for this band. The song "Closed Casket Open Bar" just gives me the giggles, however "Lesser of Two Evils" and "What's Yours is Mine" were the two high points for me. The opening bass line on "Your Way of Life" was also truely lovely, and I had to check and see if if we had an actual slap bassist. But alas, he uses a pick. I must share these lyrics, from "Your Way of Life," as I may have never heard truer words.
If your eyes were the window to your soul
your mouth would be your asshole
Thanks to Dan and 40ozfist for inviting us out and all the kind words.