Wow, what a show! Mundo Muerto/
Kimo’s, SF, 1/29/11
Wow, what a show! is brought to you this week by Clint Baechle of hella bands and the Boca de Fuma blog, with photos by Jehn Cincinnasti. If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger!
For all the times in my life I’ve been told I smell like a goddamn brewery, there are few of them when the accusation could really be considered correct, and tonight was one such time. As soon as I got out of work, I wandered down the road to Speakeasy Brewery’s Friday night open house. My buddy works there and hooks me up with brews, and I uncomfortably stood there drinking beer after beer and munching popcorn in a warehouse facility brimming with with self righteous young professionals, freshly scrubbed and tweezed, and without a doubt twittering about what a “fucking wild night” they are having. But I digress. My point here is actually that there is nothing better to prepare one’s mind and body for a long night of anarcho-crust than a few (or quite a few) bitter beers. I could have used a few more myself, to be honest, but it was time to go, and I took the 19 Polk Family Adventure Bus along almost it’s entire circuitous route, from Hunter’s Point to the venerable intersection of Polk and Pine streets, home to tonight’s festivities. By now my stomach was rumbling, and I figured I’d better give it some kind of cushion for the battery that was to come. And so it came to be that I missed the opening band, the Neighborhood Brats (a great band by the way) because I was chowing Chinese food and accidentally catapulting spoons across the restaurant with my stupid elbows, agitating the staff who were still recovering from the antics of a hostile “chew and screw” customer.
I ascended the golden staircase into Kimo’s “Penthouse Lounge” just in time to catch MUNDO MUERTO from L.A. I’d never seen them before, and due to their association with the Silenzio Statico posse, I was expecting something a bit more rawponk. Instead it was something tight, (barely) controlled, brimming with hardcore anger and attitude. The instruments were individually distinguishable, not a hot mess of chaos, and the songs went from fast rippers into bouncy mid tempo parts. Awesome.
Considering how easy it actually is to pack a walk-in closet the size of Kimo’s, I’ve seen relatively few packed shows here. This one wasn’t the biggest, but it was pretty close, and things were starting to get tight by the third band, but not too tight to easily get up to the bar and get another few beers, thank god.I had to enrich my punk state of mind.
DESPERATE HOURS is a band I’ve seen many times before, so I knew what to expect. The trio of Isla Vista, filthy, beach-crust bums ripped through a succinct and serious set of blown out, Japanese worshiping, crusty d-beat. Chris and Chuck made plenty of snarling faces in our direction, and Denver stomped along, holding it together with wild bass lines. It seemed like moldy black denim and phlegm was everywhere. If that was actually the case, then the problem only increased during the set of Pittsburgh, PA’s Ratface.
RATFACE seems to have several things to its advantage in the midst of the massive d-crust noise punk barrage we’ve been experiencing lately. One of these things is a healthy sense of (self deprecating when necessarily) humor. It has nothing to do with the show review but check out the “Cider Song” intro to their half of the Desperate Hours split tape. Hilarious! Rather the the bombed out mass grave shattered corpse ridden battlefield in which most of their contemporaries dwell, Ratface is perfectly at home falling down cider-drunk in gutter with yer mates and laughing it off.
Ratface’s next advantage is an acknowledgment of pre-Discharge and Anti-Cimex punk music, as evidenced by their covers (yeah, I don’t really think punk bands should do covers; yeah, I went crazy as fuck when they played “Religious Wars,” because that’s the only thing appropriate to do, plus I love that song) and the stylistic variables in their own songs. Yeah, they’re basically d-beat still, but they sound less diluted than most of the shit out there these days, with more tasty ingredients stewed into the studded vest, mucous, cum, blood, spit and filth stew that they’re cooking up for us to all enjoy.
Ratface’s third advantage is their guitar player, Jimmy, who was apparently in some other band that people really liked. He takes take a uniquely workmanlike approach (must be that Midwestern blood) to playing noisy-ass guitar, almost gracefully(?!) piling on the extra squeals, feedback, wah-wahs and rudimentary solos. Right the fuck on.
After that I drank more beer.
I wish someone had told me beforehand that this was to be the final DOPECHARGE show, I would have paid closer attention, maybe tried to break out some teeth or at least spill a beer on someone during their set, but I thought that I would always get another chance to see them, to let them be the soundtrack to another wasted night in San Francisco City, in front of too many kids who were too drunk in a too small bar in a not quite shitty enough neighborhood. It’s a band that I will probably remember more for their attitude than their wild d-beat bashings, more for the nihilistic party atmosphere that their presence seems to suggest. Oh well, I wonder what they’ll do next.
After that I drank a lot more beer.
All in all this was a very satisfying punks spending loud night — it included bus rides, wastedness, alleyway drinking, public urination, denim, leather, and lots people having a good time. And I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it, but damn, there are not only so many good bands coming through right now, but enough venues in San Francisco and the East Bay to host them, and enough drunken retards to go to all the shows, mosh it up, and maybe even take home a nice t-shirt with a skull on it. Ride the wave, boss.