Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reliving the Thrill of Discovery

Walking out of Sound Garden, a money vacuum disguised as a Fells Point CD/DVD store, I did a double-take as my eye caught a glimpse of a flier for an upcoming show. Touting a double bill featuring pop-punk legends The Hard-Ons and The Queers I had to get up close just to make sure the show was happening in 2006, not 1996.

Sure enough, the bands were touring the States and making a stop at the Ottobar, one of Baltimore's seemingly thriving rock clubs.

After making several trips to DC's The Black Cat to check out appearances by Radio Birdman, The Fleshtones, Woggles, Mooney Suzuki, and even a resurrected Zombies, Smile Hon editor WP Tandy and I were more than happy to hit up a local club for a show.

I'd seen The Queers many moons ago during one of the many shows attended at Philly hotspots like The Khyber Pass, Dobbs (before it became The Pontiac Grille) or some other joint that's probably gone by now. And for a few weeks I labored under the misconception that this would be my first live Hard-Ons show, though Carbon 14 editor Larry Kay informed me that I'd indeed seen the Aussie punk legends back in the mid-to-late 80s when Philly's notorious Serial Killers opened for them at Revival. Likely in the throes of a potent mixture of Thunderbird and Yuengling Porter my memory of said event is fuzzy at best, possibly non-existent.

Ah, the 80s. And 90s. Good times, good times.

But now it's the whatever we're calling this decade and the time was right saddle up and hit an all-ages show for a rousing trip back in the punk rock time machine.

Then a funny thing happened... Toys That Kill, the second band on the four-band bill, stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park, blowing both the Hard-Ons (who phoned in a deplorable performance that emptied the floor like a rancid fart) and Queers off the stage.

Sure, The Queers had the night's most rabid following, a veritable sea of teen- and college-age punks bouncing, bopping and slamming to their endless variations on post-Ramones pop-punk riffs. But it was Toys That Kill that showed the best chops, the most energy with their infectious sound that reminded me of Naked Raygun mixed with the Descendents. Check out some audio files from the band here.

1 comment:

kami said...

hey dante, that's why i've stopped seeing 'old' bands - we can't relive our youth and neither can they! i'd rather listen to the rekkids at home and get drunk than put up with drunk teenagers and band memebers who are older than me
(jeez i'm gettin' crotchetty)
by the way i'm in the throes of resurecting Sprak!/Splatter Video... just like the old days, cutnpaste, cheap and nasty...
will send ya one!