When I saw that a bunch of powerviolence/grindcore bands were coming through Philly on the way to Maryland Deathfest, I knew I had to go. I headed out to Philly’s Black House, a tiny, intimate living room with the furniture upturned and got there right in time for openers Disparo. The place had a small but decent sized crowd, and by the end of the show the place was beyond trashed (which I later learned it was the last show ever there since the residents were moving). Also I’m not sure why, but Nepal/NYC Chepang wound up not playing the show which was a bummer since they were supposed to have a “battle” set with Bandit.
Hailing from Australia, fastcore/powerviolence Disparo definitely traveled the furthest and kicked things off. Playing an energetic set, Disparo threw in a cover of queercore band Limp Wrist’s “I Love Hardcore Boys, I Love Boys Hardcore”. If you dig bands like Charles Bronson or AxC/DxC, give them a listen.
Next up were Philly/Delaware’s Bandit which had the stupidest set of the night. Playing heavy, grind influenced hardcore, the three piece reminded me of Weekend Nachos. From the opening chords the singer catapulted himself into the crowd, turning the entire room into a massive pit that didn’t let up throughout the entirety of their set… and you were part of it whether you wanted to be or not.
Yet while incredibly rowdy with people getting pushed through walls and smacked with the bits of drywall, it was all in good fun (and the only ones punching each other in the face were friends of each other so uhh… you do you guys). What I’m trying to say is the house is definitely not getting their security deposit back… If you like aggressive as fuck hardcore similar to Weekend Nachos or Nails, Bandit is definitely worth checking out.
Boston’s Goolagoon was the main reason I came to the show in the first place, as I really love both of their releases Life Of Crime and PatrickViolence. If you haven’t heard of them, Goolagoon plays female fronted powerviolence inspired by Spongebob Squarepants (which if you’re a fan you probably gathered from the name).
Yes, I realize how fucking gimmicky and stupid that seems, but really only the titles/intros nod to the Bikini Bottom with the lyrics dealing with real issues. Besides, it’s really damn good, go ahead and listen to “Big Pink Loser” and try to tell me you didn’t want to just stage dive off something. (But also fuck you, I love Spongebob…I’m definitely caught up on every episode.)
The band was plagued with sound issues throughout their set, but that didn’t stop them from tearing the place up. If you love bands such as Punch or Deathrats check out Goolagoon, they’ve easily become one of my most listened to bands.
Fuck. I never heard of Southern California’s Fissure before but they were easily my favorite band of the night. Playing no bullshit, no frills powerviolence that reminded me of bands like DNF (Duke Nukem Forever) or Fuck On The Beach, Fissure played a fun and energetic set. If you check out only one band from this list, you can’t go wrong with Fissure.
So it’s been a few years since I’ve last seen Philly’s Congenital Death, but last time I’ve seen them they had a different singer and played powerviolence hardcore with the occasional melodic hook (like on their releases From My Hands and +2). If this show was any indication, and from what I’ve checked out since the show, Congenital Death followed a more grind/technical route, sounding more like Pig Destroyer than Punch.
By this point, the place was pretty destroyed and the band was sharing vocal duties with a busted, duct taped microphone. But Congenital Death played a very solid set. If you like your hardcore influenced by grind, give them a listen.