A few weeks ago, I headed out to Philly’s intimate dive The Barbary to catch Ratkicker who was opening for Die Choking with a pretty stacked lineup. It’s been about 3 years since I’ve seen these Philly punks, and since they were up first I made sure to get there nice and early.
It’s a pretty rare occurrence for Ratkicker to play a show, but I listen to their debut Fuck Off Thank You pretty damn regularly. Playing aggressive nihilistic punk/hardcore with tinges of metal (but sure as fuck not metalcore, thank [insert your favorite deity here]), Ratkicker played a tight and quick set of songs from both their debut and semi-recently released Stay Above The Fray.
These guys always slay live, so it’s a bit of a shame that they don’t really play more often. In my opinion, they’re one of the most underrated hardcore bands in Philadelphia, and are definitely worth checking out if you dig aggressive as fuck punk rock.
While setting up, Bathe brought something to the stage I’ve never seen any band use before. South Carolina noisy, sludge metal band Bathe brought up a pulpit/art piece in which the singer sang from the entire show. Sludge/doom metal is not really my cup of tea as I simply don’t have the attention span for it, however Bathe put on an enjoyable set that even I was digging, and had plenty of people show up just to see them. If you dig sludge with some grind influences, you’ll dig Bathe.
Next up were England’s Mister Lizard, on their first ever US tour. Mister Lizard played a spastic set with their short, technical, and noisy powerviolence/grind that reminded me a bit of early An Albatross or NASA Space Universe. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a single song over a minute (or if it was, it was barely) so if you dig self described power violence but without “unnecessary fat like groove and melody, give these guys a listen.
I’ve never heard of Philly’s own Eaten Alive before the show, but I was pretty blown away. Eaten Alive plays heavy as fuck, no bullshit, no frills hardcore with plenty of breakdowns. Female fronted hardcore, Eaten Alive only put out their demo just last year. The songs from the demo reminded me of more “tough guy” (err… tough girl? tough people?) while the newer songs had a bit more grind/powerviolence feel to it. Definitely one of my favorites of the night, check out Eaten Alive if you dig blistering hardcore.
Philly’s Die Choking have garnered a sizable following over the past few years, appealing to both punk, metal, and grind fans alike. With their incredibly technical grindcore, Die Choking is reminiscent of bands like Napalm Death and later Pig Destroyer. If you dig grind at all, give Die Choking a listen.