"My Son, he rents when he should be buying.
My son, he rides a bus when he should be driving."
—from "My Son" by B.P.A. on Maybe Use My Knife" CD
I hate the first really warm day of the year. The fickleness of Greater Cincinnati's citizens leads to wearing shorts, buying ice cream, washing cars and drive haphazardly. You know, it's just basically going outside. It's sooo typical.
If not for my all-time local favorite art-punk heroes By Products of America (BPA) playing the book release for a new Aurore Press offering titled Blue Jay Slayer, I would have stayed home; inside, drinking ice coffee and watching re-runs of/and Baskets and The Expanse; two TV shows that I can't get enough of—just like Arbys Curley Fries.
It's been a while since I've been 'out in the scene' or seen BPA. In fact, too long. Their set was near-flawless. Loud, droning, noisy and chaotic; I was invigorated that they included older hits like "My Son" and the best live version of "Forensic Dentist" I've yet to hear, but newer songs that are developing into prospects of a completely new full-length that should be ready, according to Tim Benz, by 2036. Immediately, their new songs reeked of a heavy influence of The Fall—with slight leanings toward a refined take of reggae dub that BPA pushed forward into uncharted territory. There's a reason why BPA are 'Top5' in my Thwart Top 40 Influential Punk Songs and on this night, BPA proved why!
Water is my choice drink of the night but The Comets back deck ('Colorado') lured me. Eventually, I succumbed... Charged with a heightened sense of paranoia and released from the confines of my cinder-brick feet, I 'let go' and let the night degenerate into comics and random situationist sloganeering via pen and paper with myself, AB1 and Lo-Fi City's C.I.C. (commander-in-chief) Johnathan S. providing end results (of which follow in all their abstract-destructionist glory.
I can say that the rest of the bands kept the energy up, inspired more drawings and captured ears repeatedly.
Louisville, Kentucky's Xerxes brought to mind early sped-up Interpol mixed with The Rakes. They played a great live show and sounded more interesting and held better attention than their bandcamp offerings—in my humble opinion. With over 11k likes on FB, I'd figure more than five guys in baseball caps bobbing their head in unison would have show up. This is a good spot to blame the warm day.
I had a difficult time keeping up with the other two bands and exactly who they were, but over-all, they were good listens. My lack of remembering their names is by no means a reflection of their impact or ability. I was literally on my own plane of existence. I was 'aiming high and floating low.' Really though, who needs a memory anyway when they can just look-up FB invites post-event?
I suppose it's even more cliché to say that 7 Speed Vortex (7SV) brought to mind early Go-Go's demo works , because of the lady fem-fronter and all—but they did—and that's a good thing! Reverbnation samplings of 7SVs' 1998 release Hard Luck Din are closer to their indie-noise pop label, but still—easy on the ears and something that I'd like to hear more of. I should have went and checked out the merch table but my negative bank account kept me rooted. Drawing like a madman. I really liked the energy and edgy-ness of 7SVs' live sound and look foreword to them (hopefully) playing lots more shows.
Clifford Nevernew, a band that I remember being a 90's precursor to Squirtgun, has refined their pop-punk sound into more of a oblation to the mighty return of power-pop. Their set was fast, tight and prophetic. I believe that power-pop and its return is imminent but in the meantime, Clifford Nevernew will serve as its local representatives.
The ride home was populated with thoughts and worries that the conspiracy theory known as Agenda 21 was beginning at Rinks Flea-Market in Mt. Healthy, while a really great song—which turned out to be a cut on (and form) a show called The Grateful Dead Hour (or something similar to that) on WNKU—gave the ride a sense of urgency. Yeah, it didn't mix well. My paranoia pulsed like a heartbeat as I was glad to have decided on the way to The Comet, take 'the back way' to my safe suburban home.
Negative bank account be dammed! This show was worth emptying the gas tank!
7 SPEED VORTEX