On a seemingly deserted night in Downtown Pomona last Friday, Narcoleptic Youth along with other local punk bands ignited the night with a hardcore punk show at Aladdin Jr Café. For such a popular headliner, one would expect this show to fill up fast; however, the crowd size remained fairly tame throughout the night, never really exceeding any uncomfortable moments. Despite a lesser turnout than expected, all the bands entertained the true fans, who reciprocated with intense energy in the circle pit.

I arrived to a band already playing on stage without ever uttering their name. I could only guess that No Benefits opened the show; however, the profile does not match who I saw on stage, so this opener goes unnamed. This opener played a standard hardcore/street punk set, almost crossing the line towards post-hardcore with the amount of screaming emanating from the lead vocalist. This alone stirred up a little bit of the pit, as it got only four kids up and running.

Up next, The Merry Pranksters set up on stage just to take their setup off the stage and into the front of the pit. This young punk band from Riverside has a very “first album” type of sound – the type of unadulterated sound one would hear from a punk band’s first album. This reminded me most of very old Hot Water Music, where the music sounded somewhat raspy and distorted. Listening to The Merry Pranksters brought back feelings of nostalgia, which any punk fan would appreciate.

Moving along in the night, Angels of Mischief played next. This street punk band from the San Gabriel Valley knows no boundaries when it comes to shredding punk shows, as they thrash their way from backyard to venues. Combining the instrumentals of The Casualties and the vocal styles of Pennywise, Angels of Mischief plays something familiar to everyone. Angels of Mischief proves that even if you start from nothing, with enough effort, you can attain goals originally thought impossible.

Without the mysterious no-show of Urban Decay, Slow Children turned into the night’s sub-headliner. Since I first saw them earlier this year, Slow Children has come a long way to carve out their musical style and build a unique brand of their own. They have broken out of the rookie’s vibe and now plays like professionals. Their developed sound now resembles a younger version of A Wilhelm Scream, not just because their bassist wore the shirt, but because Slow Children actually sounds like old A Wilhelm Scream. At this rate of progress, Slow Children will go far in the music industry.

Humbly setting up on stage, Narcoleptic Youth lead vocalist Joey provided commentary while the band got everything organized. Once the band got started, the room went from zero to eighty in a second. This reminded me of how the audience blitzed the stage during the Comadre show here in April, except the crowd here blitzed each other rather than the stage. Have you heard Joey on the mic? He speaks so quickly he might as well rap in these songs. When you watch Narcoleptic Youth, you cannot help but stare in amazement how each band member can pull off what they do at this velocity. Sure Joey speaks at an incendiary rate, but you can hear every single word he says, a remarkable feat for any hardcore punk vocalist. Whereas vocalists in other bands have to balance their volume with the rest of the band, all of the sounds of Narcoleptic Youth synergize so well together that no one should have to attempt to tweak with the volume levels. Just turn it up to eleven!

Aching to catch another Narcoleptic Youth show? You can see them again this Sunday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana in Orange County, along with The Adicts and Agent Orange. Tickets to this show cost $25,

  1. […] finally started their set. Once I saw them, I immediately recognized them as the opening band from a Narcoleptic Youth show back in September, finally pinning a name to them. Since then, their sound has not deviated much […]

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