Posts Tagged ‘The Bananarchists’

Oi everyone,
Due to a tight schedule this week, this post will contain reviews for two shows instead of the usual one.

Last Friday night, the Lower Class Brats headlined this stomper of a show at The Observatory in Santa Ana. For just $10, this show featured an outstanding lineup of five hard-hitting bands that pumped up the room from the get-go. As a major venue, they would not allow me to bring in my main camera since I do not write for a major publication, so I had to settle with my old camera for this show.

Our good neighbors from Orange County, The Bananarchists, opened the night. Remember these kids from a few months ago? Back then, they played at a small venue that could only hold so many people. Now at The Observatory, this venue provided the band with a much richer, bolder sound. This made them sound much better than they did at that one show. I also noticed that their lineup changed, as I only recognized their vocalist. Regardless, they still look like a nice group of kids, so I hope they get some good gigs in their near future.

Up next we get a surprise from the bay area, as Kicker came to visit Orange County. How else can I describe them other than a British crust punk band? Sure they only started as a band not too many years ago, but they sound like they have played since the dawn of punk rock itself. With a hard crust punk sound paired with their vocalist’s British accent, they sure satiated many of the rowdy kids in the audience.

This show basically had three headlining acts, and the first of them, the Old Firm Casuals, would start up next. For those unfamiliar with the Old Firm Casuals, their vocalist, Lars Frederiksen, came to fame as a member of Rancid. Much of the Old Firm Casuals songs may feel reminiscent of some older Rancid songs as well as Lars’ side project with The Bastards, yet at the same time will feel like a brand new experience. Going to an Old Firm Casuals show will surely please punk rock fans of new and old.

Some may argue that the night’s true headliners did not play last. When you put things into perspective, JFA does hold more of a legacy than any of the other bands in the night. All other bands acknowledged the significance of JFA playing at this show, yet JFA only went second-to-last. This truly tested the energy of the crowd, as it appeared that the entire room expended all of their adrenaline into this one set. This did not happen without meaning – JFA always delivers a brutal performance not fit for the faint of heart. Check out a JFA show soon and experience why so many punk rock bands and fans regard them as legends.

Lars Frederiksen called the Lower Class Brats‘ vocalist “the skinniest man in punk rock.” When you can rock out in skinny jeans like that, I guess that comes off as more of a compliment than an insult. But anyways, Lower Class Brats got off to a welcoming start as the crowd roared for their appearance through the dark stage. Once the lights turned on, the entire room turned into a living pit. Their set included new songs as well as fan favorites, such as Just Like Clockwork, Psycho, Ultra Violence, Addicted To Oi, New Seditionaries, and more. Something about their catchy music seems to persist in the heads of many punk rock fans. Their music plus their natural knack for entertaining combine for one heck of a show that will leave people talking.

That wraps up the Friday night show. On to the next show!

This past Saturday night, legendary punk rock band T.S.O.L. played their only Southern California show this year at Characters Sports Bar in Pomona. This show cost $15 to get in to, and only originally featured three bands. At one point, the venue booked a fourth band that would end up opening the night. In fact, that band never really identified themselves, so now I present to you: mysterious unnamed punk rock band!

Moving on to the official lineup, we begin the night with Destruction Made Simple. The first punk rock show I attended back in the early 2000’s featured not only T.S.O.L., but also Destruction Made Simple, so this show made me go full circle. Age has not deteriorated Destruction Made Simple – with time, they continue to hone in their sound and develop new music to adapt to the new times. Sure they still can blast out that original Los Angeles hardcore punk sound, but new music from these guys now carry undertones of ska and reggae. This show also marked the first time I heard them perform a cover song with Astro Zombies, albeit I do not know why the set list says Ramones right before it when The Misfits actually performed this song.

Pushing on through the night, we come up to the Bedlam Knives. I will admit that I had not heard of them prior to this show. However, upon learning about this band’s bio, I knew I had recognized the vocalist from elsewhere – he performed with The Generators, a band that I had not seen in years. The Bedlam Knives consists of members from multiple bands, and those previous bands’ music reflects in the way that the Bedlam Knives sound. I would not go on record of calling them fully punk rock – instead, they sound like a mix of east coast punk and west coast rock ‘n roll. To understand their sound, I suggest attending one of their shows in the near future to hear this unique combination.

As time ticked away and the crowd anxiously awaited for T.S.O.L., the room filled with more and more people, pushing the blob ever closer to the stage until my legs touched the stage. Once the music started, a full pit could not get going due to the tight space available. Nonetheless, the crowd eventually turned into a living pit, and rocked this little bar from the front to the back. T.S.O.L. mainly stuck with classic songs for this show, including fan favorites like Code Blue, Superficial Love, and Abolish Government \ Silent Majority. For a small show, they played no encore – they simply played the duration of their set list, then bid their farewells.

Now that April has arrived expect to see tons of shows around the area coming up. Find your favorite bands on Facebook, and look through their pages, as the busy season has officially gone under way.

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Most music genres nowadays receive their names based on what it sounds like. When a style or genre of music defines an area or gets defined by an area, typically the genre will incorporate the geographical name in it. With the case of Nardcore, this style of hardcore punk originated in Oxnard, CA, and one of the original bands that started it all headlined a small show last Saturday in Orange County. Age shows no wear & tear on Ill Repute as they confidently played a set to a rather small turnout. For an old-school band like Ill Repute to still play shows means something to today’s millenials who do not have much time to experience original Nardcore.

South Bay hardcore punk band Short Temper opened the night with their aggressive set. Short Temper truly lives up to their name, not because of the vocalist’s height, but because of the anger felt by their music. If you ever need music to get your blood and adrenaline pumping, look no further than Short Temper.

After taking quite some time to set up, South Orange County band The Bananarchists finally started their set. At first, they look like such nice kids, and no one would expect them to play the music they do. But once the music drops, their image sheds away to reveal the raw hardcore nature of this band. The organizer of this show even came out in a punk banana costume and ran amok in the pit. All in all, The Bananarchists played a fun set truncated by them taking longer than usual to set up.

If you ask the owners of most music venues why they do not allow punk rock bands to play there, they will likely point towards Child Abduction. The most offensive band ever comes out of Long Beach, and if you look up scumbag in the dictionary, it will post a picture of Child Abduction next to the definition. Nothing pleasant ever occurs around these guys, especially when their buddy Bob the Clown showed up to trash the place. Throwing confetti and shooting silly string all over the place, Child Abduction thoroughly left a mess in the venue after their set. Thanks to these guys, most venues will not want a punk rock show to ever happen there.

Now that all the kids had performed, the adults could finally show the kids how punk rock works, starting with No More Saints. This South Orange County band relives early 80’s hardcore punk by taking it back to their roots growing up, and using that music as a foundation to what they play. These guys play for the fun of it and does not seek fame & fortune, as any punk band should. Check these guys out soon, as these guys will come very close to the early days of punk rock.

Now playing much later than originally scheduled, Slow Children set up quick to get their brief set going. Slow Children wasted little time with their set, playing with minimal downtime between songs. This venue allows for easier listening to the lyrics, as the acoustics allowed the audience to clearly hear vocalist Nate’s words. With a strong sound of their own that resembles a combination of A Wilhelm Scream and Strike Anywhere, I foresee great things for Slow Children, and I hope they get their big break this year.

With a casual demeanor, Ill Repute calmly set up on stage while eager fans could not contain themselves on the floor. Once Ill Repute got started, everyone on the floor dropped all manners and slammed into the nearest body hoping to inflict bodily harm. Ill Repute took their time between songs and chatted with the audience during the downtime. Luckily, this allowed the audience to slightly calm down instead of turning the venue into a war zone. Ill Repute played twice as long a set as all the other bands did, so the lucky fans who retained their energy for Ill Repute could slam dance to their heart’s content, or until their body could take no more.

Orange County does not get enough Nardcore, so when a band does come around, every punk rock fan should make it a priority to attend that show. Check out all of the bands’ Facebook pages and Like them to see where they will play next.