I don't think I'd be fooling anyone if I said my anticipation for this gig wasn't anything short of rabid, although the foam may not have been visable, I was excited. To some I'm sure, my blind and unyielding dedication to LA and its bands must seem truly surreal, but this stuff gets me right where it counts (don't ask me where, it just does). An overpowering chaos that's frenzied and immediate, but not cursory and transparent. If you haven't gotten the gist to what's happening in, say, the first thirty seconds of a "Nervous Breakdown", then buddy, you're lost and would be better off in the trendy high-brow sophistication of the Wax Trax set who drool ever-so-neatly over every Factory release. Call it punk rock, call it some kind of new music, call it anything you like, but you can't deny the fact that this is the kind of noise that curdles the minds of the feeble and completely melts those of their most ardant fans. A bruising assault on our senses that leaves us in a near comatose state of euphoria. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Tonight's show began with what I believe to be Chi-coho's only true punk outfit--The Efagies. A mirror image of the Upstarts, their singer looks as well as sounds like Mensi. Not too terribly original, but compared to what I had envisioned the warmup act to be, these guys were more than up to the challenge of sparking the crowd. It wasn't too tough, either, cuz they brought along a legion of swaggering skinheads, who promptly staked out a territory in the middle of the dancefloor as their own. A regular battle zone, that only the hearty would care to invade. The kind of good old boys who'd scare the living poop out of the cowering faggots who hang out at our own Club DooBee (am I getting through to you, Marcel?). One of the bouncers (who had the gall to display a Black Flag badge) took it upon himself to straighten out one of the skins who he thought was taking his enthusiasm to a dangerous extreme. Needless to say, an incident was avoided when a bunch of his mates came to the rescue, and persuaded this posing gorilla to cool it or he'd be the one out on his ass.
When Black Flag finally came out, we forgot all about the stiff ticket price, the ridiculously expensive beer, and the asshole security crew. I was finally getting a dose of the real thing, and that's all that mattered. They've got a new singer, he's sounds a little older than their other one with about as much subtlety as a pair of brass knuckles. Greg just rivets himself to the floor as he churns out lead after lead in a frantic race to squeeze as many songs into the shortest time. Chuck stomps around the stage while tugging at his bass and taking time to yell inarticulate bits of wisdom at us peons below. Robo simply sits diligently on his drumkit, oblivious to his surroundings. But what these guys do individually is inconsequential compared to the force and velocity that is in their music. The new stuff off the EP, the classics from the first single--all great. Hearing this band live helped to erase any memory of all the shit I've had to put up with during my residence at the Club. Punk rock in its positively, rawest formóbands just don't come any better.
--DS, Touch and Go 11