Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

"Call AAA…Cause Here Comes the Breakdown"

April 1, 2006

Friday, February 24, 2006
Strike Anywhere / With Honor / A Global Threat / Van Damage
The Championship, Lemoyne, PA

Between schoolwork, actual work work, and setting up and attending job and internship interviews, I have had little time to attend shows, or do anything personal for that matter, which makes Allison one sad puppy dog. Apparently, this utter lack of free time makes me talk in the third person and see only hardcore shows when I actually go out. The last show I went to was no exception.

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Van Damage, a local traditional hardcore favorite in the greater central Pennsylvania area, and presumably a favorite outside this area as well, played the last show that I attended, and was the opening band at this one. With their one-two punch of the musical equivalency of a high octane energy drink and ability to put on a ferocious live show, I expect big things for them outside the state soon. Big things, mark my word. Unless, of course, they do that whole ‘it’s cool to break up after the release of your first CD and then all start separate bands that sound exactly like our old band’ thing that good bands sometimes do.

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Next to play was A Global Threat, a hardcore punk band whom I had never listened to prior to this evening. As a disclaimer, I should probably state that I’m not a fan of punk music at all. However, after seeing this band play, I have to admit that I rethought that statement…several times. Punk music, I have decided, is merely the politically motivated distant cousin of hardcore music. While the hardcore kids are jumping around and smashing skulls in yelling something about being true to yourself and the scene and everything else in the world, the punk kids are running around smashing things yelling about political ideals and Republican scum and healthcare. Sometimes these lines blur and I was lucky enough to have attended a show where they did. Like the band before them, A Global Threat put on a great show; powering through a set of politically inspired punk rock songs laden with fast guitar playing and bass lines, along with even faster lyric spitting.

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The lineup seemed to switch from hardcore to punk and back twice, with the next band, (and the one that I went looking forward to the most) With Honor being the next hardcore band to play. Recently, their vocalist left the band, but from their set, the average concert-goer would have no idea that the vocalist filling in was merely that; a fill-in. They played an awesome set with brutal breakdowns and probably the most crowd interaction of the night. Probably one of the most amusing things I’ve been witness to at a show in a while was a kid who drove 8 hours to see this show. He was virtually emotionless through the first two band’s sets, but when With Honor took the stage, he sang along with every word, and jumped onstage with the singer at least half a dozen times. It was like you told him he won the lottery and got to sleep with Paris Hilton. Only he wasn’t guaranteed to get a venereal disease.

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The last band was Strike Anywhere, another politically motivated punk/hardcore band like A Global Threat that many of you may have heard of previously. Their dreadlocked vocalist must have burned off an entire value meal’s worth of calories with his stage antics, flying around the stage like some gymnast on steroids, complete with many aerial tricks of the toe-touching variety. Their melodic and excessively energetic brand of political punk rock certainly motivated the crowd, including myself. So in conclusion, if you plan on seeing any of these bands in the near future, you should probably call AAA…cuz here comes the breakdown.

-Allison Frank
thisloverstryst@gmail.com.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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