Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Soundchecks: Hale Bopp Astronauts, The Vibrators, Caamp, Midmourner

Punk, punk, more punk, and some folk for good measure

Posted by Vincent Harris and Heath Ellison on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Boncek file photo

PUNK | Hale Bopp Astronauts
w/ Soda City Riot, Longshot Odds
Sat. Sept. 29
10 p.m.
Free
The Mill

Satirical conspiracy truthers Hale Bopp Astronauts have linked up with Columbia's Soda City Riot for a split seven-inch. Totalling four songs, the punchy collection sees Hale Bopp and Soda City dropping new fast and melodic tracks similar to their previous work. The two new songs are just a drop in the bucket for the Astronauts because they also released their second LP Far From Home this year. The lightning-quick weirdo punk formula the Astronauts used on their 2016 self-titled release is still a controlling factor on their latest album, but guitarist Scott Burns says that future music may be a little less cheery in its presentation. "The third album is probably going to be a little darker than the last two due to the subject matter," he says. "It will still be satire but more ominous — at least that's where I'm at now." Burns says that the Heaven's Gate-inspired stage show will always stay the same, no matter where the music goes. "As long as we're playing we'll be following Marshall Applewhite's orders: Black attire and Nikes," he says. —Heath Ellison SATURDAY

click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided

FIRST-WAVE PUNK | The Vibrators
w/ Forsake Profits, Anergy
Wed. Sept. 26
9 p.m.
$8
Tin Roof

Punk was born with the Stooges and christened with the Ramones, and from the year of our lord 1976, the Vibrators have been with the genre. Releasing their debut LP Pure Mania in 1977, which has gone on to be legendary amongst English punk fans, the Vibrators kept the ball rolling through every era of punk, while still staying mostly true to their own sound. The guitars are gritty rock 'n' roll riffing, the drums are explosive, and the vocals are bitter and sneering. It's just what you would expect and want from a contemporary of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. And although the band has seen legions of lineup changes, they've kept the mid-'70s punk vibe alive with every show. —Heath Ellison WEDNESDAY

click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided

INDIE FOLK-ROCK | Caamp
w/ Ona
Tues. Oct. 2
8 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

Back in March, the Ohio band Caamp released Boys, (Side A), a six-song follow-up to their self-titled 2016 debut. Except it wasn't exactly the full follow-up. In July, they released Boys (Side B), six more songs representing the second half of a completed album. They did it that way for a couple of reasons. First off, according to Evan Westfall, who co-founded the band with his friend Taylor Meier, people's attention spans are a lot shorter. "We're in the Spotify age," he says. "That's how people found our music in the first place. We love the idea of a full album, but we wanted to give people a chance to digest the whole thing. So by splitting it into two sides and putting it out a couple of months apart, we could let people get to know the songs. It really makes people listen to every single song and take them all in." Secondly, Side B is a lot grittier and more electric than the folk-rock of the band's first album, which garnered around 25 million streams on Spotify. "We went with our gut and we wanted to play rock 'n' roll," Westfall says. "But some of those songs might not go over as well with the fans who liked the folkier stuff. So we wanted to ease everyone into it." —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided

HARDCORE PUNK | Midmourner
w/ Mode Low, Oakskin
Wed. Oct. 3
8 p.m.
$5
The Sparrow

This is one of those bills where you don't want to skip the opening acts. Mode Low, featuring Paisley Adams of Tripping the Mechanism on guitar, has put out a series of singles on Bandcamp over the last month that document an exciting meld of early '80s goth-punk (courtesy of vocalist Danny Rich's heavily echoed macabre wail) and thrash-metal tempos. The cuts they've posted are live, so the sound is a bit murky, but that actually adds some bleak, sludgy atmosphere to the song. Oakskin takes a more spacious but no less heavy approach to dark, haunting metal, and their sound is layered enough that it's surprising to learn they're a trio. Topping off this night of none-more-black metal is Birmingham's Midmourner, who combine some truly demonic lead vocals with a mercilessly grinding rhythmic attack that is often just short of a dead stop, allowing the band to stretch their sludge-metal epics into monoliths of sound. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

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