With Secret Arms and Devalued
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
: Rugby night at Churchill's the night before.
Primate, Whores, Secret Arms, and Devalued did that last bit Wednesday night, and they did it well.
Devalued set the tone for the whole night before the show even began with bassist Conor Barbato's massively loud soundcheck. His bass noodling got everyone's attention, even the poor soccer-watchers across the bar who were probably very confused and annoyed by this sonic invasion.
The rest of the band took the stage at 10:03, at which point the Miami hardcore outfit blazed through a 30-minute set with intensity matched only by guitarist-vocalist Nico's epic hair. One excited man wearing jorts hopped around amid the mostly stationary but approvingly head-bobbing crowd.
Midway through the set, Devalued mentioned their Bandcamp containing two songs and their intentions of recording 10 more and "putting them on something you can buy." If that record has half the energy that their show did, it will be a must-buy. Crowd favorites included "Mandark" and "Vicinity Rock."
When Miami's Secret Arms took the stage at 11 p.m., the one-man mosh pit doubled. The now two-dude crew sporadically winded through the slightly growing crowd. The band's accessible punk numbers were crowd-pleasing, with even the busy bartenders stopping to applaud between songs. Guitarist Louis Salgar often chugged from a giant water jug to reload for the next blistering song.
As Whores set up, it became immediately apparent that their set would be at least interesting. Drummer Travis Owen began setting up his drums front and center facing the bar; a fairly unusual sight. He then removed his shirt, revealing a canvas of badass tattoos.
They struck their first chord at 11:45, and Owen's drumming instantly lived up to the hype. He performed drumstick-throwing tricks and leg kicks. But neither felt gimmicky at all. His playing was just too good.
Churchill's was now packed. And the rest of the Atlanta noise-rock trio brought it hard too, pummeling the crowd with intense walls of sound that you wouldn't expect from just three folks. Whores do the fun-centric Atlanta music scene proud.
The rock rarely stopped, with only a couple of short breaks to tout their merch and talk about Florida weather for a bit. (In Florida they got tired of weather and they just got rid of it.) New tracks from their Ruiner EP included "Straight Down" and "Daddy's Money." Whores' vocals were much cleaner than the other three acts, which made for an interesting dynamic.
At 12:35, headliners Primate were up. Guitarist Bill Kelliher impressively shredded, while barefoot vocalist Kevin Sharp donned a cowboy hat and belted out song after song. At one point, Sharp creepily and monotonously murmured, "Brains... Brains... Brains..."
Sound problems unfortunately plagued the set, so Sharp was forced to do his best stand-up routine for about ten minutes, pointing out Bill's exposed "buttcrack" and such. "We are Primate and we're breaking things," he declared as Kelliher attempted to fix an amp.
When they were able to actually play, though, they were just what we've come to expect from Atlanta and more: excessively loud Rock. Perfect for some headbanging on a Wednesday night down at the Pub.
The Crowd: Punks and people in studded leather vests with a sprinkling of hipsters.
Overheard in the Crowd: To Devalued, "Who are you? You guys fuckin' rock!" True statement.
Personal Bias: Whores outplayed Primate. Maybe it was Primate's sound issues. Or Whores drummer Travis Owen's killer tats.
"March of the Curmudgeon"
"Silence in Violence"
"Draw Back a Stump"
"Drinking and Driving"
"Get The Fuck Off My Lawn"
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-- Alex Broadwell