Put another Sweatstock in the wrinkly, rain-faded books. The fourth installment of Sweat Records' anniversary party and Record Store Day celebration played out on three stages in Little Haiti.
But it's not just good times and dancing in the intermittent sun. It is also bleak, stomach-turning angst inside Churchill's, Miami's only concert venue to have athlete's foot, despite having neither any feet nor inclinations to athleticism. Bathroom-borne extremophiles and heavy music fans alike had much to rejoice in this Sweatstock, including a loud-as-fuck supergroup, some hairy punk and some menacing (and one-third shirtless) grindcore.
World of Shit:
It must be tough being a member of Shitstorm. You go to family reunions and field questions by the potato salad, like, "So, honey, how are things in the Shitdrizzles?" with a weary, "Gawd, it's Shitstorm, Aunt Lorraine! Shitstorm!"
And then you have your big Sweatstock show and afterward, fans come up and pump a fist as you're loading out your equipment. "World of Shit! World of Shit!" they shout. But that's not Shitstorm. World of Shit is the supergroup that combines Shitstorm with vituperative multi-instrumentalist Kenny Millions.
And even before World of Shit began playing, it was Kenny Millions drawing the crowd's affection. To their eager cries of "Fuck you, Kenny!," Millions (wearing scuba goggles) leisurely pointed at his groin instead of bothering to tune his guitar. When the performance began, Kenny alternated between freaking out on his saxophone and guitar, and pulling faces at the audience that would've had him dragged away from a playground in shackles. He also sang a bit, contributing bellowed lyrics such as, "Motherfucker!," "Fuck your mama!," and making mysterious requests for "your asshole!"
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Of course, Shitstorm, aside from being a face-punching grindcore band in its own right, also shares half of its members with Torche. These are guys who know how to deliver punishing noise and, alongside Kenny Millions, they dished out an unrelenting torrent of bowel-rattling sound. For those who weren't close enough to the pounding, singer David Smith took one of his drummer brother Rick's cymbals into the crowd to smash. It was dark. It was angry. It was enough to make even the most ardent optimist believe that the world is half empty -- not half full -- of shit.
Nunhex didn't just stumble into Churchill's not knowing what they were doing. They came with their own Nunhex sign hanging above the drummer. The band, which just released a live digital EP recorded last month on the same stage, are a heavy Miami punk band that played a short set. But they gave more of themselves in those few songs than most bands might manage in a full hour. Singer Alex even brought a cup of confetti that he sprinkled over the crowd. What a showman!
Witness the singer flying from the side of the stage onto the bar in a single bound! Watch as the crowd piles onto itself like the human pyramid formed by the cheerleaders at a school for epileptics! Did anyone else see that one kid get shoved out the fire exit and into the back of a van by some North Koreans? It was chaos.
In celebration of it being April 20 (AKA 4/20), Alex mellowed out his thrashing long enough to helpfully point out to fans where the nearest blunts were being passed around. Then he returned to whipping the microphone cord around, making Indiana Jones look like Regarding Henry. This is an old-fashioned, long-haired rock band that will bring Locks of Love a banner year, should they ever decide to call it quits.
Beastplague: Isn't that how it always is? Just after we finally make it through cold and flu season, Miami comes down with a case of Beastplague.
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The three-piece metal band recorded, mixed, and mastered its debut album in ten hours last summer. That album comprises seven intense tracks that blow by in about five minutes. But Beastplague didn't pad out their Sweatstock slot with extended disco cuts of their songs. Instead, they summoned from within themselves the kind of black, heavy evil that shortens the line to the bathroom because listeners are both afraid to move and have already soiled themselves.
Though these death grinders are from Broward, developers are raising the rent on Beastplague's heavily tattooed shins, confusing the band for the Wynwood walls. But Beastplague don't give a fuck about rent. They came to plague Sweatstock with beastliness.
When the singer and bassist trade off growled vocals, it sounds like Cookie Monster's id facing off against his ego, fiending hard for evil cookies (oatmeal raisin, obvs) baked in Satan's own EasyBake Oven. In between, the shirtless drummer stayed well-hydrated with a gallon jug of water, an important first defense against a Beastplague, by the way. Also, consider incorporating more ginger and lemon in your diet.