Torche, Jacuzzi Boys, Merchandise, and Moshing at 305 Fest 2012's Day One in Miami

See Crossfade's review of 305 Fest's Day Two -- plus interviews with Speedfreak Presents, Merchandise, Torche, Noothgrush, and Dropdead.

305 Fest 2012, Day One

With Torche, Jacuzzi Boys, Merchandise, Black Mayonaise, Fistula, Gorilla Pussy, No Qualms, No Childen, Sure Charm, Baker Acted, and others

Churchill's Pub, Miami

Friday, July 6, 2012

Better Than: Moshing alone.

If you didn't attend the first night of 305 Fest, Miami's supersize'd hardcore, punk, and metal megashowcase, you missed out on eight continuous hours of blaring, roaring, screaming, howling, moaning, and bleeding from 16 bands representing the loudest, wildest, nastiest and newest sounds from Florida's punk scene and beyond.

Fistula was one of many bands who logged some serious miles getting to 305 Fest, traveling from Cleveland to rip Sir Winston a new one. To the uninitiated, most of the bands on the lineup may have sounded like indiscriminate shredding and senseless screaming. However, the bulk of this festival's audience are connoisseurs when it comes to the vertiginous contours of extreme music. They'll explain that while Fistula play sludge, local openers like Gorilla Pussy and Baker Acted rage within the parameters of powerviolence and melodic hardcore, respectively. Just about all of it was moshable.

But not all of it. Among all the screechers and screamers, Merchandise vocalist Carson Cox did the most traditional singing, sounding more like Morrissey than Henry Rollins. He also traded stage-diving and crowdsurfing for lightly hopping down into the audience for some well-heeled Mick Jaggering, which was a more appropriate display of showmanship considering his band's blend of the best and blurriest moment from '80s and '90s synthpop and rock music. You can download Merchandise's new album Children of Desire for free, or buy an LP with a thick insert for $10, all through Katorga Works. Album of the year!

Merchandise was bookended by Sure Charm -- a Yo La Tengo-Velvet Underground 'gaze stoner-mumble trio -- and local power pop-punky act No Children. So those who came to rage had sufficient time to stretch, pound booze, and survey the merch tables. No Qualm - a nasty, noisy late 80s hardcore bruise crew - got the audience so crunk that the singer ended up busting his face and bleeding for the remainder of the set.

Akron, Ohio's Black Mayonnaise was a sharp addition to the lineup and a fitting doomterlude before the Jacuzzi Boys and Torche set off some bright pop explosions. Accompanied by Torche drummer and 305 Fest organizer, Rick Smith, on smoke machine, The Mayo induced an experience faithful to its namesake: sludgy, hairy, smells-like-taint noise-metal belched by an ogre in a gas mask. Cool.

The night closed out with South Florida's reigning rock heroes -- Jacuzzi Boys and Torche. And with the first night of the festival complete, there is no doubt the following two are absolutely essential for fans of punk, metal, hardcore and all assorted permutations and variants.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Punks, punx, riot grrls, lifers, posers, poseurs, crusties, oi-oi punk rockers, Churchill's weirdos, norms, indie-norns, casual hipsters, hip punks, animal-rights types, party animals, party thrashers, pit patrollers, but no rude boys.

Overheard In the Crowd: "At first, I was like, 'Why wouldn't you wipe the blood off your face? And then I was like, 'Oh yeah, the Internet.'"

Pit Patrol: Mostly neo-classical circle pitting b/w light karate-style free-improv.

Random Note: We eat the food at Churchill's because we are nihilists and we care about nothing.

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