WORLDSUCKS (photo by Kate Hoos)
Anyone who knows me (or reads this blog) knows I go to a lot of shows. Between playing, shooting, and (soon to be again) working shows, I’m at shows almost every night of the week. And I see shows in a wide variety of venues- from the old tennis stadium I sometimes pick up shifts at, to local dive bars and popular spots in the punk scene, to working at 1400/2800+ cap NYC venues that the latest hot mid sized bands play at. But out of all of those- and I’ve seen some cool shows either in part or in full at all of them- nothing quite does it for me like a house show. I’m now 40 years old and have been in this shit for close to 25 years of my life…and while you’d think maybe I’d have grown out of that by this age, I haven’t and I very happily don’t see that changing any time soon.
Now that we’ve set the scene, then you know that when my friends- the political thrash metal band WORLDSUCKS (which features FTA contributing writer Nick AD on drums)- told me that their first live show in over a year was going to be a house show in NJ, I made sure my schedule was clear and that I was there. I listed this as “someone’s garage,” which was slightly meant to be cheeky but also it is quite literal as it was in a garage (and as per house show etiquette, I’m not going to reveal the address of the space). The show was organized by Fknundrgrnd who has been organizing pop up shows in the Rahway, NJ area (I drove there but it is also easily accessed by NJ Transit from NYC) and it was very obvious a tight knit and passionate community of friends and fans was in attendance as is often the case at house shows. This is easily one of my favorite parts of house shows too, being invited into their own little slice of the world by like minded weirdos and this day was no different as I (and Chantal from FTA who came with me) was welcomed with open arms.
Rube was up first (also featuring members of Keefchamber and Fang Gang) and I found out later this was in fact their first show. I am a very big fan of vibing out to instrumental jams and really locked in with what they were doing. Their tunes had a funk rock groove to them and never got too heavy for a nice intro to the show. I am definitely going to keep an eye on what they get up to to see how they develop and for what they record.
Nikki Nailbomb is a veteran/still active member of several Trenton, NJ bands (Molly Rhythm, Uranium Party and more) who has a pretty prolific multi genre output. On this day, she was performing a solo acoustic set which was comprised of songs from the 2019 album Tyrannical mixed in with songs from other releases. Side note that I actually stayed at Nikki’s place on tour with an old band in 2019 which I realized about halfway through the set, but this was the first time seeing them perform so that was nice to finally get to do that!
As mentioned, WORLDSUCKS are good friends of mine and I was so happy to be at their first show back in the semi after times. They are a two piece thrash band that sits right in that sweet spot between metal and hardcore punk; they also make absolutely no bones about their political leanings or their stance on any right wing bullshit- their tagline of “loud fast and pissed” isn’t so much a declaration as a way of life. Their music is played at warp speed, punishing riffs paired with machine gun fire double bass drum punctuating some of the heaviest parts of their songs, all wrapped up with a chugging ferocity that can vibrate an entire building never mind just the room.
Not wasting any time to get things kicked all the way up to 100, they started their set immediately firing on all cylinders with the anthem “Punch Yr Local Nazi” which features on their 2020 album A Reckoning. And to make things truly fucking metal, someone in the audience promptly puked as they wrapped up the song for the ultimate crescendo- and trust me, nazis make me want to puke too (it was likely due to the heat rather than the metal AF vibes but who can really say?!) Not letting anything like the expulsion of bodily fluids slow them down**, they lived up to the other part of their tag “unrelenting and unapologetic,” with a blistering set of political ragers that included the debut of the absolutely blazing and brilliantly titled new song “The 1312 Overture,” which featured the repeated screaming of “FUCK NAZI COPS” that had the audience immediately joining in on the chant.
(**note: in all seriousness, all vomit was quickly and thoroughly cleaned up by the folks running the space)
“Punch Yr Local Nazi” music video
Keefchamber played the final set of the day and damn did they knock me right on my ass. I was unfamiliar with them before the show but became an instant fan barely halfway through the first song. I have always been a lover of two piece bands and seeing what can happen with this limited set up because often times, it results in something more intricate and surprising than a band of five musicians could come up with. I particularly love bands that accomplish this sans guitarist and feature bassists that play heavy distorted basslines. Their bassist/vocalist Taco expertly utilized drone techniques, often paired with chords and intricate patterns played over top of the drone strings to create a vast wall of sound.
That sound is firmly in the blackened sludge vein, and reminded me of a slower and even doomier godheadsilo, the creeping tempos creating the vibe and the giant bass tone filling every inch of space in the room. They don’t appear to have a large recorded output at the moment, Taco told me after the set they are just getting back into the swing of things after well…everything, so I will be for sure on the lookout for when they release something new. This was my first time seeing or meeting this band, but I can assure you it will not be the last.
This is the culture I love and live for and every day I get to do something like this, I feel just a little bit more alive.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)