Hardcore Solstice: Submachine / Crack House / Mower / Frustrate / Bed Sore @ Gooski’s (6/21/17)

It was the longest day of the year on Wednesday. A great day to spend outdoors, maybe lie under the stars in the evening and enjoy a nice quiet peaceful night. Or you could work all day and spend the remainder of your evening getting shithoused in a dark, smoke-filled bar blowing out your eardrums. I’ll take the latter. If you believed that the event would start at 8 (according to the FB event page) you must not get out to Gooski’s very often (you should). However, I rolled in around 8:15 to play it safe. I was pleased to find Jeff from Submachine sitting next to me. He dropped some knowledge on me about coming up in the eighties and some history of the local punk and hardcore scene. After a few PBRs and a “safety meeting” in the alley Bed Sore was about to start at ten (regular time).

To start off the show, Gooski’s housed two heavy-hitting hardcore bands from Lexington, Kentucky: Bed Sore and Frustrate. Both bands are on the analog label Stomped Out Records and operate out of the DIY space Hometron (ask a punk). Both bands had a similar very heavy, abrasive, driving, hardcore sound. Bed Sore’s vocalist had higher, more shrill, voice than Frustrate and an interesting stage presence–he just stared out into the audience without blinking, all bug-eyed and shit, while he screamed his fucking lungs out. During the song N.O.A.D. (nod off and die), he started flailing around on the ground and pretended to try to suck some dudeʻs dick.

The highlight of Bed Sore’s set, for me, was the track “Clocked out”–you can check that out on their tape “Our Demo” (clever). Frustrate’s set was not quite as theatrical, but they came hard with deep hardcore vocals and some super dope rock riffs that had an early 80s west coast hardcore feel. I’m not sure if it was the amp he was using or the deafening sound of Gooskiʻs, but his guitar had almost a surf rock sound.

Local rock n rollers Mower were up next. If you haven’t seen these guys yet, I’m not sure where you have been because it seems like they play Gooski’s once a month. They make it very clear at the beginning of their set that “We are a rock and roll band, not a punk band”. Its pretty easy to pick up that these dudes dig Motorhead and their sound reflects that. Mad props to these guys for keeping good ol’ fashion rock and roll alive. Keep an eye out for their new self-titled record in the works; you can check out the singles here.

Crack House of Philly kicked off their ten day east coast tour here in Pittsburgh, hometown to vocalist Chubb Rock. The band boasts a powerful hardcore punk thrash sound, singing mostly about crack, junkies, and generally filthy shit. These dudes made some really killer merch, including coozies that demand you to “smoke crack right now.” Catch them on tour or listen to their records here.

Submachine was up next and, once again, I broke my promise to myself to just chill out and watch the show. This band is just too good not to dance to. These guys are local legends and if you don’t know, I’m not sure where you have been for the last thirty years or so. Itʻs hardcore punk, it’s Pittsburgh, it’s something you should be listening to.

They are headed to Europe July 18 for a three week tour where they plan to meet up with Free (Billy Pilgrim) of Killer Of Sheep at the end of his European tour to play a rap show or two. When they come back from tour in August they plan to take that energy and head right into the studio to record so keep a weather eye out for that one.

Special thanks to Gooski’s, Jeff, Mikey, and Stomped Out Records for putting on a great fucking show.

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