For the second weekend in a row I was enticed to withstand the South Side to go to a show. While I do sneak down the back alleys to get to The Smiling Moose, this line-up made smoking outside among the sloppy Yinzers well worth it! I have to say that I was disappointed by the turnout at this event, a good portion of the crowd leaving after the first band, but the loss is theirs. The night’s entire roster was outstanding!

I had never witnessed The New 52, the aforementioned first band, before. The trio claim to be from Zerosville, PA, which could be located just about anywhere. Self-described Alternative Punk, they reminded me a bit of EARLY Green Day, maybe some NOFX, although their compositions are probably more mature. On vocals & guitar, Brian isn’t afraid to get personal and raw with a few songs, but overall these guys really seemed to revel in rocking out their 11 song set list. Unfortunately, they don’t have any recordings ready for public consumption yet, so you’re left with no choice BUT to go check them out in the flesh. I’d consider it a personal favor that when you do, someone brings poor drummer Gerald a sturdy cinder block for his bass drum. As for the other bass, I admit that they did win some points from me for having a killer lefty filing the role with Wes.

Having been a big fan of 3/4 of the next group’s old band, I was really excited to FINALLY see their new(ish) project. With influenced culled from some of my favorite thrash bands (Anthrax, Exodus, Megadeth, OLD Slayer,…) Whitethrash pay homage to and update, well, thrash! Veteran musicians, their set was super-tight and can I just say what a relief it is to hear a singer that can sing, a guitarist that can shred, a drummer that hits hard, and yes, also a bassist that can play the bass? In my opinion this band is a welcome and needed addition to the strange world that is original Pittsburgh metal music. WT are currently finishing up an album, but don’t miss your next opportunity to see them live, September 30th at The Fallout Shelter where they will be joined by Playoff Beard and Children of October to celebrate local provocateur and member of both The Scratch n’ Sniffs and Thunder Vest, Nate’s birthday. While you’re there be sure to pick up something from Whitethrash’s extensive merch collection. Beard combs! Some of yinz could use one.

When I had heard that the final band of the evening, hailing from nearby Columbus, OH, was looking to book a show in the area I did some homework. With a little effort I was able to find some YouTube videos of MethMatics and was almost immediately smitten. Donning matching black attire and ties, except for the fabulous dress-clad Christal, if their catchy tunes don’t draw you in, then their synchronized dance moves will. The quality of YouTube videos being what it is, I was still looking forward to seeing if these guys (& gal?) could bring it live. How silly was I to second guess? These folks are true champions of punk in it’s purity. Drawing influences from bands like The New York Dolls and The Dead Boys their sound is frenetic and fun! Lead guitarist Billy shreds like Chuck Berry while Christal seduces you much like a sparkly, sassy, Brony might. Apparently there were rumblings about this band being “gimmicky,” but in a town that embraces knights, pirates, fictional serial killers, and the undead as musicians, I find that suggestion preposterous. MethMatics have solid stage presence and they know it. In closing, if you missed this show (or left early) you really missed out on a well-rounded night of great music. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to dance along with the MethMatic soon!