This was a very interesting show, involving things I never though that again I’d see, or see at all. And it being 20 years of later, man have things changed. Such is Time.
THE FINAL SCORE is a quite small and local dive in Bensalem, PA, right next to Philly. The booze was expensive *(as it always is), but I’m not a big drinker *(anymore) so no biggie there. It’s also one of the few bars that plays local bands of all variety *(something the Philly area has never really been known for). Anyway, what makes this show so special is that, some twenty years ago, we had a somewhat thriving scene in this particular area (as all sprawling suburbia’s do). It was small, but we were close, young, and out of our fukking minds (most of us still are, just in a twenty years later sort of way – – – like all scenes, you kind of had to be there).
VIOLENT SOCIETY, AGE OF DESIRE *(aka: A.D., one of my old bands, perhaps to again one day record), OLD FEZZIWIG, SPACE CHRIST, CADAVER DOGS, THE SLUMLORDS, DEATH CORPS, and way too many others to mention here. If we couldn’t find places to play, we’d invent them. Homemade outdoor stages *(usually torn to shreds with axes by my band when we played last), or basement clubs, where anything went and everyone got along. A lotta bands, a lotta shows. A lotta weird nights. We infiltrated cock-rock night clubs that didn’t want bile spewing *(in every sense of the word, especially if it was A.D. performing) punks befouling their stage, my aforementioned band causing a large scale riot at one, the Cell Block, which mysteriously burnt down two weeks later. Those examples are a mere fragmentation of the beauty and synchronistic horror of those times *(I’m sure tainted/painted by a bit of nostalgia, for certain).
One of the bands at the center of that scene was SPACE CHRIST, who for the first time in twenty years the other night, played in their original *(well, new drummer) incarnation of Johnny “Hate” Indelicato *(as he was once known – – – nicest guy in the world, too – – – we all had ‘punk’ names) and on bass, and his brother “Space” Chris on guitar and all vocals. They used to share vocal duties, but it seems Chris does most of the singing now. And their music, as all things do with time, has changed a bit as well. Grown, perhaps, though quite organically. They played some oldies, but with a new, unique vibe; their old songs of gun crazy insomniacs, time travel, and madness somewhat slowed, almost like their old speedcrush & scifi-based metalpunk of yore, now by way of THE WHO. There’s almost a raw psychedelia to it. I liked it, though needed some personal adjustment time at first, momentarily. The new material was fantastic, and there was a very unexpected cover: “Rio,” by DURAN DURAN *(SPACE CHRIST had always been known for their energy and humor, all of which they’ve seemed to retain, yet have grown naturally with – – – great improv comedians live, no ego). And this was after only six practices. I look forward to seeing them again, and what becomes of this new, intriguing direction they’ve taken, as the Time Machine has dumped them in 2015.
THE MOIDALIZERS, however, were the real show stealers of the night. A three guitar wall of rock/punk/metal fury and fun that consists of six members *(five of which I have performed in bands with myself over the past twenty years at some point – – – another story for another time), each one a fan of a different genre, with a different attitude that is legit and all their own. Their singer, DARKSIDER, is about the best damn frontman I’ve seen live in a while, big on crowd participation. Again, six members, both all and no ego – – – it was glorious to see these six talented mutherfukkers rip the set apart at a volume akin to MOTORHEAD performing in a small bar. They were natural, they were themselves. There will be more on them later in the week as I review their first ep, so I’ll keep it to the show mostly. Though I will give them credit for putting together an evenly flowing set of songs that all fit yet range in subjects from Conan *(The Barbarian, not O’Brien) to Bigfoot to Ufo’s to fairly radio friendly *(but still good) pick-up songs, every one showing a different aspect to the combined personalities as a fully functional unit, where there no longer exists any ego, but instead a wicked-entertaining wall of sound. Just a group of true rock-n-rollers doing what they were born to do, and most of which have been doing so for a very long time. Also, they did an amazing, punked-up cover of the METALLICA classic “Escape.”
WITCH FIST was energetic yet fairly generic rock-n-roll/screamo. In fact, had it not been for the vocals, they might’ve been alright. They just didn’t fit. However, they did know how to work the crowd as well a bit, though not nearly with the intensity of THE MOIDALIZERS. They were another “blended personality” band, but they did not blend, and that was the problem. Props for showmanship, however, just don’t try so hard.
SWARMS I unfortunately did not get see, but was given pretty good detail of the performance, and *(in their opinion claimed) it didn’t necessarily seem like something I would have dug. Technically I cannot judge, having not seen it myself *(ie: no third party reviews here – – – that’s not fair). So I will not, but will put their Reverbnation page up, if for no other reason than to promote a new scene that may be forming where a ‘great old one’ once stood.
*(And if either band – – – WITCH FIST or SWARMS – – – happen to see this, and have a disc, please contact me and send it in for review.)
I attended the show with Master horror writer and editor *(and fellow fiend of 30 years) DAVID KRAMER. It was fairly late, as I believe the show started a little late, so we called it a night, after spending a long, yet fun and much needed afternoon, discussing the multi-tiered and varied pros and cons of the shitty career called writing and the weird world therein of its own.
Overall, it was a good time. Any readers who happen to live in the Philadelphia/Bucks County area, come and check these bands out. If you don’t live in the area, check out their pages, pick up a disc. I’ll be seeing them both again, SPACE CHRIST and THE MOIDALIZERS, and all bands can be checked out on Reverbnation (links below).
SPACE CHRIST – http://www.reverbnation.com/spacechristband
THE MOIDALIZERS – http://www.reverbnation.com/themoidalizers
WITCH FIST – http://www.reverbnation.com/witchfist
SWARMS – http://www.reverbnation.com/swarms
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/ Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org