RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 4/9-4/15

by | Apr 9, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

FEATURE SHOW
Friday, April 11, 9 PM
Pissed Jeans, Hex Machine, Slugz, Daggering, DJ Marty Violence @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://pissedjeans.eventbrite.com/)

Pissed Jeans are the poster band for thirtysomething male angst.

FEATURE SHOW
Friday, April 11, 9 PM
Pissed Jeans, Hex Machine, Slugz, Daggering, DJ Marty Violence @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://pissedjeans.eventbrite.com/)

Pissed Jeans are the poster band for thirtysomething male angst. This thickneck punk n’ roll band, whose raunchy midtempo riffs draw equal inspiration from the most obnoxiously inept punk bands of the early 80s (Flipper, Fang) and the gnarliest, most antisocial extremes of the early 90s grunge sound (Killdozer, The Melvins), make angry music that often focuses on life falling short of expectations. That might make them sound like a band strictly for old dudes, but those sorts of emotions aren’t nearly as restricted by age as we like to pretend they are (I remember feeling that way when I was 18), and even if everything is coming up Milhouse for you personally, Pissed Jeans will still demolish you on a musical level with a truckload of heavy, pissed-off riffs perfect for lumbering mosh pits and painful stagedives.

Also on the bill this Friday night will be local powerhouse Hex Machine, who dish out that same sort of early-90s noise rock, but with more of a spastic, metallic feel. There’s no telling who’ll be backing Hex Machine leader Trevor Thomas at this particular show, but the man has excellent taste in collaborators, so you can expect the quality of performance to remain at the high level that’s been established. Slugz have more of a straight-up old-school punk feel, which should be just the right combination of obnoxious and awesome, while local noise project Daggering will hit you with a wall of harshness to start things off. DJ Marty Violence will establish the evening’s mood before and between sets, so get ready to get into it.

Wednesday, April 9, 9 PM
Shitstorm, Post Teens, Rapturous Grief, Meth Lab, Bitchmouth @ Strange Matter – $8

Whenever there’s some fest happening a couple states over, you can count on Strange Matter’s Mark Osborne to get a few bands playing that fest to stop into RVA on the way there. That’s the explanation for this particular midweek blast of fast hardcore from Florida–Shitstorm and Post Teens are both on their way to play DC’s Damaged City Fest this weekend, and RVA’s lucky enough to host a midweek gig by these two powerhouses. Shitstorm features Torche drummer Rick Smith, but their music is quite different from Torche’s stoner-inflected musclecar jams. In Shitstorm, Smith shows off his blastbeat technique while the rest of his band keeps things heavy and brutal. They’ll dish out some serious blink-and-you-miss-it grind violence tonight.

Meanwhile, Post Teens are just as energetic but care a lot more about chorus melodies and catchy riffs than speed uber alles. This crew of punk ragers will get the crowd fired up with their quick-n-dirty punk tunes, but there should be plenty of beer-soaked singalongs to classics like “Polyamory” and “We Don’t Like You,” so get stoked for that! Atlanta’s Rapturous Grief will split the difference between these two Florida acts with speed and brutality that is nonetheless more crust-punk than grindcore. With angry grind/mosh crew Meth Lab and speedcore lovers Bitchmouth representing RVA, this will be a high-energy blast from beginning to end.

Thursday, April 10, 9 PM
RRFP Benefit, feat. Bermuda Triangles (photo by Marc Cheatham), Heavy Midgets, The Hissy Fits, Navi @ Strange Matter – $5-10 donation

There are several different reasons to care about this particular show, but the most obvious one is that Bermuda Triangles are playing! We don’t hear too much about these guys playing out lately, but they’re still one of the most interesting and innovative bands active in Richmond today, so that makes it even more important that, if they’re playing somewhere, you’re there watching. Featuring members of Suppression, Mutwawa, Olde Shame, Caves Caverns, and all sorts of other local groups that sound nothing like each other, Bermuda Triangles takes their sound into completely unexplored territory more often than not, going from keyboard/saxophone driven postpunk to gamelan-influenced percussion ensemble tracks within the same set. If you’ve heard their recordings, you have some idea of what I’m talking about, but nothing can replace the feeling of seeing it all go down right in front of you. Do so while you have the chance.

Heavy Midgets and Navi are two local groups we’ve talked about enough lately that, even if you haven’t gone to see any of the shows they’ve played in the past few months, you should be completely familiar with them. The reason we keep advocating that you go see them play, though, is the simple fact that they are a couple of the best bands making music in Richmond right now. Yes, I said a very similar thing in the last paragraph about Bermuda Triangles, and it’s true of all three of these bands. If you still haven’t managed to catch Heavy Midgets and Navi live, kill three birds with one metaphorical stone and catch both of them AND Bermuda Triangles at this show. And if you have seen them, you know what’s up–so obviously, you’re gonna go see them again, right?

One more important fact about this show–Norfolk’s The Hissy Fits are not only playing, but are also raising money for the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. The group has a bowling team for the RRFP Bowl-A-Thon, and they’ll be taking donations as part of that whole bowling/fundraising competition extravaganze. Therefore, your entry fee for this show goes to help protect women’s reproductive rights here in Virginia, which is always awesome. And The Hissy Fits have an intense, unpredictable musical style that mixes postpunk experimentation with metal heaviness, so their set should be a treat as well. Yet another reason to make the trip to Strange Matter this Thursday night. [CORRECTION: Apparently the Norfolk band the Hissy Fits and the RRFP Bowling team the Hissy Fits are two completely different groups. The RRFP team includes members not of the band the Hissy Fits, but of the band Bermuda Triangles. Confused yet? I sure was! My apologies to everyone involved!]

Friday, April 11, 8:30 PM
Camp Barefoot Showcase, feat. The Shack Band, People’s Blues Of Richmond @ The Camel – $5

The eighth edition of Camp Barefoot, Bartow, WV’s annual weekend of camping, partying, and more music than you can possibly see in three days (though it’s always fun to try), won’t be taking place until this August–the 21-23, specifically–Camp Barefoot is bringing a taste of this year’s groovy time to RVA several months early. And just in time, too, after the ridiculous winter we’ve had! Who else can’t wait for the temperatures to start warming up already? Well, don’t worry–this Friday night, you’ll get a breath of fresh air from the Camp Barefoot showcase at The Camel, featuring two of the RVA bands who’ll be making the trip to Bartow this summer.

For starters, we’ve got The Shack Band, a Colorado-style reggae-inflected jam-rock crew that integrates saxophone and keyboards into their guitar-driven sound. These guys are the perfect group to end your week with–some smooth, goodtime jams that make you feel like everything’s gonna be all right. More intense are the hard-livin’, hard-rockin’ boys of People’s Blues Of Richmond. They may be carrying on a classic American musical tradition that dates back a century, but this band has no problem remaining relevant and delivering powerful sounds that make a perfect soundtrack to a week’s worth of frustrations and struggle. Come to think of it, it’s probably good that The Shack Band are playing after these guys, so the evening can end on a high note.

Saturday, April 12, 5 PM
Daisyhead (photo by Ashley McFall), Cove, Nest, Freaky J And The Bears @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: http://daisyhead.eventbrite.com/)

Part of the recent phenomenon of the underground pop-punk scene growing up and getting beyond beer-soaked singalongs has definitely been the whole “emo revival” thing that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed banging on about in recent weeks. Another part of it, which is less hyped but no less important (and pretty damn awesome in its own right) is the return of the 90s alt-rock sound. Kids have been throwing around the term “soft grunge” a lot lately, and while I think its original intent was to describe a tumblr-centric fashion movement (here’s an actual college-age fashion blogger to explain further), it fits just as well when used to describe the music of bands like Daylight (aka Superheaven), Ovlov, and Pity Sex. Daisyhead have a similar style going on–chunky yet melodic guitar riffs; clean, pretty vocals; memorable choruses that make me think of 90s mainstays like Superdrag and Nada Surf, etc. This Nashville band’s latest EP, I Couldn’t Face You, is sheer brilliance, the kind of thing that sounds like I should have heard it on an episode of 120 Minutes in 1997, then run out to the record store the next day and bought it.

Daisyhead are currently on an all-Nashville tour, and they’re accompanied by the significantly heavier Cove, whose raging hardcore has a different early-90s throwback element–instead of reminding me of Superdrag, these guys remind me of Undertow and Groundwork. So get ready for some intense, emotional mosh when they take the Strange Matter stage. Meanwhile, the third Nashville band on this bill, Nest, are more in the soft-grunge camp with Daisyhead, though they have a greater propensity for delay pedals and other post-rock touches. Less Superdrag, more Hum. The whole evening is kicked off by RVA’s Freaky J And The Bears, whose name is weird enough to be memorable but who have kept a low profile until recently, when they released an EP with 90s midwestern emo influences written all over it. You American Football fans better show up to this show on time, because these guys are primed to be your new favorite local band.

Sunday, April 13, 6 PM
Skyward (photo by Morgan Schrader), Port Harbour, Drew Daniels @ The Canal Club – $10

We’ve only recently heard about Harrisonburg’s Skyward, but this band appears poised to get quite a bit done in the near future. They’ll be spending this weekend on a mini-tour across VA to promote their newest EP, Drift, and if you make it down to the Canal Club this Sunday to catch their matinee performance, the price of admission gets you a free copy of that EP. It’s worth it–their sound simultaneously evokes the epic post-hardcore of bands like Moving Mountains and The Beautiful Mistake as well as the melodramatic synth-fueled alt-rock of The Killers. We can only imagine how incredible these reverb-drenched epics will sound when brought to life onstage, but from the evidence provided on the EP, we’d expect big things.

The evening will also feature a performance from fellow Harrisonburg-ites Port Harbour, who are less inclined towards loud guitars than Skyward, but definitely have a knack for guitar and piano melodies, as well as multi-vocal harmonies on their choruses. The show will open with a set from local singer-songwriter Drew Daniels. While none of these artists have huge reputations here in RVA, they’re certainly all making music worth checking out, so spend your Sunday evening with them at The Canal Club, and broaden your horizons a bit.

Monday, April 12, 5 PM
Good Throb, Priests, Christi @ Steady Sounds – $5-7 suggested donation

This is an exciting development. Good Throb, a raging UK punk band whose “Feminazi” and “Culture Vulture” EPs were some of the best short-form releases I heard last year, are bringing their raging noise to RVA for an in-store appearance at Steady Sounds, and it is going to rule. Formed in 2011 by scene veterans who all chose to play an instrument they had no prior experience with, Good Throb are not technically skilled in any conventional sense, but the songs they come up with are full of an inspired creativity–plus a major dose of unfettered rage. Their lyrical bile towards everything from sexist punk dudes to shitty retail jobs is positively invigorating.

Good Throb will be joined by Priests, an up-and-coming DC punk band whose singer, Katie Alice Greer, is also in Chain And The Gang. Priests are a bit more jangly and melodic than Good Thob, but there’s plenty of rage behind their music. One couldn’t be faulted for hearing the legacy of quite a few female-fronted DC punk bands in their sound–everything from Bikini Kill to Bratmobile to Slant 6–which is, of course, a huge point in their favor. Starting this brief in-store gig off will be RVA’s Christi, who are supposedly a surf-punk band, but have no real internet presence from which to make a more accurate determination. So I guess we’ll find out Monday evening!

Tuesday, April 15, 8 PM
Satan, Volture, Bat, Salvacion @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: http://satan.eventbrite.com/)

Satan Is Coming! And I don’t mean that the way some raving street-corner preacher yelling at passing cars would mean it, either. I’m talking about Satan, the British metal pioneers who were part of the same New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement that brought the world Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, and Saxon, among many others. These shredders are still going strong over 30 years after their formation, with all of the members who played on their landmark 1983 album Court In The Act back in the band. Their latest LP, Life Sentence, released last year, has the same blazing speed, thundering drums, and wailing vocals you’d expect from any classic early 80s metal ensemble. Who knows when we’ll get the chance to see these guys again, so make sure you head down to Strange Matter this Tuesday and catch this rare appearance of the one and only Satan!

Also on the bill are a few excellent local shred ensembles, including Volture, whose blazing metal sound will fit right in with that of Satan. Both Volture and the excellently-named Bat (how was that name not already taken?) feature the talents of Municipal Waste shredder Ryan Waste and former Cannabis Corpse guitarist Nick Poulos, but Bat goes more for primitive thrash a la Motorhead/Venom, while Volture goes for broke with the power of metaaaaaal! Both of these groups should be amazing. It all starts off with North Carolina’s equally NWOBHM-influenced ensemble, Salvacion, for an evening of blazing riff glory!

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Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: andrew@rvamag.com.

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.




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