Punk rock has been enshrined in pop culture as music with something important to say, and I think that’s great, but one thing punk rock has always had room for, one that gets de-emphasized when we focus on The Clash and forget about the Ramones, is pure no-frills rock n’ roll melody. Durham’s Lifters might not qualify for punk rock if you’re expecting some sort of sophisticated political critique to emerge from their catchy tunes, but if you’re conversant with the genre’s history, the connection is undeniable. And that’s as it should be.
Tonight, if you’re looking for some catchy, fun tunes, played with plenty of energy but not that much polish, and reminding you of great groups like Radioactivity, Teengenerate, or the aforementioned Ramones, you’re going to want to point your feet toward Brookland Park’s own Fuzzy Cactus. There, Lifters and local melodic punk stalwarts Weird Tears and Neat Sweep are going to sweep you off your feet and get you caught up in the toe-tapping joys of punk rock. It all happens tonight; plan your evening accordingly.