Friday, August 31, 2012

TotalFest XI: Retrospective

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about (I'm sure you all do, I doubt anyone who isn't local or isn't a personal friend of mine reads this blog anyway), check out the madness HERE.

I purchased my pass about a week prior to the actual festival itself by selling multiple personal items, as I've been broke as hell since the release of "Dreaming As Punishment" and "Total Shitcore" with my band Shramana. I was excited for the headliners though. . .I had been a fan of Torche for some years now.

The first night of festivities took place at Zoo City Apparel followed by an evening show at The Top Hat. Our friends and comrades King Elephant opened up the whole proceedings with a bang, followed by several other bands, including locals Buddy Jackson. I'm not really a fan of the headliner act of that show, Big Eyes, and I don't do feel-good-garage-rock like our Missoula-friends-turned-Austinians had to offer, so, to conserve on my terrible habit of chain smoking/beering (and because Wizard Rifle dropped), I decided to hold off until the Top Hat show. When I arrived, it appeared as though I had already missed a bit of the action but was surprised to find out that live, I really enjoy the band Unnatural Helpers. For a moment, I was taken aback thinking of how it is now acceptable to look like a member of Fleetwood Mac again while being in a modern pop/rock band. As their set progressed, I found myself thinking that at their worst, they sounded a bit like the dregs of pop-punk (Blink 182, etc) but at their shining moments, towards the end of their set, I almost thought I was seeing Black Francis sing for Pissed Jeans. I was in and out for the remaining bands, as dance acts like NoFi Soul Rebellion and Dan Deacon held little more of an interest for me than to watch the spectacle unravel. I don't normally complain about my eyesight (those of you that know me know that I have a condition called retinitis pigmentosa that prevents me from seeing much), but I have a feeling that if I would have been able to witness what some of these performers were actually up to, I would have enjoyed this much more. Instead, I took part in the aforementioned chain smoking/beering with cohorts of mine and laughing at the gentleman present who apparently came to inform all of us "degenerates" that we should "get our lives together" by joining the military, so we could all be as cool as he was.

Pacing myself has never been a skill that I have mastered, and opening TFXI by drinking myself silly was a poor decision. Although I attempted to cure my hellacious hangover in the usual manner (eating Albertson's fried chicken, chugging water and watching Star Trek), I still was not feeling top-notch the second evening. I did not make it (once again) to Zoo City Apparel for the early "pop" show. This means that even though I do love me some surf rock, I missed out on seeing Guantanamo Baywatch (great name, right?) as well as other pop sensations including Missoula's Needlecraft.

I made it to the Badlander just in time to catch an act that I was very interested in: The Funeral and the Twilight. With a name like that, how could I miss them? These guys have a sound that is very difficult to place, but I'd describe it as post-every-kind-of-rock, with a healthy dose of goth, first wave doom and shoegaze in there. I enjoyed them immensely, especially the beard. You'd know if you were there. Also, that drummer rules.

Next up would have been San Fransisco's Pins of Light, but due to illness, they were unable to attend. While this is unfortunate, I feel as though this was a blessing in disguise as Swamp Wolf, a band from Flagstaff, AZ, happened to be staying the night at Chris, the proprietor of Zoo City Apparel's house that evening and were asked to fill the bill. The are now now one of my new favorite bands If you haven't heard of Swamp Wolf, do yourself a favor. Click the link. You won't regret it. Searing power ripped off of the stage as they began to transcend multiple genres of heavy in a blaze of growls and feedback. This is what happens when musicians passionate for all forms of hardcore/punk and alt-metal truly just do whatever the fuck they want. The world would be a better place if they came back to Missoula. Ok, I'm done now.

Criminal Code from Olympia was next on my list. I booked it downstairs to see a band that had, from the records I had listened to beforehand, been one I had been excited to see. I left during their set. It was lackluster punk rock that failed to translate from recorded medium to a live sound.

I then awaited the onslaught that would be Iron Lung (Seattle). These dudes DON'T FUCK AROUND. I stupidly decided I didn't want to miss out on any of the insanely fast and ferocious two-piece's antics and firmly planted myself up front for the ordeal. Bad idea. While the music was thoroughly enjoyable, a no-holds-barred mixture of grind, powerviolence and hardcore with elements of noise rock (with amazing drumming and guitarwork), I simply did not get to enjoy it due to the most brutal pit I have been in in a long time. Once again, due to my eyesight I often am wary of putting myself into a position like that at a show, however I felt that I would fair alright. Not so. At one point, I was tossed onto the stage, knocking over the drummer's high-hat and two mic stands and then pinned by the legs in that position for upwards for twenty seconds. I can't ever be angry for pits like these though. When a band makes music that can be described as "powerviolence," shut the fuck up and take whatever punches get thrown at you in a pit, cane or not. I survived Iron Lung and all I got was this stupid blog post.

I don't know how I missed Lecherous Gaze but I heard that it ruled. It's neither here nor there, because immediately thereafter, Florida legends Torche (with Steve Brooks from the eminent Floor) took the stage. If you've gotten this far and aren't familiar with Torche's body of work, once again, do yourself a favor and go back and click on the link. As soon as they busted into "Kicking," I was in full dance mode, doing a strange mixture of pogoing, slam-dancing and trying to initiate some strange form of circle-pit. Torche's truly unique style of tunage I have always described as "90's pop-tunes played in drop-A until they get bored and start to play stoner-doom." That's how most of their albums go; indeed, that's how the show went. I blissfully stormed home with a cadre of friends to continue to booze with. Again. Like a fool.

A fool indeed, as the next day I felt worse than the previous two and knew that this evening would hold Harkonen and Sandrider.

I was running a little late, but I managed to see a bit of Dreamdecay, and oh-boy-oh-gosh-oh-golly-gee was that a good thing. A seemingly infinite wall of sound filled the VFW sweat chamber out of a never-ending tower of amplification with a chamber-style echoing voice hiding somewhere in the mix. I feel as though I would struggle to describe them accurately, because using the term "noise rock" isn't quite accurate. Maybe "heavy noise-rock?" Repetitive riffs, strange shrieks and dark reverberations drove me into a dark sinkhole of tone.

I needed to get out of that sinkhole fast, though, because I really didn't want to miss Gay Witch Abortion. A two piece (bass and drums) with a very heavy, intricate sound, GWA didn't disappoint. Opening with a long drone that build into a full Karp-esque fury, I was disappointed to learn that the entirety of the material they played that evening was not yet available for purchase. I certainly hope they make it through again.

Leaping and bounding (more like trying to feel around with my cane without tripping people and continuously saying "Pardon me; oh, excuse me, I'm sorry!") downstairs, I made it just in time to catch Buildings from MN.This band's Jesus Lizard (amongst other 90's noise rock) influence is worn on their sleeve, and I think that's ok, as that sound is not only difficult to emulate, but in all likelihood, difficult to imitate. Truly heavier than their (presumed) influence and at times darker, I was significantly more impressed with this band live then recorded, which is saying something as I did enjoy their recent release, Melt Cry Sleep. I also enjoyed their aesthetic-three dudes on stage in their street clothes playing music and not fussing with the crowd. I feel as if they attempted anything else, it would have been incredibly ill-fitting to the attitude found in their music.

At this time there was quite a lull. I watched a bit of Bacon and Egg, a local group that I've seen plenty, and then I watched my friends watch TacocaT. While I don't have any opinion on TacocaT, let it be known that I greatly dislike music that can be described as "cute." I drank a Red Bull as I discovered that they cost as much as a PBR at the bar and continued to try and recouperate while discussing the finer point of character creation in Pathfinder RPG with friends.

Lozen played. Lozen is not something that is described. Lozen is something that it seen. Lozen is something that is heard. Lozen is something that is felt. Lozen is something that is experienced. By the time they had finished, they had whooped the crowd into somewhat of a tribal, pheremone drenched rhythmic frenzy. Lozen are two ladies from Tacoma. One plays bass and one plays drums (also in Helms Alee). Just listen to them.

The time that I had been waiting for ever since the day before when seeing Torche was what I was waiting for but was no longer the time that I was waiting for because I was now waiting for Sandrider. . .but not anymore. Sandrider from Seattle is possibly one of the best bands in the United States currently in operation. A sound all of their own, a heavy, stoner-influenced metallic-rock (and roll?) with blazing guitarlines and pocket-precise drumming and bass, Sandrider stole my heart before I saw them as I knew the guitarist was at one time a member of legends Akimbo. It is with rarity I inform my girlfriend that I am not available for any reason. Watching Sandrider is one of those reasons. I missed part of Harkonen to watch Sandrider. Groovy, heavy, compelling, driving, forceful and full of relentless power are all ways of describing what I witnessed during the 40 minutes I had the privilege to view this tour-de-force. I reluctantly made my way to see Harkonen, although I have been a Harkonen fan for some time.

I didn't ever think I'd get a chance to see them, as I thought they had broken up in 2005 or something, but I've always been a fan of Brutal Panda bands (Ladder Devils, Fight Amp). Harkonen did truly shine, with post-hardcore stylings played in a metal fashion. I was truly amazed to see the crowd that had gathered that was filled with people you'd normally see at Dead Hipster dance party headbanging right alongside of me. I treasure those moments, not for the comraderie felt in a drunken slamdance, but because they are there. Because those people pay admission fees to Total Fest, I get to see bands like Sandrider, Torche and Harkonen. I get to miss bands like Walls (GODDAMMIT!) because I was watching Gay Witch Abortion (was it worth it? I'll never know!).

Soberest night of them all. I'm very excited for next year.

My camera was broken. Otherwise there would have been great documentation.

Also, I'm throwing a show at Zombie Tools (1909 Wyoming #8, Missoula MT) for Seattle natives, Monogamy Party (also on Good To Die Records, like Sandrider!). A strange fuzzy mix of distorted bass, drums and disjointed screaming, somehow it's great to dance to. Spring Heel Jack (members of Gretchen), Bodean Siffvah (dark acoustic) and Mount Poverty Well Diggers (Zombie Tools residents' band of scum-rockers) will also play on September 6th, 9pm.

dictated but not read.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New albums for July

So, KBGA, our lovely college radio station, lets me add heavy music to the playlist rotation because they're absolutely insane. Here's what I've put on there over the last month. Want your band to get on here? Hit me up. Be warned, you might suck.

Enabler,* Eden Sank to Grief*:
Milwaukee's Enabler is a crust-grind-powerviolence-death-punk-metal powerhouse of F*$#$*%G awesome. Heavy, fast, dark, urgent,desperate. Feels like trying to climb out of a hole filled with hungry rats with only a chainsaw. Not for the faint of heart. Fans of Discharge, Macgrudergrind and KEN Mode, this is for you. These dudes played at the VFW a while back, during Total Combined Weight's residency. It blew my fucking face off.

 The Melvins, *The Bulls and the Bees EP:* 
What can be said? It's Melvins
and it's awesome. They took the best part of their sound from about five
years ago and made some more epically awesome tunes accompanied by
additional oddities that we love them for. Precursor the Freak Puke, which
has just been released. This video rules, and they'll be at the Top Hat on 9/9.
 Black Pyramid, *II*: Second release from MA's stoner/doom group, these nine
tracks clock in just over an hour. What a sublime hour. At times a little
death influenced, other times a little black influenced, the classic
Sabbath style of stoner metal meets the modern standards for doom. This
album speeds up a bit at times in comparison to their self titled, but
"Dreams for the Dead" (#4) and "Into the Dawn" (#9) are long, wandering
epics (used in the literary sense) that won't disappoint the little music
nerd that lives in all of us. My favorite release this year so far.
 Buildings, *Melt/Cry/Sleep*: What? This isn't a 90's band? No, they're not,
and they're coming to TFXI. It's not a new sound, but it's a damn well good
and trusted one. I could have sworn this was something recorded by the band
that didn't exist between Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard. Like trying to
run away from your stoned haze at 3am and being too confused to find your
running shoes and having a brain aneurysm. For fans of Dazzling Killmen,
The Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid, Rapeman and Big'n
 *Baroness, *Yellow:   *Baroness will build a new fan base by making me say
"RIYL: Radiohead, Thrice, Explosions in the Sky".  It will alienate fans
who wanted something heavier, like me.  Heavily textured (almost
overly-textured), this rambling, soft dual album has the Relapse heavy
hitters trading in their heavy shoes for radio -friendly vocal harmonies
throughout.  Good, but doesn't live up to the hype. There are some gems 
in here if you have the patience to wade through it all, I suppose. here's
the heaviest song they could come up with.
 *Mares of Thrace, *The Pilgramage: *Hard to believe the instrumentation is
produced by a duo!  These Canadian ladies shred hard, angular riffs,
occasional odd timing, and brutality make it an odd blend of noise rock and
metal but strongly the latter. The lady rockin' the strings for this band also
plays bass part time in KEN Mode. Awesome or AWESOME?? 
 Melvins Lite, *Freak Puke: *"Melvins Lite" seems to be a tongue in cheek
moniker.  The instrumentation is lighter, seeing Trevor Dunn (Tomahawk, Mr
Bungle) step in on stand up bass.  This seems to accent an already dark,
haunting sound.  The average DJ will love track 8, but Melvins fans can
hear what they hoped for with Melvins fans can hear what they hoped for
with 5 and 6.  They cover Paul McCartney (WTF?) on #9.  A lovely addition
to the Melvins catalog.

Catch-up: Bridgebuilder says goodbye, Throne of Lies, Shramana has a record and Total Combined Weight

Ok. I have a lot of material but I don't really need all of the fluff. Let's get down to business, shall we?

1) Bridgebuilder
Bridgebuilder was a band. That's a weird thing to say, given that David Johnson, sole proprietor, has called every incarnation of his personal writing by that name. It's had a different line-up quite a few times, being a lovely blend of many genres. The most persistent sound that was made by the group was a post-hardcore/artsy noise rock that often bordered on metal. At times it was heavier, at times it involved taping keys down on a keyboard, modulating feedback and banging on sheet metal with a hammer. David Johnson now plays bass with Shramana, Bjorn plays with Memo to Maury and Matt plays D&D with me on Wednesdays. Here's the title track to the last BB EP being played as their last song at the VFW.

2) Throne of Lies
Holy black metal, Batman! It's been since. . .forever that a town like Missoula gets lucky enough to have a band like Throne of Lies. . .exist. Yes, it's black metal, but one could go so far as to call it blackened death metal, but I think of it as deathened-black metal. That makes sense, right? These dudes listen to Amon Amarth. Like, a lot. It's pretty apparent. I can't get enough of it. In my ear holes. They'll be around awhile. Go see them the first chance you get. Here they are performing at Zombie Tools without their singer as he was in fuckin' AFRICA.

3) Shramana
Shramana is my band, so I'm not comfortable talking about the quality of our music, etc. I'm proud of a lot of the music I write and our execution of it. We released two full length albums on June 16th and are available on our website. This is a new track, the first time we played it live. See if you can spot the multiple errors! We're playing August 4th at Zoo City Apparel with Same Sex Dictator, August 15th with JERCS at the VFW, August 18th at the Lab with TIGON and Bone Dance, September 4th at the Lab for TOTALEVICTIONFEST and more to come. Stay tuned.

4) Total Combined Weight

Some 30somethings in Missoula who liked heavy music said, "Fuck it, let's start a band." It's chronicled by their bassist quite well here . Actually, you should just read that article, it explains the band much better than I could. However, I'll say that there's something to be said for a band that combines pop sensibilities into punk without becoming a pop-punk band. I enjoy their music and apparently so do a lot of other people, that's why they had a residency at the VFW several months back. The night with the best turnout saw a night of covers, with every band playing a cover set tailored to their tastes. TCW weighed in the heaviest and played Minor Threat's discography, start to finish (the finish seemed a little hazy), including Out of Step twice. They are currently on hiatus while members enjoy the beginnings of fatherhood.

There's plenty more good music to see, what with TotalFest XI just around the corner, the Melvins are coming to town and Korpiklaani coming to Billings, I'll get as much as I can up here. In the meanwhile, I'll try to get my album reviews for my playlist adds for KBGA up here ASAP as well as the Dirty Flannel playlist. I'll be on air from 6-8pm tonight playing Melvins Lite's Freak Puke, Mares of Thrace and the New Baroness.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gretchen is a bitchin' name for a band.

. . .and it has something to do with Nazi Germany. I don't quite remember. It's dark. Ask them (no, they're not Nazis).

It's been a really long time since I've heard a band that wasn't any specific identifiable sub-genre of a genre of rock.

Gretchen broke that stint.

Punk, but not "punk-rock;" heavy, sludgy and dirty, but not "metal" in the traditional sense; dark, sparse, loud, screamed and with alternating tempos, but not crust. Also, melodic. This = boneriffic. As in, gives me at least a half chub.

Another hard hitting local, Gretchen is another band created from the incestuous toxic sludge that is the Missoula punk/heavy music community. If you're a person who is reading this, it's unlikely you don't know who Ryan Bilunka, Josh Jacka and Joey Running-Crane are. Their combined musical track record could stretch from here to the moon, including Shramana, King Elephant, Goddammitboyhowdy!, The Holy Family mission Band, Bird's Mile Home, Suicide Victim, This Band Kills Fascists, Blue Boy Destroy, POA, JackTopTown, Heiress Pilton, Haymarket Overture, Bridgebuilder and well, you get the idea. These dudes live to play and their excellent musicianship is readily apparent.

Gretchen plays Zombie Tools on 5/26/2012 with Shramana, Throne of Lies and Mount Poverty Well Diggers
I feel fortunate to be able to state that these dudes are also good friends of mine. Ryan, the bassist and singer (and main songwriter, I believe) wanted to start a project that was a chaotic as possible. Influences such as Slayer (his life-long favorite band), Circle Takes the Square, Leftover Crack, and a never ending slew of bands that have screamed vocals and  intense, angular progressions with odd timing has helped shape his vision of what he hoped would end up being pure insanity. Josh's blazing guitar skills add an intense melodic shape to the formidable rhythmic body, winding his intricate leads over a variety of tempos, often sounding as though he is leading the very space of the song itself on its own journey through a dark psyche. Joey could be described as one of the most versatile musicians I know, playing guitar and singing/songwriting for his own personal project(s), King Elephant (for whom Ryan also plays bass) and Goddammitboyhowdy!, both of which are folk-influenced pop-punk bands, as well as drumming for local folk-punk favorites, Bird's Mile Home. I honestly had no idea he was an adept drummer until he began to play with a Missoula staple group, Bridgebuilder (who are currently undergoing format transformation). He's been hitting the skins hard these days for a number of projects, this one allows his heavy side to show.

Luckily for us, they'll be releasing their recordings before too long, and you should get out to see them the next time they play. Such incestuous bands have a tendency to be short lived in our fair city, as personal lives and schedules often become hard to juggle when other projects are involved. Pity, as Gretchen currently takes priority for which local band I'm going to see.

Here's footage from their show on 3/31/2012 with Bacon and Egg and Vera.


I still will post some stuff about Throne Of Lies and Bridgebuilder. I also got some footage of Total Combined Weight's Minor Threat Complete Discography set on the last night of their residency at the VFW, I'll probably talk about that for a minute or something. HO BOY!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tragedy @ Zoo City Apparel on 5/16/2012

Well, I wasn’t planning on writing this one today, but Purple Star Third Class Contributor Timmy Arrowtop at our sister publication, Missoula Punk News, put his well-conceived two cents on this show in and should be viewed here along with some other cool write-ups. However, the main reason I started this blog was for me, me, me. I’d like to be able to remember the shows that I attend locally by a brief narrative (more like a diary entry, really), a video, a blurb about my evening, and the highlights. It’s a blog cause I figured, hell, someone else might wanna see it at some point. As I did take this video, I was planning on punching in a review at this here board of keys. It would seem we’ll both get our chance. 

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a n00b. I hadn’t listened to Tragedy until about a month before the show. Josh Vanek of Wantage USA, local promoter (he booked this show), a head honcho at TotalFest, KBGA DJ and all around cool dude showed me some of their stuff online and I have to say, I was quite impressed. I’ve often thought that I’ve left my punk rock days behind, the days of songs about beer, work, boners, and some sort of political awareness (although these days political ignorance seems to be popular too) was something I was reluctant to leave behind. After all, punk is one of the most prominent homes of DIY culture, rejecting social norms, lack of pretension, and, well, you know the rest of the rhetoric. I came of age loving it, it helped mold and shape who I am today, and is still very much a part of my being. However, several years back, the process of writing my own songs left me hungry for something more substantial than most punk could provide me; it was then that I found the dirty, slow and despondent parts of the metal underdark welcoming me with open. . .mud spikes. Yeah. Mud spikes.
I’ve grown to know and love a fair amount of heavier music, and every so often there are energetic parts of punk rock that I wish metal would use more often, and dark overtones that metal has perfected so well that spikey-haired punks really could learn a lesson from. Crust punk usually does this better than any other genre, and Tragedy seems to be able to make music that perfectly blends these parts together and creates an opus of awesome. 

I greatly enjoyed their performance at Zoo City Apparel on May 16. This isn’t to say it was the best show I had been to by any means. The choices for the opening bands, Total Combined Weight and Bird’s Mile Home, while both excellent, enjoyable and top-notch local groups really seemed to. . .confuse the mood for the evening’s headliners, at least for me. But I go to both of these bands’ shows frequently (and you should too), it wasn’t them at all. It was probably the crowd, my mood, my poorly planned wallet contents, or the fact that half the reason I took this video was so I could see the band play in (what appeared to my feeble eyes to be) the pitch blackness.

There was a good pit at this show. I can’t participate in them anymore in a normal setting, as it is generally too dark for me to avoid being knocked to the floor the instant I decide to start running in a circle with fists flying, but just knowing that there’s enough energy in the crowd and enthusiasm for a band really makes the experience that much more enjoyable. 

But want to know what really made this. . .not as enjoyable as, say, the performance by Milwaukee’s Enabler the week prior? 

Read Purple Star Third Class Correspondent Timmy’s review at Missoula Punk News. Although I disagree with the choice to not enjoy a musical act taking a page out of early Neurosis’s playbook (how can sounding like Neurosis from ANY era be bad? Issue of taste, heh), and I enjoy the fact that the levity of punk isn’t present (cause only certain types of punk should have that at all), but in the end, Timmy’s right.

They did sound a bit tired. Can't hold that against them, I suppose. They're on tour. Give them your money.

Here’s the title track from their new album, Darker Days Ahead.

 Ok, now, I've got videos and shows and stuff for Gretchen, Bridgebuilder, and Throne of Lies. I'll get to them. . .at some point.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Two Dads

Some people just play because it’s fucking fun as shit. This is obviously the case with My Two Dads.
Drummer Justin Gaither and bassist Chris Justice have been playing in bands together for years, starting with their first band in high school, The KIAs of Great Falls. Since, these two have been in a menagerie of bands together, most notably The Thug Nasties of Missoula, MT.
The Thug Nasties had themselves a bit of a following, due in no small part to their loyal, devoted friends (often transplants from Great Falls, too). Justin wanted to make a hardcore band out of the Nasties, but the smooth blues-rock stylings of their guitarist, Ian “Mickey Sluggs” Dalzell inadvertently gave that band their signature style: a fast paced garage punk that made you want to simultaneously pogo and slamabeerandkicktheshitoutofsomeone. Momentum for the Nasties built, thanks not only to their sound but also to them falling into favor with several local promoters and Justice’s close ties to Missoula’s college radio station, KBGA. Eventually, this momentum (and the band members saving their pennies in the top secret Thug Nasties piggy bank) built up enough to send them on two (sorta) national tours that almost seemed to be more “for funsies” than they were to promote the band.
Justin never got to play in his hardcore band, goddammit, and this is supposed to be about My Two Dads, not the Thug Nasties. They’re not a band anymore.
With the death of The Thug Nasties in 2011, Gaither tried to start a band with a variety of people plenty of times. Plenty of times, no one stuck around long enough. Plus, he could never find anyone willing to sing and play as fast as he wanted. I believe he told me drunkenly once that he decided “To say fuck it, I’ll just play drums, write the songs and sing myself.” Ian was, of course, more than willing to oblige his shredding skills-this time, the challenge was to play as fast as humanly possible (although his role in writing the melodies has exponentially increased). Chris had always wanted to play an instrument in a band, and a fast, sloppy punk band is the very best way to start playing bass. I know from experience.
I love My Two Dads (HA!) because they are the quintessential local punk band. Every town has one, every town needs one, and every one sounds different, has a different character, tone and feeling to it. Of course, this is not to say they're not good in their own right, but there's a feeling of tradition being carried on here. There’s no pretense whatsoever, it’s just play fast and loud because doing it feels good. And it shows. Being the good friends that they are, they write songs about their mutual interests. Hits like “TPK” (ie, “Total Party Kill,” a Dungeons and Dragons reference), “Fox Lighter” and numerous dutiful lightning fast ditties about too much to drink make up their set list, which clocks in at around 18 minutes (onstage banter and guitar retuning included).
 This lack of pretense, fun content and fast-for-its-own-sake makes for a very appealing viewing experience. Seeing them brings us all back to days when we drank beers in the parking lot that our friend with the fake ID bought for us at the corner gas station while we waited for our friends’ band to play (and then threw the aforementioned beer cans at them).

Nostalgia is a powerful drug, and there isn’t a musician or show goer who hasn’t been in or been a part of a following for a band like this. In fact, bands like this have been started simply for nostalgic reasons before-and I can’t help but think My Two Dads has a little bit of nostalgia for its own sake in them as well.

Here’s most of a My Two Dads set before their first show. They’ve played several since, gotten tighter, and written new material. Note the Circle Jerks cover at the beginning.