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Saturday May 27th, 2023 at Farewell in Kansas City, MO
Arson Class, Moon Mane, & Quadruple Bypass

Speedrun mode. Go!

Quadruple Bypass is from Kansas City. It's punk. (I guess.) Drummer Marc Thomas sings. Or rather speaks. I kinda hear some Flipper in there. He plays a curious kit with a tiny piccolo snare and two floor toms. Huh? Guitarist Dalton Chamberland sings some too. He plays clumsy riffs, large sweeping runs, and occasionally works up the neck for finger taps. During "QBHD2" he laid down some impressive bluesy shreds. Bassist Angus Howe slapped his bass and fingered it and picked it. Oh, and he sings too. The band was a lot of loose and always in odd proportions. The ten-song set never came together in my ears, but with so much going on, I may just need a second bite of that apple.

Moon Mane is from Little Rock. Or the moon. Could be either. The band wore white painter coveralls adorned with Ed Roth-styled Ratfink motifs. It's hardcore punk, both fast and hectic, except when it isn't. You see, the band had its hand in everything. Vocalist Jackson Gladden paced the floor, both speaking and screaming his lyrics. Guitarist Alex Bush pushed out shifting power chords, but also dropped leads. Drummer Eric Phillips was built for speed. One song quickly became another, exhausting Gladden and leaving my head spinning. I didn't ever catch up, but somewhere near the end I recall a song led by bassist Michael Hansen that sounded like the best Sonic Youth cut I'd never heard. And then Gladden got his scream on and my brain exploded again. Be careful, Moon Mane will blow your mind.

The night ended with Arson Class. This local trio has been at it for six years, yet it still feels like they're the new kids on the block. The band is led by guitarist and vocalist Chris Kinsley. He's got a rock & roll bark and lust for quick solos. Brother Phil Kinsley kept the tempo up with snapping drums and a fixation with his ride. Bassist-about-town Marc Bollinger is a finger player, active all over that neck. He was loud in the mix. Too much thunder. Kinsley's leads were low in the mix. Not enough razor. Or maybe that was all the fault of my very necessary earplugs. The band is loud. The twelve-song setlist was mostly new songs, starting with a driving punk & roll number prettified with anthemic "woah oh" backing vocals. Later a cover of "Best Friend" from Boston's The Outlets underlined Arson Class' own rock & roll, punk, and pop blueprint. Then the set got mean and muscular and even a little bluesy when Kinsley picked up that slide. Unfamiliar territory. The band relented at the end of the set, dropping out "Brand New City" and a few other favorites before calling it a night.

And then I saved the princess. Like, donate, subscribe and tell me in the comments what gig I should speedrun next.