I thought I'd have more time to write about this show, but I was wrong. So, here's a quick recap of a wonderful February night. I'll plan better next time.
When a member of Rosé Perez took ill, Genre jumped on the bill. Each time I've seen the band it's been a last-minute addition. A happy happenstance. Coincidently each time I've seen the band, it's been outside. I know little about this quartet of merry pranksters, and I suspect they like it that way. So to be brief, Diyana plays guitar, Beau synth, and Waxeka bass. They all sing. Sometimes separately, sometimes in unison, sometimes in conflict. Aoife Conway plays drums. That's a name I know from their time in LK Ultra. The band is loose, and I can't imagine it any tighter. Genre is the sort of post-punk that John Peel might have introduced us to in 1979. Limitless. Despite playing outside, the foursome sounded good. Somehow every instrument stood out, with rudimentary keys pounding out melodies or counter melodies, bass bubbling under, guitar jabbing on top, and the drums leaning in, always just before beat. Everything off kilter and divine. Genre ended with one I'm told is called "Kitty Cats." That might be a lie, but I love it and I want it on a 7".
A large crowd watched the band. It was a warm night (for February anyway), still 50 at 8:30pm. There are always crust punks in patched pants and jackets hanging around the fire pit at the pay-what-you-can Farewell. Always smoking. On this night, there were more than usual. The smell of now-legal recreational weed was thick in the air. Many came inside when Sexhater took the stage. Many didn't.
Sexhater hasn't been around long, yet it has developed a fanatical following. The band is hardcore punk, lo-fi and scrappy – just the way Kansas City likes it. The guitarist ripped through power chords. I think there were leads, but they must've come and gone too quickly for me to remember specifics. Or maybe they were buried in the constant all-out assault from the rhythm section for me to catalog them. Either way. Vocalist Ingrid came to work. Dressed in construction boots, overalls, and hardhat they paced the audience, occasionally shifting their hips as they worked side-to-side across the pit. When the audience wasn't throwing beer cans at the band, they danced too. Breakdowns came hard and often, inspiring somersaults, crab walks, and other hijinks in the pit. I got stomped by a gal in short shorts and tall boots. I bled for Sexhater. I doubt I was the only one.
Once again, the room emptied between acts – the pull of the patio, the weather, and the weed was strong. Barely a plurality returned when the headliner signaled the soundman that it was ready to go.
Slutbomb is a Cincinnati foursome led by vocalist Debra Long and guitarist/vocalist Darrel Glass, with Brandon Bryant and Taylor Kincaid offering bass and drums respectively. The band is a more nuanced take on hardcore punk than the evening's predecessor. The slow parts were slower. The fast parts were faster. And Glass left their shredding stank over every song with numerous leads and blazing solos. Long's shouted and puked vocals added a sense of urgency to the set, though songs developed on their own timetable. One song might start with melodic punk rock introductions, contain ska-like upstrokes and slapped bass in the middle, then quickly pivot to deliver impossible mosh parts which set off the audience that was already feeling its oats. Between songs, Long encouraged the pit shenanigans, stating, "All the freakin' leapfrog shit, I love that." Someone was doing cartwheels. All the fun. All the time.