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Monday April 17th, 2017 at Californos in Kansas City, MO
The Uncouth, The Bad Engrish, & Braindead

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You don't have time to read. I don't have time to write. Let's call the whole thing off. Here's a quickie recap.

Locals Braindead opened the night under clear spring skies and flanked by enormous trees. It was a wonderful, albeit incongruous, setting considering with the bill. I hadn't seen the trio since its first show three years ago; unsurprisingly, the band has progressed. Finding the right punk subgenre to pigeon the trio into is rough, but I suspect it lies somewhere between street punk and crust with more gruff, hardcore moments than snotty pop ones. Sadly, that puts them on the wrong side of the line for my tastes, and not much in thxe band's short really stuck with me. Although the band didn't exactly get the audience moving, frontman "Roadkill Jake" held the sizeable crowd's interest without fail.

The Bad Engrish from Denver were up next. I know, the name is awful, but the guys seem pretty reasonable. The quartet is solid street punk with sing along choruses, ripping guitar leads, and plenty of energy. Are you familiar with the "pogo punk" sub-subgenre? The audience seemed to be, as they delighted in bouncing up and down on the normally posh Californos deck. Frontman "Engrish Gord" (nee Gordon Roscoe) moved between the stage and the crowd throughout the evening, with "Davey Charge" dropping his guitar to the stage and joining the crowd for the set's finale. Bad Engrish's songs don't stray from the genres anti-authoritarian bent, meaning the politics are personal, not global. This agenda was perfectly summed up by the lyrics of the Chernobyl Babies song that the band covered to great audience delight: "Woah I'm not here to fight a war / not here to blame the government for problems anymore / I just want to get in the pit, pogo around not giving a shit / they say it's wasted living, but it's what I'm living for."

Headlining the night was KC's oi mainstay The Uncouth. The Monday night crowd thinned a bit by the time quartet took the stage, and I'd be surprised if the band couldn't have named all 40 or so punks and skins in the audience. This familiarity lead to a performance that wasn't particularly flashy, but did create a party atmosphere rife with audience backing vocals — particularly on fan favorites "KC United," "Living Wage," and "Josey's War." Those who had seen the band countless times before were rewarded when the band debuted an aggressive new number called "Matter of Time." This ripper is defined by hoarse, hardcore vocals, and a riff straight from Tony Iommi notebook. The night ended with a cover of Ramones' "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg" that lacked the original's xylophone, but got plenty of "aaaah na-na-na" support from audience during the chorus.

You can catch The Uncouth next as they play an early free show on May 4th at The Westport Saloon as part of The Middle of the Map Fest.