How sweat it is. Photo by Russ Roca
How sweat it is. Photo by Russ Roca

Live Review

PCH Club days ride again with another Harbor Area independent hardcore social salon, and you couldn't really put a show like this on the other side of the freeway anyway: punk without the eyeliner likes a nice informal spot, where Fucked Up—Canada's most exciting band since the Neos—get to relax, take their shirts off and really get to know the locals, some of whom look so much like the little guy on the Circle Jerks records that you'd expect a ghostly symbol to be orbiting somewhere around an ankle. But first openers Peligro Social: just like the Zero Boys with 4/4 drums cranked as fast as the guy could go and even some sleazy guitar solos pickling in the bile—can't say "recommended" in too many other ways. Fucked Up got the midnight clean-up slot and people were ready—excited, even, like first at-bats in little league—to really roll around. "People gonna get punched!" said one drunk guy. "Oh man, what if I get PUNCHED?" Well, you know, we all wonder every day, right? Fucked Up on record have a welcome bite-the-hand vibe that gets them doing things like splitting the song "Baiting the Public" into two sides of a 45 or putting out long-form 12 inches that treat loud/fast hardcore with a Mahavishnu Orchestra arrangement—luckily the Wipers did things like horn sections and 10-minute title tracks a few years back, so we future people still have a chance of understanding. And so I was actually hoping for more of that negative approach to psychedelicness than Fucked Up actually put through—instead, they ran more to a regular-style Negative Approach setup that got Circle Jerks Logo and buddies toppling off anything they couldn't topple over and actually may have gotten someone punched, though sadly it didn't look like the guy who'd been so excited about it. As recent Vice Records signees (for the U.K.), Fucked Up might have to take a few swirls in the hype bucket, but as a live wild band (with a lot of good ideas to fuck with the people who buy their records), they're a great punch in the stomach. Saw one of the old PCH Club regulars hanging around the edge and he was happy smiles: "I've seen so many people here," he was saying, and meaning "old people." "And they all say they haven't been this excited about a hardcore band since they can't remember!" It's sad because memory is always the first thing to go, but otherwise he had a great point.

BONUS LIVE ALERT: Alex's in Long Beach is running easily the best local residency of the month, with the Rolling Blackouts—Los Angeles' last and only rock & roll band, and you can sit at home and wonder how people missed out on things like Big Star when they existed or you can go see it live before your eyes, and the new songs sound like Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello!—and dios (malos) showing off their new half-Alleged Gunmen lineup every Sunday night with a cherry-picked set of supporters. This weekend is Chiltonoid power-pop from Peach Fuzz, week after is Toys That Kill and the month closes with Miguel Mendez (Brian Wilson on an eight-track from the same high school as Snoop Dogg) and Kevin Morales (original dios guitarist) with his brand new band. It's the only reason to leave the house besides peeking in the mailbox for government checks.  


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