The All Ages Beat

By Duncan Barlow

I missed writing a column last month due to touring, but I have come back with many stones to tell. Before I begin to write about these experiences, though, I would like to review the few local shows that I have witnessed during my short time at home.

The first show of the last two months was Snapcase and Enkindel. Empathy opened, playing a more crusty version of what many Louisville bands are doing. I could not stay for much of their set because I was busy taking care of Snapcase. The Doughnuts, from Sweden, played second, with a very energetic set. They play a rather common blend of metal and hard core, with lyrics about betrayal, veganism, and being drug free. Snapcase played second, and boy did they ever blow me away. They have progressed quite a bit since their last Louisville show, in October. I noticed quite an amount of Drive Like Jehu influence. Snapcase likes Louisville, and I think it is very safe to say that Louisville likes Snapcase. Enkindel headlined with a very tight, and emotional set. This was the first date of Enkindel's tour and I think it was the perfect show to start them off.

Greg, the guitarist of Hedge, put together a benefit for Ed Lutz of Ground Zero Records. The show was at Cardinal's Inn on the 19th. Hedge headlined, with a score of other local bands. The first band I saw was Litmus. This group seems to be the rage among local labels, who constantly offer the band record deals. (If Litmus wants my advice, I think they should wait, relax and have fun with their music.) Their show seemed a bit tense — due to sound difficulties, I was later told — but for the most part they did rather well. Feverpitch played next, and golly did they ever do well.

They play a poppy yet moody blend of punk that is sure to get the majors calling sooner or later. Blangk followed Feverpitch, and played a heavy blend of music that sent the people into a dancing frenzy. Blangk never seems to receive the credit they deserve; those boys work very hard. Wino played next. I watched about half of their set before I was overcome by thirst, and suckered myself into buying a 3-cent Coke for 50 cents. Wino fashions themselves to a sound that Louisville has gained some fame from, with heavy influences also from Chicago's Rapeman. They do a nice job and are very serious about their group. Hedge played last, and one could actually feel the excitement in the air. The band has recently adopted Kevin Brownstein (Kinghorse fame) on drums. I have always hated the Cardinal's Inn because the sound never flatters the bands. Hedge still did very well. The band really cares about this scene and I think the scene should care about Hedge. Greg is an honorable person for his part in helping Ground Zero stick through the tough times.

The final show I saw in the last fews days was Enkindel, Eleven-Eleven, and Union. The show occurred at Player's on Aug. 20. Union opened the evening, surprising almost everyone. They are very heavy, and they did not break in between any of their songs. This proved to move their music even more smoothly than their tight musicianship. Union will be the band to watch this year; I just hope they stick around to receive the recognition they will soon deserve. Eleven-Eleven played second, and their set was tight and very emotional. I doubt they will ever gain popularity in the all-ages scene, but if you enjoy bands like Codeine, you might want to give these boys a listen. I like the band; they are just here to rock — no politics involved. Enkindel finished the evening.

Mark Brickey began the set by announcing how much the club was charging, letting the kids know how much the bands suffered when they played Players. He then proceeded to let the crowd know that $250 went to security that spent their night hanging out on the sidewalk. The crowd then began to give the security something to worry about.

I doubt Players will be too eager to do shows in the future. But I think bands should receive at least one dollar off each head, per band. After all, in the all-ages scene people come for the bands, not for the clubs. The time has come for the all-ages scene to demand what is theirs. But this also means that when the bands find the club that will meet their demands, the crowd must respect that place; for example, not putting their cigarettes out on carpet, not getting drunk, not starting fights, and not vandalizing. The bands and promoters work too hard to suffer for the image of punk rock. The time has come for the all-ages scene to express their rage!

I had planned on writing about the Guilt tour, but it seems as if I have exhausted my space with these show reviews, so I will close my article. If you have any questions, please write me. Thank you for reading, and sorry about last month.