I'm usually stuck at work
until 10:00pm on weeknights, so by the time I made it to The Hill for
this show, which started at 9:00pm, the opening band, Sacramento's
Whiskey Rebels, had already
finished their set. Which was fine by me. Having seen them before and
been thoroughly unimpressed with their mediocre oi-core bluster and
"outlaw-patriot" pose - the group's namesake paying homage to the
Pennsylvania settlers who took part in the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion.
my opinion The Frisk's studio
recordings, the Rank Restraint E.P. and Audio Ransom Note,
fall pitifully short of capturing the snarling fervor of their live
sound: A mix of early 80's SF style hardcore punk with a noticeable (but
thankfully not excessive) hard rock groove and a penchant for
audience-baiting insult-humor. Think Sick Pleasure meets Howard Stern at
a Dirty Deeds era AC/DC concert. Drummer Hunter Burgan's (also
in/on loan from A.F.I.) rolls and rim-shots accompanied vocalist
Townley's (formerly of late 80's Gilman St. chaos-drunk-punks Blatz,
The Gr'ups, and most recently The Criminals) taunting of some of the
skins left over from the Whiskey Rebels as he pointed out that
his balls were nearly exposed through the ragged crotch of his old jeans
and demanded to know "Which one of you flag-wavin' boneheads wants to be
"tea-bagged" first?" A heated exchange of epithets followed before the
band lunged into "Ape Shall Not Kill Ape," "Leech," "Survey Says,"
"Meat's Meat And A Man's Gotta Eat," and their self-penned anthem "We
Are The Frisk" with Jesse climbing off stage into the crowd for us to
supply the "Who are The Frisk? WE ARE THE FRISK!" chorus.
SxEx hardcore punks 7Seconds,
who, along with S.S. Decontrol and, of course, Minor Threat, practically
invented the genre back in the early 80's, have always had a flakey
reputation for canceling gigs at the last minute. This one in
particular, having to be rescheduled twice in as many months before they
finally got their shit together, turned out to be well worth the wait,
though. Vocalist Kevin "Seconds" (aka. Kevin Marvelli) bounded across
the stage thrusting his mic into the swarm of punks upfront for us to
supply the "WHOA-OH!" backups to his brisk sing-shouting as guitarist
Bobby Adams' churning distortion resounded over the rumble of bassist
Steve "Youth" (aka. Steve Marvelli) and the frenetic
kick-snare-kick-snare of drummer Troy Mowat. Newschool moshing giving
way to a vigorous circle-pit as they tore into a set composed
exclusively of material from The Crew (Kevin updating the first
verse of "American Riot" to "Hey, it's now 2005! TIME TO LOOK ALIVE!!"),
Walk Together, Rock Together (including their cover of Nena's
"99 Red Balloons") and new(er) songs off Good To Go and
Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over! ("Meant To Be My Own,"
"Safety Net," "I See You Found Another Trophy," "Where Is The Danger?,"
"Sooner Or Later," etc.). It was without a doubt one of the better
performances I've seen lately. Although Steve's between-song "bird
calls" accompanying our applause was... odd.