by Dave Negative

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.

In 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 Jesse "Luscious" 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.

Oldschool 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.


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