Live Review from Underground 92:
1. New One
3. Get Out
5. Skate Song
6. Extra Life
8. Not Tonight
The Sleeves’ set had left me wondering how anyone could possibly not follow their set and bomb. Unjustified, though, these apprehensions were proven from the moment I heard Live Fast Die! tuning up. Like any good punk/hardcore band they displayed that schadenfreude for the audience’s eardrums, with the bass dangerously close to ripping them open. I was further reassured when they began playing their “first” song (cue: wall of sound of simply acerbic punk), to promptly stop a few second in and get the order of their setlist clear. Yup, like the Misfits and the Ramones and D.O.A., their set began in a fittingly punk fashion. The few headbangers in the crowd were extricated, and there was some banging worthy of metal arena gigs. (A small group even began to mosh, officially stamping the band’s success.)
We were informed, some way in, that the drummer was unwell that night and it was their guitarist playing for them. That seemed very difficult to swallow, as the drums that night were very much in the Chuck Biscuits/Bill Stevenson vein; blindingly fast, deafening and aggro-filled. The caustic, no-nonsense music fell neatly between punk and hardcore (sometimes at odds with each other) with perfection, and the guitar leads were remarkably reminiscent of Rich Kids on LSD, a compliment of the highest order. So, even though the singer’s belt had Johnny Thunders’ low-life slogan of “Born to Lose” on it, these guys certainly did not.