Everybody has their take on what “hardcore” is. If you’re asking me (which you’re not, but I don’t really fucking care), hardcore is a sweaty room filled half with overly aggressive attention seeking cunts while the other half is trying not to dip into their dental plans, all listening to some music that might as well double as a fucking pacemaker. Hardcore is a good goddamn time, and one particular dancing partner has never let me down. Comeback Kid hit Katacombes here in Montreal last Saturday the 15th, and my testicles haven’t quite decided it’s safe to come down from my throat yet.
Now what would a hardcore show be without local support? (Still a hardcore show, but regardless…) Hometown hardcore ensemble Offside were there to crack the doors open. Their following provided ample support in the form of fist swinging and song shouting while the band pumped out a steady (albeit incredibly Integrity-sounding) set, which is not meant to be calling the act a rip-off. By witnessing their performance, I can tell there’s a lot of passion behind them and skill in what they’re banging out, but was there a moment where I felt there was something truly unique about these dudes and worth doubling back on? Not particularly. That said, check ‘em out for yourself and call me on my bullshit if it floats your fuckin cock that hard.
Following up on the hometown hard-ons was the excessive bludgeoning of DEATHNAP. Dirty, loud, and full of fuck-you-energy is a stellar start to describing this Montreal three piece. For those inclined to imagery, think Converge and Cancer Bats had a few too many, got a little cozy, and forgot the fucking lube. It was an intense performance with angsty musicians at the helm, and with just the right amount of genital tickling via a sliver of “I’m Broken” by Pantera to set the mood.
The touring package then took the stage starting with Leeds, UK’s incredibly eclectic brand of hardcore represented by Higher Power. Imagine what Alice in Chains would sound like as an ’80s inspired hardcore act and you’ve pretty well got the very seed of what HP are about. Though I can’t particularly say I was jiving with the attempt, I can tell you that Montreal was eating that shit up like it hadn’t even broken the fifteen second rule yet. Though the intention behind the music was heavy, the execution was very much an artsy vibe and almost felt like it lacked in bite. Still intriguing, but not necessarily enthralling.
You might be tuning in for the first time here at Bucketlist Music Reviews, so I’ll go ahead and preach the usual: if you can’t do it differently, then at least do it better than everybody else. No Warning out of Toronto, ON bring heat and violence to the room with their brand of relatively cookie-cutter hardcore. Is it different? Nah, but do they do it better than you? You’re fucking right they do, not to mention that they have an obviously smashing time doing it. Their guitars are smooth, their drums are groovy, and their vocals punch a new hole in your asshole. Everything about this act is a goddamn good time and worth taking forty-five minutes out of your night to cower in the distance while slam dancers aimlessly crowd kill to a No Warning show.
Winnipeg, MB will always be remembered for floods, supposed inescapable boredom, and mother fucking Comeback Kid. These absolute OGs of Canadian-brand hardcore never miss a beat, they just add new ones to fuck your face up with. Not only this show, but the entire new album run for their barely one-year-old Outsider is no different. I’ve always been particularly partial to Symptoms and Cures (fucking fight me, hater) so cracking open a set with “Do Yourself A Favour” is like a goddamn war call for me…that I answered by staying on the balcony away from the primate-inspired carnage occurring bellow me. There’s just no getting around a few facts with these cats. They’re the perfect balance of catchy and heavy, the perfect representation of simple but intense musicianship (no matter how big or small the venue as perfectly displayed here), and they’re always going to be worth the swampy genitals of packing yourself into a three-hundred and twenty five cap room on a hot night just to scream your guts out to “Wake the Dead” for the thousandth fucking time. Katacombes isn’t known for stellar sound and even that didn’t stop this act from crushing. Obviously I’ve had a consistent theme of low key bitching about the crowd here, but at the end of the day, getting my fix of what a live CBK show does to my loins is paramount to all other things. We’re all in this together you filthy fucks, and regardless of which way you try to spin it, this is hardcore. Also no, I didn’t dive off the balcony, and nor should you, you fucking ape.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson