Walking to this show, the only thing on my mind was how aggressive this show was going to be. All the die hard Lifers Records guys were there to support the home town openers, Lifespent. With hot new records from Discourse and from headliners Harm’s Way, kids were stoked to support the home town boys as well as sing along and mosh to the heavy new grooves.
This was my first time at La Vitrola as Extensive Entreprise usually books the La Sala Rossa venue for their hardcore shows. I must say it was a great switch; the low stage at Vitrola made a more intimate connection with the crowd, and a riser area allowed the spectators who didn’t want to be involved in the pit to keep their nice slicked-back hair in place.
Lifespent kicked off the show with lots of hometown love from Montreal hardcore fans and the Lifers Records crew. Before they ended their set, guitarist Thierry promised that after much postponement, a new record is in the works. They plan to release at the end of this summer on Lifers Records. Quebec City’s Apes ran about half an hour overtime, which worked out well as it gave time for La Vitrola to fill up before Discourse took the stage. Apes’ extremely melodic and subtle style was interesting, but a little awkward for this kind of bill.
Up next was Discourse. People who knew this band were extremely stoked for them to play. Fresh off a record release and touring for the first time in Canada, the crowd wanted to see what this Colombia, South Carolina band were all about. They kicked off with “Cure,” the first song off their LP Sanity Decays. The show began with an immediate build up; the beat dropped and the real aggressive moshing began right away. Playing through a 25-minute set, vocalist Kyle Jackson ended on a high note, saying how stoked he was for the turnout and that it was a great experience in the great white north. They finished off with “Maintained By Force,” also from their full length record. For most, Discourse was a new band with barely five thousand likes on Facebook and not much released. Many were there solely for the powerhouse that is Harm’s Way, however after a great first impression like they made on Thursday night, I feel they will easily move up in the hardcore rankings, and quickly! Fans of Baptist, Exalt, or Expire will most likely be into Discourse’s sound.
This is the first time I’d ever heard of the band Homewrecker. They have a different approach to their music compared to the other bands playing on this tour. It was faster, louder and much dirtier (for lack of a better word). I’m not one to go too heavy into genres, however you could call them a thrash-hardcore band. Many people already knew this band, since the singer and guitarist also plays in Harm’s Way. Once Homewrecker began their set, fists and feet were flying. I was a little embarrassed that I didn’t know this band and so many people were stoked about them!
Last but not least was Chicago hardcore’s own, Harm’s Way. This was my first time seeing them, and my first impression was definitely of how big and intimidating vocalist Chris Mills was. Everything was big: big drums, big cymbals, big vocalist, and huge guitar tones. Kicking things off with the first track “Infestation” from their sparkling new LP Rust, the buildup was the first thing to hit. Then, all of a sudden a ginormous wave of deep guitar tones punched you in the face. Maybe it could have been a real punch in the face? Either way could have been plausible as it immediately turned into the most violent show I’ve ever attended. Kids really got down to Harm’s Way and their disgustingly heavy, down-tempo grooves. If you’re a fan of Code Orange or Weekend Nachos, you’d definitely dig Harm’s Way.
With Harms Way’s headlining, the killer lineup, the intimate venue, and a dedicated crowd to go with it, this quickly became my favorite show so far in 2015. Aggression ran rampant through the venue, making this the most violent show of the year (until Code Orange rolls around!) Both Discourse and Harm’s Way released full lengths this year and I strongly recommend taking a listen.
Written and Photographed by Alex QB True North Visual