Over the Top, Syracuse Me, Another Shot & Kinsmen @ Club 1668

POP PUNK/HARDCORE FROM ALL OVER THE MARITIMES:

OVER THE TOP
SYRACUSE ME
ANOTHER SHOT
KINSMEN
@ Club 1668
Wednesday July 14th 2010


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On Wednesday Tiff and I found ourselves in the midst of hurricane. A full force gale of metal, punk and hardcore fans were hurling through Club 1668, fuelled by their love of ear-shattering music… and of course, alcohol. Tiff and I braved our way through the debris like good little storm-chasers (Tiff, the bravest of all, had forgotten her protective earplugs at home but ventured onward anyway; camera in hand, pushing her way through the moshers, snapping pictures all the while). It was a crazy night and although much of the storm was a blur we did our best to document what we could. Here is what we found when we peered into the eye of the tornado….the belly of the beast…the center of the Tootsie Pop.

Strap on your helmets, Internet. Here comes the heavy.


Kinsmen started things out with a set of tender ballads and love songs, and by ‘tender ballads and love songs’ I mean ‘crazy heavy metal with lyrics that are screamed so your mother won't be able to understand them, but if she could she would be beyond horrified'.

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Their set started early, so early that I wasn’t able to catch it all, and there wasn’t much a crowd there yet. Kinsmen marched on regardless. The band had travelled all the way from St. John New Brunswick and they were ready to rip shit up. They played like it was the last night before the rapture. The music was heavy and sludgy, brutal even. The vocals were screamed so powerfully I expected the singer's vocal cords to snap like rusted suspension cables. The band did throw in a little melody though, with some soaring choruses that gave the audience a breather from the nonstop aural assault.

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VIDEO:



Another Shot were up next, playing their debut live set. They understandably seemed a little nervous and unsure just before their set. Their lead singer even warning the audience that they’d never played live before. I was unsure about what to expect; a first show is a tricky and scary concept for a band and as a reviewer I wanted to be fair and keep that in mind. Once Another Shot began playing I stopped thinking of them as a new band. They played a tight, confident set that showed them to be both skilled and charismatic.

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The band should be proud of their first gig. Their sound was heavy and energetic. They mixed a lot of punk and heavy metal influences. Their singer reminded me of a cross between Coheed & Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk. As a band, they played well off each other. One of their guitarists had his middle finger on his fret hand bandaged up (he told the audience he had sprained it while pulling his pants up) but he played as though it were no issue.

Their songs were catchy with plenty of edge and a lot of great heavy riffs to bob your head to. They can only get better from here, but Another Shot are off to a great start.

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By the time Syracuse Me took the stage, and effectively stole the show, the club was swimming with people. It was only about half packed but you wouldn’t know that from in front of the stage. Practically everyone in the bar was crowded as close to the band as they could get. From the first chords of the first song it was evident that this Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island band has a good sized following. I seemed like everyone was there to see Syracuse Me and everyone knew the words to every song.

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Syracuse Me put on an incredible live show. The band thrashed around the stage, pin wheeling their arms, hyping the crowd and jumping into each other. The crowd went apeshit. People were hurling their arms into the air, spitting onstage and screaming along to every goddamn word. The band didn’t loose an ounce of energy throughout their entire set. The whirlwind of energy the band produced was palpable. Their lead singer summed up the evening nicely

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“Everyone is wasted, dancing and having a good time. This is my favourite.” He said.

Their sound is fast, snotty punk anthems with catchy hooks and shout-along chants. The music is unsubtle as hell, just like their live show. It really was something to see. I’ve seen packed shows go crazy many times but to see a half-full bar on Wednesday night behave as though it were Friday night happy hour was great. Syracuse Me deserves a lot of credit for that. Their live show was what stuck with me the most from the night.

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The evening’s headliners were St. John’s Newfoundland’s Over The Top. I wonder if they are named after that Sylvester Stallone movie where Sly has to arm-wrestle truckers for custody of his son. I certainly hope so.

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Over The Top kept the party going. The crowd obviously hadn’t had enough heavy music or spitting on stage, so Over The Top gave them what they wanted. The band’s sound was very much hardcore punk. I heard more than a few nods to bands like Black Flag and Agnostic Front. They were tight and though their sound lacked a lot of variety, they did what they did well. The mosh pit at the front of the stage grew exponentially until it was a battlefield of limbs and boots.

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Syracuse Me weren’t the only band with sing-along chants that the audience knew every word to, Over The Top handled the crowd just as well and had many moments where the crowd were singing just as loud as the vocalist. When they weren't singing along, many in the crowd were spitting at the band (which one can only assume is a sign of respect) and splashing the contents of their drinks in the air.

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We made it out in one piece, maybe a little drunker than before but no worse for wear. It was a rowdy night at 1668 and I think both Tiffany and I are lucky to have left with some of our hearing in tact. Next time we’re invited into the eye of the storm I’ll be sure to remind her to bring her earplugs along and maybe a slicker... on account of all the beer and saliva showers that must to endured. Now that the storm is over, the rubble is strewn and the damage tolled, the only thing the people at club 1668 can do is rebuild. rebuild and wait.

. . .

To see all the photos from this show //click here //
To see all the videos, visit us at our youtube page


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TNaugler

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