Deadguy with Seventeen Queen, Epicenter Zone 5/17/96, 3K

Epicenter has been a mainstay in the Bay Area hardcore/punk scene for many years. Aside from a cooperatively run record/zine/punk information store, they occasionally host live shows. This Friday night was one such event. Several bands were slated to play, including Florida's ultra-heavy, meandering, metallic hardcore heroes Bloodlet. However, events beyond the control of hardcore and straightedge kids everywhere prevented them from appearing this night. Instead, the crowd was left just to Deadguy and Seventeen Queen. These two bands proved that they could be a two band show, and leave everyone satisfied.

Seventeen Queen contains three members from the now defunct Portraits of Past. They blistered their way through a brief set of noisy, emotive chunks. Their sound is, surprise, not too far from Portraits of Past. Guitars fuzzed and distorted as they noisily churned through their tunes. The singer wailed away like all those dressed in a red polyester, large collar shirt with white disco shoes should. Watch for them playing more shows around, they are sure to become a local favorite.

Deadguy hail from New Brunswick, N. J. Recently the band has gone through some lineup changes, with Tim (from No Escape) and Keith (from Rorschach) leaving the band to form Kiss It Goodbye. However, the new lineup picks up and forges ahead with Deadguy's brand of warped heavy metal for hardcore kids.

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With at least two other bands being absent, and one of those bands being Bloodlet, Deadguy seemed to know that the only way to keep people from being bummed out was to just hit them so hard, so heavy, so furiously that they would forget all about it. And that they did. I was very impressed with their performance. They jumped right into their set, blistering through songs at one and a half times their speed on the recordings. There was no stopping their all-out assault. They were very tight, rarely missing a beat and only stopping once, maybe twice in their entire 12-13 song set. Their music is just a manic blend of pure heavy metal and hardcore mosh-type riffage, backed with angry vocals. In other words, it is just about perfect. The crowd was into the show, doing the usual things a group of teenagers with large X's on their hands and hooded sweat shirts do when facing a band. Yeah, you guessed it, there was a pit going. The people in the crowd weren't the only ones flailing about. On more than one occasion both guitarists and the bassist went into wild, chaotic spasms in which they wielded their guitars literally as axes. I wish I had a picture of some of the crowd's reaction when the bassist drove into the middle of the crowd swinging violently--a look of sheer terror crossed their faces. However, it was all in fun, and no one was hurt (nor was anyone intending to hurt someone). Finally, the band had to stop: not from exhaustion (although I'm sure they were tired), not from lack of boredom of the crowd's response, rather, they ran out of songs.

I was really bummed when I heard Bloodlet wouldn't be there, but that's okay now. Deadguy more than made up for their absence. I just wonder what would have happened if they would have been able to make it... the show was excellent as it was, I can't imagine it being better.

Be sure to check out Deadguy's latest release, entitled "Fixation on a Coworker," out on Victory records. I can't stop listening to the CD. Every track is unbelievable. My favorite release of the year so far? Maybe so (the Cattlepress 7" might hold the number one slot).

(Secret Agent)

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