Friday night's Off With Their Heads show at Whitney House was easily four times as packed as any of the other times I've been there, even with the wooden partition and stuff that had been taken out since the week before. Guilty Faces were originally listed as being on the bill and then bailed on it (that record better be out soon, by the way), but the four bands that did play-- Off With Their Heads, Dead Uncles, Play It Faster!, and Iron Hand-- were all worth a night out, which was pretty damn alright.
Iron Hand, holy fuck. I was not prepared for how awesome these guys were gonna be, especially with this being their first show ever. Iron Hand is some dudes from They and The Children (who just split up in September) and Oiltanker, and there was one song of theirs that had the most wicked headbanging mosh part ever, I swear. There's even a photo out there where you can see me headbanging, although I was probably just looking down at my camera. I'll admit that it's beyond me to be able to describe any hardcore besides old-school thrash at this point, but if you're thinking that Iron Hand probably sound like Smurf Crisis or Converge or whatever crappy metal bands started counting as hardcore way back when, then they're not at all what you're thinking. More like Ass-End Offend, but that's just a scientific wild-ass guess on my part. Their demo wasn't ready yet-- about another week, they said-- but you can check out some songs on their MySpace page (myspace.com/ironhandcrushesall) and that oughta clear things up a bit.
Play It Faster!, are some kids from down Route 8 or somewhere, playing Plan-It-X core or something like that. Their songs are simple and catchy, plus their drummer doesn't waste a lot of motion and plays with a loud hat, which is the way I like it. They seem like one of those bands where you maybe hadn't heard of them before, yet everyone in their local scene knows the words to all their songs by heart, so go ahead and have fun, that's gotta count for something.
The first time I saw Dead Uncles, who made me think of Dillinger Four even before I knew that's what they were trying to do, is when they opened up for The Ergs! and For Science back towards the beginning of the year. They didn't really fit in with the preppie pop-punk crowd, for whatever reason, and the room emptied out right before they played, which was a bunch of crap. Friday night, though, Dead Uncles got the response they deserved, and it was great to see the place turn into a madhouse when they played, with people flying all over the place, in front of and even on top of the band. The first wave of crowd surfers began in earnest, and yeah, it's pretty funny to see someone crowd surfing underneath a 7-foot ceiling (just like at the old Anthrax Club), but it works, somehow.
The singer for Off With Their Heads didn't seem to get the drum kit joke I made at the beginning of the night, but they're from Minnesota so I coulda been a martian for all they knew. I could barely move during Off With Their Heads, which was awesome; people were shouting along to every word and climbing up on top of people by hanging from the support beams in the ceiling so they could get closer to the band, and every few songs the guy who thought I was a martian would stop to tell everybody how great this place was. It this whole mess that reminded me of how much I love punk rock, which I tend to forget sometimes. Off With Their Heads ended up playing every song they knew, almost, announcing "we only know two more songs" before playing ten more songs after that.
"For The Four"
Dead Uncles -
"Mediocrity: It's What's For Dinner"
"We Weren't Meant For Free Time"
Play It Faster! -
"It Never Ends"
(all of these files are now listen-only)