I saw Veterans at Popeye's the other month and they friggin' rocked it out, alternating between totally pissed-off speedy thrash and slower parts that were really punchy, like Sabbath-style hard rock or something. I know I've written a bunch of times before about bands that do something similar (Napolean Complex is pretty good at it, and Escalator), but the approach that Veterans uses has a more technical-metal aspect to it -- like, they're branching out and taking a whole new direction within the song, it's not just a breakdown or mosh part or whatever. They have a split tape that came out just a couple of weeks before they played Popeye's (the song I've posted below is one of their two songs on the tape), and I've heard some other songs on their Bandcamp page, but none of it even touches how good they were the night that I saw them. On the recordings, the slower parts are made to sound more spacey and atmospheric, like they're trying to be doom/psych or something, but when they play the songs live there's less fucking around. It's just ripping thrash, and then all of a sudden there's a total SST-core/Ginn-metal breakdown. Plus two of the guys in the band (the drummer and the bass player) wore X's, so I had to like them.
Then Vaccine played, and I'm so used to their "thing" being 8-minute/15-song sets, but this time they hit the 8-minute mark and then just kept going, playing for what had to be at least twice as long as the first time I saw them (which was last summer at The Whitney House). When Vaccine plays, it's like a machine gun, a bunch of 15-second bursts with some 3-second pauses in-between... just amazingly intense. Afterwards I was all pumped up, walking around and saying to everyone I ran into, "We just saw Vaccine play a 20-minute set!" like some kind of idiot. I guess the "Crimes In Blood" 5-inch is still the most recent thing they've put out, so here's a rip I made of the entire b-side (neither side of the record is any more than a minute long).
"Crimes In Blood" B-side