PUNK DEMO #6: FROM THE FUTURE DEMO 2016

a2061218658_16

When I first started the project of seeking out new punk bands’ demos, I expected it to be a hard one. I sort of saw myself like an anthropologist digging around the King’s Valley looking for the tomb of a mythic pharaoh. But it’s been pretty easy to find good ones. And in the case of the last two (TORPUR and Arrotzak) I found bands that blew me away. Being newly 38 years old – or 76 in punk years – I’m encouraged to see that the new generation of DIY weirdos are running with the torch.

That being said, sometimes it’s good to have a demo just fall in your lap without any research. And even better if it’s by a band of veterans of the underground. From the Future is a new band full of old timers. Fellow Nashvillians, they’ve paid their dues in other noise-rock and post hardcore bands I’ve seen around my town for as long as I have lived here. From the Future only have two songs available so far, but they come out of the gate hard. The first track (“Dictator,” for those who like titles) is a cyclone of political rage that sounds like the lost track from an AmRep comp. It lies somewhere in the circles of Hammerhead, Rapeman, or the more chaotic end of math rock spectrum. The second track – “Keg Killer” – is a short blast of blown-out funky post punk a la Big Boys, Minutemen, or The Dicks. These dudes make some ugly rock.

PUNK DEMO #6: FROM THE FUTURE DEMO 2016

PUNK DEMO #4: TORPUR’S DUNGEON ROCK DEMO

Kraków, Poland’s TORPUR may only be a duo, but these punkers make enough racket to be an entire platoon of skateboard freaks. Their new eight song cassette is nine minutes of screaming, distortion, and hiss that is sure to alienate the squares. TORPUR’s self-described “goblin punk” is harsh and abrasive. And yet somehow these guys are still really catchy and fun. If you aren’t too frightened to make it all the way to the end, the last track is a fantastic stomp-beat crusher full of static and dissonance. This band has made one of the best demo’s I’ve heard in a long time. Someone get them a 7″ before they break up and it’s all lost to obscurity the of the punk oblivion.

 

PUNK DEMO #4: TORPUR’S DUNGEON ROCK DEMO

Coliseum Evolves at The End

Coliseum Evolves at The End

The Spin’s Saturday night began by slicing open our own left heel with a razor blade to remove a shard of glass that had been embedded into our foot for nearly 24 hours. In some strange way, the pain of digging into our own skin with a piece of metal was the perfect preamble for the night of dark, ugly music to come.

Upon arriving at The End a bit early for the Coliseum show, a friend handed us a Heineken tallboy, inspiring us to do our best impression of Frank from Blue Velvet. We’d about exhausted the gag by the time openers Sheep Shifter kicked in to its chaotic set. These Middle Tennesseans make noisy oddball rock with angular guitar parts sharp enough to cut a piece of glass out of your foot. Bands like Shellac and Drive Like Jehu come to mind, but theses local spazzsters are a lot heavier than their ’90s counterparts.

We didn’t know what to expect from the next band, Child Bite, since all we knew about ’em was that they put out a 5-inch record with Phil Anselmo last year. Since the 5-inch is a terrible vinyl format, and Pantera was a terrible band, we were a little worried. But much to our shock, the Michiganders came out bare-knuckled and ferocious, drenched in dissonance and distortion. Child Bite continues the grisly tradition of Rust Belt post-hardcore like The Jesus Lizard, Laughing Hyenas and Die Kreuzen. These repugnant punks make music as painful, nasty and potentially infectious as their band name would imply. Obviously, we loved it.

When Coliseum first came through Nashville on tour for their recently reissued first LP, they were a very different band. The brainchild of Louisville’s Ryan Patterson, the band played a unique blend of raw distorted D-beat hardcore and mid-’80s Dischord Records-style punk. But over the past 11 years, the band eschewed its effects pedals and grew into something altogether new. While the the elements of Fugazi are still in check, they’ve distanced themselves from Discharge in favor of darker, more melodic bands like Christian Death and The Sound.

Just before the stroke of Midnight, the band fired up set-opener “We Are the Water,” from their recently released Anxiety’s Kiss LP. The song bounced along, trading back and forth between Patterson’s signature rasp and guitar leads reminiscent of The Cult, as if he were simultaneously channeling both Billy Duffy and Leatherface’s Frankie Stubbs in a concrete groove cemented by bassist Kayhan Vaziri and drummer Carter Wilson. Vaziri, known to Music City for his band other band, Yautja, went in a whole different sonic direction with Coliseum. If you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were hearing The Cure’s Simon Gallup. We aren’t sure if the trio is ready for eyeliner or clove cigarettes yet, but none of them looked out of place garbed in all-black attire.

While tracks from the new record made up most of the 50-minute set, the band did dig up some old bones like “Blind in One Eye,” a bombastic fist-pumper from 2005’s House With a Curse. Coliseum’s stage charisma has only improved over the last decade, which is rare for bands that turn their distortion knobs down. Usually it’s an insult when we say a punk band has “matured,” calling to mind embarrassing attempts to write songs palatable to Coldplay fans. Rare are the bands that grow up and pull it off. But these guys have mutated into something greater than what they once were. Coliseum may have mellowed their aggression, but not their tenacity or resolve to make fantastic music.

Coliseum Evolves at The End