with Mung, Scissorfight, 5 Seconds Expired at the Middle East Cafe
by Elissa Dennis
The most logical thing for a label to do after putting out a compilation CD is to have a high profile show that showcases the featured talent in hopes of forcing unsuspecting listeners to buy the product. Well, Wonderdrug Records did part of that right. They had a great show featuring various types of hardcore bands on Take Your Medicine, but it was in the middle of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Attendance was a lot lower than it should have been, but that may have had more to do with the fact that there was no alcohol served than the beautiful weather.
Somehow I managed to wake up early enough to catch the first band, 5 Seconds Expired, and it was worth it. They are from Vermont and the singer looks like some kind of I Love Lucy understudy with his ’50s leisure clothes and Buddy Holly glasses, but looks can be deceiving. He was quite an accomplished screamer. The music seemed like the typical chugging metalcore, but it never got boring because of the numerous tempo changes and innovative (as much as metalcore can be) riffs.
In another chapter from the “Looks Can Be Deceiving” book was Scissorfight‘s singer, who looked like some ZZ Top pickup-truck-driving hick with his straw hat and long beard, and maybe he is, but after hearing the demonic growls that escaped from him, I wouldn’t want to ask. But alas, he tried too hard to be cool, punk style, by giving the little kiddies in the audience the finger and yelling obscenities into their innocent little ears. The technique may have worked in a seedy bar filled with jaded lowlifes, but it didn’t work at three in the afternoon at an all-ages show.
The roadie for Mung tried to strongarm me into giving the band a good review (his logic perhaps being that if they start getting good press maybe he’ll be paid in cash instead of beer?), which made me automatically want to slam them just to be contrary. Only problem is that I genuinely like Mung’s sloppy drunkpunk style, sing along (if you can understand them) choruses and “Rancid are a bunch of pansies” attitude. But I have a bitchy attitude to uphold, so I’ll lie and say I hate Mung, if only because I’m jealous that they could all drink me and an army under the table, no problem.
And then the rock star poster children, 6L6, came out and everyone else looked so pedestrian in comparison. Wearing big sunglasses and rock star tight clothes, the singer started the show off with his signature tortured animal (albeit a musically-inclined animal) howl and the band took off from there. They were loud, they were fast, they were pretentious, but they had lots of fun. They were just wild enough to avoid being commercial, but occasionally I could imagine 6L6 doing for the Boston scene what Pearl Jam did for Seattle, which might not be such a good thing. So please don’t go see 6L6 or Mung. And don’t buy the Wonderdrug Records CD because I’m selfish and don’t wanna share.