So - another night - another show, this time to bring the mosh with almighty DRI and a couple cool touring bands who opened up for them on one of the best bills I've ever seen hit Readings quasi-legendary Reverb. With a couple of opening acts who seemed to be big on theatrics, a fitting counterpart to DRI's stripped down majesty, this evening was one to remember, the kind of show that reflects the simple beauty that this kind of music can have and reflects on the enduring power of thrash metal and punk.
First up were Dick Vomit, a band who are gleefully offensive, using blow up dolls and glitter canons to accentuate some over the top theatrics. There music - a take on Toxic Holocaust/Municipal Waste style retro thrash with a little grindcore thrown into the mix is a joy to listen too. It has a sort of blazing triumph that directly contradicts the bands grimy surroundings. Few bands understand the importance of a live show like Dick Vomit do, sure these guys probably will offend you and a lot of their banter and lyrics cross lines, but that's kind of the point. It's the sort of shit meant for fourteen year old boys, and when you're dealing with a metal crowd, that's a pretty good deal.
Gash were up next and their fairly distinctive brand of punk rock - fueled by a literal orgy in the pit was definitely a little shocking to say the least. There is a sense of punk rock madness in its purest form that is channeled with the music of Gash. These guys know what it means to feel discriminated against and torn down and their utterly oppressive stage show was a veritable fucked up saturnalia of punk rock glory. There is a strange charm to this band, vulgar as they are. They are tight - but there's a sense that they're about to fall apart - but you get the impression that with a band like Gash, that's just the way they like it.
Finally it was time for the almighty DRI to storm the stage. There is a sense of glory to this band that only comes through four decades worth of heavy touring in all corners of the earth. The way that they slam the audience with power chord induced trauma and use punk rock tropes to create a sense of glorious nihilism is, in a word, beautiful. The setlist was most triumphant, I don't think I could have picked a better one myself. Special highlights were the three new songs (All hardcore derived) and closing on I Don't Need Society, that almighty cry of "Fuck You" served as a moment of jarring finality before an encore that featured tracks like Beneath The Wheel. A beautiful night if there ever was one.
What I'm trying to say is that this kind of music is perhaps all we have saving ourselves from utter extinction. DRI are a symbol of what it means to be punk rock and they have seen it all, changing the genre for all time and wearing battle jackets and (In Harald's case) tricked out basses to lead the charge. All three bands I saw last night reflected the inherent power of punk rock, and if you don't like it - fuck you. This is what we need to guide ourselves through the fire and the flames, and provide us, us stupid punks, the power to carry on.
Find the bands on Facebook:
Dick Vomit: https://www.facebook.com/dickvomit66642069?fref=ts