Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Westboro Baptist Choir, Posers, Teenage Chainsaw and Infernal Stronghold at the Beaumont Warehouse

Showing up to the Beaumont Warehouse is always tricky. The bands tend to start late, which is fine and all, but I'm not cool enough to figure out how late it's sufficiently punk to show up. So inevitably I end up showing up early and looking like a fucking square. That being said, once things start to heat up at this Philly punk hot spot you know you're in for a good time. All the regulars come in, a few newbies just discovering the scene, along with a whole mess of old time friends. Tonight in particular was special as it was the fundraiser for the West Philly Waste, our very own punk softball team... I'm still not sure how that's a thing, but it makes me love America...

The point being, the first band up Westboro Baptist Choir delivered some straight up punk rock and roll anarchy. There is a sense of raw chaos to the bands music and their stripped down delivery was to the point. They played a short but tasty set, their energetic frontwoman a veritable dynamo of energy, delivering a crushing  mostly-shouted vocal attack that was way too much fun to watch unfold. These guys play a tight set and hint at a few cool rising trends in the Philly scene. Westboro Baptist Choir get what punk rock is all about and their tight, chunky riffs make sure you don't forget it.

I wasn't sure what to expect with the next band, I certainly didn't think that they would end up being the highlight of my night. Yet Posers blew me away, while they are as punk as it gets the band is not afraid to use pop sensibilities to get their point across. There is something very exciting to me about this band, the way the guitar lines actually have melody, and Jade's stellar vocals speak to the quality of the band. It's in some ways reminiscent of NOLA's Pears. Surprisingly professional Posers managed to capture the hearts of everyone inside the Beaumont delivering fun and intelligent music. These guys have great things in store for them and I hope to book them in the near future! Their instant classic "We Are Posers And So Are You" has the potential to become an epic that defines this scene.

Earlier in the night I had gotten to talk to the guys in Teenage Chainsaw, and I would have felt kind of bad if I ended up not liking their band. I was actually really impressed with the exciting sound that they purveyed. I loved how they passed the vocal line with each song. It created a sense of true egalitarianism and made things interesting. Their Ramones cover was a joy to watch and helped make the set memorable. What I'm trying to say is that Teenage Chainsaw are a band who know how to have fun and watching them tear up the stage will make you have a good time too. Powerful and fairly unique, Teenage Chainsaw are a blast to watch.

Finally it was time for the local legends, the immortal Infernal Stronghold. This is a band who are masters of crunching riffs and blazing drum assaults. Their unique brand of death metal is rife with all sorts of blackened sprinklies and is gloriously satanic making you raise your first in grim fury. The harsh vocals have a certain sense of gory glee to them, they tear at the listener and hold you in thrall. See, Infernal Stronghold's live set is a veritable ritual, people find themselves enslaved to the bands oppressive crush and that's what makes them so fascinating. This band will tear you apart and make you love it. What more do you need to know?

As I headed home taking Philly's gloriously hellish public transport I was left with plenty of time to revel in the terror and triumph of what I had just seen. It's important to remember that nights like these functions as veritable foundations of the scene. Sure maybe not everybody goes to them, but they make it possible for bigger shows to come into town and allow bands to become massive. So support your scene, however you can, and realize that bands like these are why we have this. And remember, Posers kick ass - so go listen to them.

Find the bands on Facebook or Bandcamp!

Westboro Baptist Choir:


Teenage Chainsaw:

Infernal Stronghold:

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