Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Southern Queers, Benson and Meteor Smash at Fennario's

There is a strange poetry to the American underground, the kind of thing that hopelessly single romantics like myself find ourselves getting lost in. The charm of a place like Fennarios with its all ages shows and crop of regulars is stunning and helps to define the local scene, so of course I value any and all chances I get to go out and worship at the altar of these regionally famous stomping grounds. The point is - Fennario's, and there two sound guys, quasi-legends Justin Wilson and Nick Brower helps to cement suburban punk music in West Chester.

Meteor Smash were up first, and though I've seen these guys more times than I care to remember I'm still in love with what they do. Their almost Suicidal Tendencies like sound is the kind of thing that you find yourself digging in too and falling endlessly in love with. They bring forth crushing riffs with a few doomy moments that make the whole thing triumphant. Seriously - Meteor Smash could easily make it as a doom band. Yet to deny their hardcore roots would be a travesty in its own right, and their fun, slightly over the top stage presence makes them veritable staples of the suburban scene, even if they've only been around for a few months.

I found myself falling in love with Benson simply because they represent all the sweetness and triumphant shittiness of suburban punk rock. Suburban punk isn't supposed to be 'good' and Benson get that. By acknowledging that they are essentially a crappy Modern Baseball they manage to become transcendent. There is something almost mesmerizing about what these guys do, they are truly excellent at their craft as stripped down as it might be. Benson are dudes you went to high school with and watching them bring the party on stage is an endlessly rewarding experience that will have you reveling in the true power of punk rock.

Speaking of which, Southern Queers are another band who seem to reflect the strange innocence that punk can have. With a singer who literally has polka dotted hair Southern Queers left me with a lot of questions. Yet their distinct brand of grimy punk rock in the grand old style captured my heart. They're doing stuff you've heard before but that's part of the beauty of it. They have a distinct visual aesthetic and represent a lot of interesting visual conflicts. Their cross dressing frontman with a strangely giggly strange presence gives this two piece an overall queerness that is actually really fascinating and well done proving that punk rock remains a place where this kind of exploration can push boundaries and help all society.

I write this now half drunk and preparing to go practice some guitar before crashing out. I have no clue what state I'm sleeping in tomorrow and if I'll even be able to get all my hours in at work this week, but fuck it - nights like these are what I truly live for. Punk rock is essential to the lifeblood of America as it keeps those of us too weird to live, but too rare to die trudging forth, searching for hope in a world of shit. There is a way out, and it dangles right before us, a path forward that will allow us to transcend.

Find some of the bands on Facebook!

Meteor Smash:

Southern Queers:

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