Tuesday, February 28, 2012

English Dogs-Key Club,Hollywood CA, 2/24/12

Last minute show. A perfect blend of punk rock and heavy metal. This tour was a big deal due to UK82/Crossover thrash legends English Dogs. Just like T.S.O.L., English Beat and Dr. Know. There are two bands using the English Dogs name, the one I had seen was original guitarist, John Murray's line up, which is all the members that played in the crossover album, "Forward Into Battle". The other one with original singer, Wakey, still plays the punk hits and continues to record. Don't think they'll play America anytime soon.

I arrived late so I missed the two opening bands. One of the bands I missed was local D-Beat/Crust band, D.I.S. (Destroyed in Seconds). I've reviewed em' twice before, as well as the singer, Jon's, other two Grindcore bands "Panties" and "The Dolemite Project." Before I got a chance to introduce myself, Jon asked me, "Are you Turtle Boy? We've never met, but I've read your blogs." I was amazed, usually the bands that know I review them already know who I am. I complimented his bands, and he thanked me. He offered me pins but he had run out already. I've told you guys twice already to get D.I.S.'s first album (W/O Jon), Critical Failure, new tunes with Jon up on Facebook, new release to come soon! Also, check out Panties and the now defunct Dolemite Project.

The first touring band, Havok, hit the stage. Right away they got me and the metal heads headbanging. The pit was rowdy, full of thrashers and even some punks joined in for the hell of it. Havok, from Colorado, are part of the new wave of thrash. I've only heard the "PWN EM' ALL" EP, but since have had two full length albums (Burn and Time's Up), which have made a name of themselves getting on big tours like theirs with songs about destruction and Anti-Hardcore dancing, it's hard not to find these dudes fun. Big future ahead for them. They deserve it.

When people talk about "new modern thrash" bands, one of the first ones they mention is Portland, Oregon's blackened thrashers, Toxic Holocaust. The one man band project, formed by Joel Grind, recently became a trio with their recent release "Conjure and Command". As soon as they started playing a bunch of kids, including myself, sang along to the lyrics to "Wild Dogs" and "Nuke the Cross", it was still amazing even after seeing them two times before. Joel kept mentioning to the crowd how great it was seeing punks and metal heads together , and that's what inspired him to start Toxic Holocaust (they have a huge D-Beat/UK82 influence). Finally stage diving and screaming along to the songs like "666", "Lord of the Wasteland" and "War is Hell". They ended the set with "Bitch". Another great set.

Toxic Holocaust
Most metal heads moved aside and a bunch of mohawks and spikes packed the floor for The Casualties. Younger kids were talking among themselves about how excited they were (I first seen em' when I was 16). The speaker started playing the theme song to the classic cult film "The Warriors". They started with songs like "Under Attack" and "Static Feedback and Noise". Right there and then I somehow remembered all the lyrics (haven't listened to them since the Gwar show). The band invited us on stage, after that being said, kids jumped left and right off stage and flew off, including yours truly. Some kids stood on stage to sing along, the band didn't mind one bit. This insane set would not end, my voice got soar singing along to classics like "Punk Rock Love", "Tomorrow Belongs to Us", their ode to The Ramones, "Made in NYC" and a Motorhead cover "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.". Singer, Jorge, invited a girl on stage who he got in case she spent all her money on her little sister for the show for her birthday, after talking about how they were glad to be on a metal tour. They did an intro to Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills". Some punk next to me had the most clueless face as if he had never heard the song before. They finished the set off with a title track with their latest album "We Are All We Have". Though they have been bad mouthed in the past, with poser punks and immature lyrics, I still respect these NYC street punks. They were one of the first punk bands I'd ever gotten into. Breaking my glasses was totally worth it.

The Casualties
English Dogs got on stage without hesitation, I'm pretty sure most of the audience didn't expect to be in for the crossover ED. Some thrashers began headbanging, while few punks began pitting. They played songs like "False Profit". The pit got huge and everyone was crowd surfing again. They also praised the punk/metal community, John Murray's guitar playing was excellent, while Aide's vocals were great. Very few punk bands that go metal can succeed (D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies), while some fail (Exploited, Verbal Abuse). Aide pulled it off great. By now they were winning the metal heads attention, they finished the set and then returned with punk hit "Psycho Killer", and suddenly the punks were won over too. It was great seeing this legendary band tour in America. For punk fans, I recommend the album "Invasion of the Porkymen" and to metal heads "Forward Into Battle"

English Dogs


MsChe said...

That's too bad about your glasses. Keep writing. You're going to do big things.

CVEckian said...

That was a great synopsis on what had to have been a unique show indeed. Makes me miss the days when the Aragon Ballroom, Cubby Bear, and Thirsty Whale were just a subway/bus ride away. Of course they didn't merge genres to such an extent back towards the infancy of metal.

Keep up the great work and throw a few elbows for me the next go-around.