Asian Dad Black Baby make ear plugs necessary.
Last Thursday, Sackville’s most infamously condemned house venue, Patches, hosted a trio of bands that ranged from hardcore punk to metal. The proceeds of the pay-what-you-can event all went toward supporting Scott Jones, a former Mountie who was brutually attacked without provocation and paralyzed last month in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. So loud that ear plugs were provided, Loud Buttface Grunge, the brand new Asian Dad Black Baby, and GREASEBEAST whipped up a lasting mosh pit and a good show to boot.
Although hindered by some gear problems, including a broken bass string that put a delay right in the middle of the performance, the Moncton based Loud Buttface Grunge had a successful first performance in Sackville. Standing in for the traditional guitar of the average three piece punk band, a mandolin took the lead, with effect after effect layered on the tiny instrument. For the most part, it played its role nicely, even making little additions to the sound, such as a slight upward twist to the riffs, that drove their songs forward. Despite fitting right in to the kind of sound that characterizes the current trends in Sackville, the band suffered a visible anxiety about the set that led to a little bit of jitteriness and a dropped song. Their discomfort was exacerbated by a set that did not seem to be locked down to a tee, but still came across well.
The debut of Asian Dad Black Baby started off with a sound check that made ear drums shudder with glee. The first unified effort from the Sackville trio, all dressed in matching attire, was all the crowd needed to begin the happy ritual of bashing into one another in utter disregard for all sensation but the music. Their bareback, hardcore punk was remarkably raw. Pounding lyrics were repeated over the length of entire songs or with remarkable speed, made only possible by guitarist Jamie Fagan’s rap pedigree. For a first performance, they blew all expectations out of the water with the sheer power of their short, yet satisfying, set.
Moncton’s GREASEBEAST finished the show and furthered the night’s descent into hardcore, adding some black metal elements as well. Keeping the mosh pit going, the band alternated between towering crescendo with heavy, pounding instrumentation and gritty, but refined, screaming. Their music was dark, large, and lumbering, but finesse was at its core. With breathtaking experimentation, particularly through heavy guitar distortion, GREASEBEAST kept their music unconfined, unpredictable, and spontaneous and the excitement mounted through their set.
A low-ceiling concrete basement with minimal lighting could not have been a more appropriate spot for the DIY punk show. The fundraiser packed the tiny basement, coming and going with absolutely no merchandise available with which to remember it. Not that it needed it—the show was one that undoubtedly stuck out as one well-curated and well-performed.