Psycho Las Vegas has grown and evolved over the years and has shaken off any comparisons to niche European fests and your traditional US fest, itself having no close comparisons, and being its own beast. Having everything under one roof including your stay can lead to late and debaucherous nights for some, packed and planned diverse schedules for the devout, a little compromise of both for others, but an all around good time for all. For a journalist working the fest, it goes by in a blur but you still experience having those stand out moments as well as highlights of your own. Continue reading
Danzig has been named as the final headliner of Psycho Las Vegas 2018. The fest will take place from August 17th-19th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
As Ghost Cult announced last week the 2018 Psycho Las Vegas festival will be taking place from August 17th-19th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The lineup promised to be a banger, with one notable change, Young And In The Way (YAITW) have canceled their appearance at the fest due to their impending breakup. They were to have played the pre-festival pool party event on August 16th. The festival will announce a replacement soon. Continue reading
Barely a year old, Ohio’s Crypt Rot come crawling from their coffin-sized grave with Embryonic Devils (Southern Lord). It’s a fitting name for an album by former members of Ohio’s Homewrecker, as these guys are like little baby demons, with decent potential, who haven’t quite grown out of their flaming, sulfur-stinking diapers just yet.Continue reading
The Middle East Night Club in Cambridge, MA continues to be a venue that holds some of my most memorable shows. November 27th would be another show I would not soon forget either but I am still undecided if it is a good memory or a bad one. On one hand, I was seeing Twitching Tongues, Harm’s Way, Homewrecker, and Malice at the Palace all for the first time. On the other hand, ignorant Merrimack Valley Hardcore kids who treat a show like a turf war.
As much as I enjoy having a free-rein on how I write for Ghost Cult, I do not abuse it. However, I need to get something off of my chest about the local opener, Threshold. First and foremost, on a musical stand point, they have that very typical hardcore sound that really does not blow anybody away, but at least they do an alright job with it. I clapped at the end of their set and almost walked up to the lead singer to shake his hand. He looked a little angry about something, I was assuming stress of being the opener and having to pack up the gear quickly. Little did I know, him and his cohort of thug friends were in the process of jumping one of my friends over pit drama. Yes, fucking pit drama. My friend got his lip split open and another friend of mine jumped in just to separate the four white trash scumbags from delivering anymore cheap shots. If you are reading this and book shows or are an owner of a venue in the New England area, do not book Threshold from the Merrimack Valley area in MA. They do not attract a crowd nor do they keep a crowd in-house because they would rather jump them after a set. If you want to fight, fight like a man, not a stereotypical brocore pussy. You are a disgrace.
Moving on. Fuming Mouth was up next which has become one of my favorites from the Boston scene. They have that nice balance between crust, hardcore, and metal that attracts everybody to the show. If you get a chance to see these guys crank out a quick 20 minute set, get to the venue early to catch them!
Malice at the Palace was up next on this night. As I only dabble in the world of hardcore, I was not aware of what this band was like. After a few songs it became apparent to me that these guys had a strong Slayer influence (nothing wrong with that!) and still kept the hardcore soul in their sound via the vocalist. I certainly will be keeping my eyes open for the next time this group comes around.
Up next was Homewrecker to which I kicked myself pretty hard learning I missed them at Maryland Deathfest this year. The Ohio natives were one of the outliers in the lineup as they are a powerviolence band who cater to fans of crust punk, grindcore, and me. Watching the hardcore kids stand around during chaotic passages of songs, looking confused easily made my night. Don’t be an idiot like I was at MDF this year, catch Homewrecker the next time they are in your area.
One of my favorite found gems of this year, Harm’s Way, hit the stage next. To be completely transparent, this band was the whole reason I even wanted to come out to this show. Oh and of course the macho man fights continued during their set. Two fights broke out, the first actually cutting ‘Law of the Land’ short. The Cambridge crowd got a nice mix of newer tracks from Rust like ‘Amongst the Rust’ and ‘Cancerous Ways’. Some other tracks included opener, ‘Scrambled’ as well as one of my favorites, ‘Mind Control’. I will certainly be getting to more Harm’s Way shows in an effort to see more of them as eight songs was simply not enough for me.
Finally, Twitching Tongues made their way to the stage to close out the night. This was my first time ever listening to the headliners and I was not ready for the clean vocals. I guess it was just a complete polar opposite as to what I had been listening to all evening and as to what I was expecting. The lead singer kept the crowd engaged as everyone crowded the front through the entire set shouting lyrics back into the microphone. That, to me, makes you a successful live band and I gladly tip my hat to Twitching Tongues.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
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On Saturday at This Is Hardcore we got an awesome all-day lineup with Brooklyn’s Biohazard killing it still. Pennsylvania’s own Wisdom In Chains played, who are a fan favorite and a gift every year. Mad Joe even gave us the gift of telling us he was going to be a father again. New Jersey’s Lifleless is a band that is making the east coast look amazing again for hardcore. If you haven’t heard Dream it’s a must to own.
Sand of Japan came close to stealing the show. Makoto, their lead singer is wilder than Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan. It was sad to see Philly’s Rock Bottom come to an end, but they were amazing. The guys basically threw a party and chucked a bunch of toilet paper around the Electric Factory the whole set. It was actually pretty fun. Xibalba from Los Angeles is the band that is bringing hardcore and metal to the extreme. I think to me they remind me of the 90’s Swedish Death Metal bands. Turnstile killed it. In my mind Nonstop Feeling is the best album of 2015. Bane, those Boston boys, will always hold this festival night down. They “won” This Is Hardcore 2K15 to me. It’s sad to see a band who mattered in hardcore to me since 2000 call it to an end.
On Sunday the winners for the fest were Foreseen (HKI) from Finland. If you are a D.R.I. & Municipal Waste fan, bands like Foreseen are the best. I definitely thrashed like an athlete. You also had Twitching Tongues who to me is the most metallic hardcore band out there. Tongues also recently signed to Metal Blade Records. They are a game changer in heavy music. All Out War also played Sunday and featuring some songs off the new EP which I have to say is heavy. All Out War is a great band. Their moshers are wild and as a band they are a must to see. H2O killed Sunday night for me. Toby Morse playing a 20th Anniversary set and getting friends and family to come up and sing with him on songs. Of course The Exploited from the U.K. who I say kicked arse. They still are there to prove “punk is not dead.”
Besides the music at This Is Hardcore, you have food trucks all over the fest. Distros of all kinds like Shop Shogun, Bridge Nine, Deathwish, Fast Break Records, and Harvcore Records. And even apparel like American Straight Edge Apparel. There’s also SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) Demo Fighting in the parking lot so if you want to fight like a knight or a viking. it’s the right place to do it. This is Hardcore is a fest that is important to this city. The fact that this fest moved from a small venue to the biggest venue in Philly, proves something. It was even heart-warming to hear that Joe Hardcore proposed to his longtime girlfriend Jessica Parr here. I have to say that this fest has something for everyone. It’s cool to see how packed it was for days like Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. When I look back at all the fests I’ve gone to, this is the one I approve at all costs. If you haven’t been here you’re missing out.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The city of brotherly love, cheesesteaks. Rocky Balboa, and the almighty This Is Hardcore Fest, the biggest music festival on the east coast that supports the hardcore and punk. Joe Hardcore McKay started this fest 9 and he still does not disappoint. The first day of the fest this year was held at Union Transfer in Philly. The other three days were held at The Electric Factory (very close to The Transfer). Day one the fest had reunions and goodbyes. Buffalo New York’s Snapcase headlined this day. Singer Daryl Taberski said to the crowd Thursday Night “It’s great to perform to old fans and new fans”. The great vegan/straight edge band Chokehold from Canada also had reunited at This Is Hardcore. Not only did they co-headline the first day, but they also played an after show at the Voltage Lounge the next night. The sad part about Thursday was saying goodbye to Foundation, probably one of the most promising hardcore bands in this decade.
We also some great friends and hometown heroes in Agitator. They were ready to call it quits and I for one say it was great Joe Hardcore put them on this bill. I heard Joe say a month ago on The Post America Podcast “It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t put them on”. One band who stole the show that to me was Code Orange. Code Orange is one of the best bands out of the keystone state. The album I Am King (Deathwish Inc.) is a must own. The fact they came off Mayhem Festival and played this and not to mention all surprise guest vocalists to sing including Jeremy Tingle of Lifeless. It was a must see show. It will be amazing when Sunny Singh of Hate5six.com posts that set.
On Friday there were a lot of main event heavy hitters especially the main event. Another reunion that is very important to talk about here. Boston’s American Nightmare (AKA Give Up The Ghost) headlined and made it beautiful. The band played probably one of their greatest sets out of all the reunion shows they’ve done so far. I’ve seen some footage of the Boston and New York shows they played, but tonight they amazed me. Being an American Nightmare fan since my junior year of high school, and now getting to see them thirteen years later, I felt like a kid again.
Another band that impressed me was Seoul, South Korea’s The Geeks. One of the best hardcore bands to graceful the U.S. surface in a minute. They definitely know how to get a crowd going. So does Cruel Hand of Portland Maine. They are that metallic hardcore band who can take the heaviest breakdown into the most thrashy beat to blast. It’s very much it’s a party when they play. Friday also featured power violence band Nails, who also made me a fan.