Tag Archives: Church

Concert Review: Perfect Pussy with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Green Dreams, and +HIRS+ @ First Unitarian Church (April 25, 2014)

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Photo courtesy of Megan Matuzak/Tri State Indie. Check out the full gallery below.

By Nick Stropko

5/1/14 update: In a previous version of this post, we mistakenly misgendered the singer of +HIRS+. We sincerely apologize for the error.

I saw much hyped Perfect Pussy at the Church last week, and frankly…I was pretty disappointed. Before I get to their set, though, I’d like to highlight each of the three opening acts, all of whom I enjoyed quite a bit:

+HIRS+, the first group of the night, fit nicely into the ethos of the show (on their Facebook, they describe themselves as being “LGBTQIA, anti-authoritarian, bullshit grind-noise-thrash with PUNK ethics. NO GODS//NO COPS//NO BROS,” which pretty much sums it up). The Philadelphia duo is comprised of a singer, who convincingly screams bloody horror, and a guitar player who shreds along with pulverizing programmed drums. Their short songs are punctuated by found audio recordings that run the gamut from amusing to disturbing. I found their set to be impressive in its sheer volume, energy, and force; the duo maintained an impressive stage presence, pretty much battering the crowd with their sonic onslaught. I dug ‘em. Check out an in-studio they did in WKDU a few years back.

Green Dreams, hailing from Rochester, played a more straightforward hardcore punk set. Regardless, they were impressively tight and boasted some really solid songs. I also majorly enjoyed lead singer Jesse’s vocal delivery—it’s satisfyingly shouty while conveying a fittingly bratty, insolent attitude. Look out for them—they’ve definitely got something here.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan was probably my favorite act of the night. Donning decorative face paint, Chinese silk robes, and bathing themselves in bright white light, Yamantanka // Sonic Titan’s stage presence was something to behold. They meld a variety of disparate genres into a coherent, encompassing vision; throughout their set, I got hints of late-70’s Bowie and some of the darker stuff off Queen II in addition to the more overt stoner/sludge metal and Eastern influences. Able performers, I was equally impressed with their instrumental prowess (there was some killer organ going on) and distinctive stage set-up. Check ‘em out.

All right, so that leaves Syracuse-based headliners Perfect Pussy. I like their new record, Say Yes to Love. Lead singer Merideth Grave’s unhinged shouting pairs very nicely with the feedback laden, low-fi punk instrumentals. However, the elements that make their record an addictingly visceral listen just weren’t there that night. Instead, the Church was enveloped in an overwhelming, ear-shattering wall of feedback. I felt like I was about 50 years old (quick aside—shout out to all the old dudes at the Church with their kids…you all rule) when I asked my friend if she thought the band was having sound problems, or it was intentional. Perhaps they were trying to up the hard-hittingness of their sound with the added noise, but it really just bowled over the tenuous line between melody and raucous din that the band so successfully straddles on their debut record. I really wanted to like their set—the band performed with a reckless abandon on the floor of the Church (hoping to recreate the egalitarian energy of house shows, I presume), but I just couldn’t get beyond the noise.

For additional coverage, check out the gallery below and Megan’s awesome work at Tri State Indie.

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One of the BEST Moments of My Life at a Show

By Maeve Walker

I went to see Bomb the Music Industry at the church – it was maybe my second or third time seeing them. Not only are they are great band recorded, they are even more fun live. I was with a few friends, who also knew how much I liked them.

Never in my life had I ever crowd-surfed. Ever. It’s pretty scary, in theory. You’re up in the air, all willy-nilly, leaving your fate up to the crowd to carry you or let you fall. It’s not something that I normally would be interested in.

Bomb the Music Industry has a song “Sort of Like Being Pumped,” – it’s the final song on my favorite album, Scrambles. My friend, Jake, said that they don’t usually play that song (which bummed me out because it was my favorite song at the time).

Towards the end of the show, with only a few songs left, Jeff Rosenstock started playing the guitar riff of the song. My heart started beating really fast and soon I was singing stupidly with happiness.

Jake is pretty well known in Philly. He’s a larger than life person, in all aspects of the word. He probably saw my face light up and got an idea in his head – to throw me into the air unexpectedly at the big climax of the song.

As the song continues, we are near the middle of the crowd – if you know me, you know I like to be far away from crazy people running around because I typically wear glasses and am a girl that bruises easily. I like to watch the action from a safe distance.

The pivotal moment – the song is about to hit the big finale:

“IT’S BEEN A LONG DAMN WEEK WE GOTTA REST OUR TIRED FEET…”

Boom.

Jake takes me around the waist and chucks me into the air.

I’m on top of the crowd.

And I kid you not, confetti cannons go off, streamers fly through the air. Champange bottles are popped onstage.

It was like that exact moment was MADE for me to make my way towards the band, being carried by the crowd.

It was truly one of the most surreal moments of my life. I will never forget the song, the band, the streamers – the super ecstatic feeling of being on top of the world, totally immersed in a great song and band.

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Concert Review: Tigers Jaw @ First Unitarian Church (June 21, 2013)

Image courtesy of Run For Cover Records

Image courtesy of Run For Cover Records

By Nick Sukiennik

At this point, I can’t even remember how many times I’ve seen Tigers Jaw (maybe five?). Back in high school, I’d venture into the city to catch them at small venues like The Fire and Ava House. They would frequently play with another group of my favorite local emo-punks, Algernon Cadwallader. It was those shows that foreshadowed, and perhaps even sparked the fuse that led to my current musical tastes.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d still be able to appreciate Tigers Jaw as I used to, and was concerned that I’d feel nostalgic at best. However, it turned out that their music resonated with me just as much, if not even more, than it did before.

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