Work ended. I rushed home and popped my leftover pizza into the microwave. As I tore through my dinner, I heard screaming from the living room, my housemate Dave was watching the end of Evil Dead II in which nearly a city's worth of zombies get electrocuted. Then, I jumped into my car with another housemate, Zack, and we trekked to the Charm City Art Space in Baltimore for a show featuring straight-edge and grindcore bands.
My theme needs to be "better late than never," because, despite the rush, I still managed to miss most of the first band, Eddie Brock. As I fished money out of my wallet to pay the $8 cover, I heard screaming vocals rising above a loud, distorted guitar. I walked toward the stage, the band put down their instruments, and people started funneling outside.
I ran into Pat almost immediately, who announced that he was starving. So, we walked a few blocks with another friend, Walker, to a nearby sushi restaurant, where Pat loaded up on shiitake mushroom sushi and inari. Although he and Walker ordered carryout, the restaurant took a while preparing everything and we missed the second opening band.
We returned to Charm City as Coke Bust was starting their set. When DRI played in Baltimore in December, Nicktape, the singer of Coke Bust, took a stage dive and crashed onto the cement floor, spraining his leg. While he hobbled and grimaced over the next few weeks, he kept telling me that he'd stage dive again to that DRI song if he had it to do over, because the song was that intense. That's the hardcore warrior mentality that Nick injects into his singing. He wants his band to play at a breakneck pace. Last night, Coke Bust succeeded, offering an unrelenting, straight-edge musical assault.
Then, Harm's Way, on tour from Chicago, took the stage. Calling their singer muscular is an understatement. The man's arms are bigger than my thigh and his thigh is bigger than my waist. My friend Jason said "slow mosh." I guess they qualify as a metal-influenced, straight-edge band.
Finally, Magrudergrind, a trio from DC, played. I've heard different people call this band both catchy and brutal, which are words not usually used to describe the same band. They spew forth noise, which satisfies people seeking "brutal", but they also break in the right places. Magrudergrind shares a drummer with Coke Bust, Chris Moore. His drumming is phenomenal. He is a master of tempo, shifting effortlessly between blast beats and a more straightforward rock sound. He holds the wildness of the guitar and singer together in Magrudergrind, giving what would otherwise be chaos a unity and momentum. Magrudergrind tore through their set, because all shows on weeknights at Charm City need to be over by midnight.