OFF!/Trash Talk/Cerebral Ballzy
Santos Party House
Saturday, March 26
Saturday night at Santos, hardcore-elders OFF! played alongside Trash Talk, one of their more ferocious descendents. Stylistic nuances aside, both bands are characterized by a raw aggression that explodes in live performance, and it’s a sight to see. The show was sold out and the line snaked around the corner (Cerebral Ballzy: from the sidewalk, bros, you killed it).
The experience of seeing OFF! is half spent bracing for flying bodies, half spent waiting for Keith Morris to stop talking. No disrespect to Morris, who is O.G. after all–OFF! even has the Pettibon merch–but the way his extended monologues about how he can’t sleep, his age (55), or the events of September 11th interrupt the ebb and flow in the energy level gets tedious. It feels like seeing Patti Smith, or having unsatisfying sex. During one of these breaks, guitarist Dimitri Coats (from Burning Brides) walked over and sat down on the side-stage. “Play a song,” yelled someone in the crowd.
Trash Talk, a thrashcore act who originated in Sacramento circa 2005, has managed to gain attention in the last couple of years far beyond a crowd who knows what “powerviolence” means. One quick and easy example: a google search for “trash talk band” yields a page-one hit from NME entitled “Kelis, Trash Talk, Band of Horses.” If you’re at all familiar with Trash Talk, the humor of this newfound quasi-mainstream context should be apparent. All the attention is not unwarranted though; towering frontman Lee Spielman has a presence that’s both alluring and unsettling, and their shows are a force to be reckoned with–Spielman is usually bleeding. At a Texas Trash Talk show we attended in the past week, he introduced a new bassist, a replacement for one who was currently in the hospital after getting “stabbed over some white supremacist bullshit.” And the party rages on.