Pooched, Second Narrows, Palm Oil, Alimony and Dust Blaster at Black Lab

Pooched was heading out on a tour with a new cassette so they wrangled four other groups to play a quick show at the Black Lab. Dust Blaster opened complaining about how they didn’t understand why they were asked to play the gig because they’re “a punk band”. A somewhat arrogant humble-brag from Vancouver’s most brattish. Dust Blaster doesn’t really cool their jets regardless as to when they’re playing, who they’re playing with or any other possible situation. Eris displays herself in full destructo mode every time. Ending the set calling out the entire audience as voyeurs in the midst of a genocide outside before marching thru the back door of the stage. Feel-bad band for a feel-bad time. Dust Blaster recently remixed, remastered their demo and added some skits and noise to break-up the tracks. Check it out here if you’d like. Alimony were up next and play pretty sugary-sweet, pop punk. It’s a little subdued for my tastes and perhaps seemed even more-so after I was condemned for being an apolitical hack by the openers. There is some good charm in the band though, I like the amateurish quality of the drums as it tends to reference the cheap-easy-do-it approach of early UKDIY a bit more than Gilman/Gainsville stuff which I just can’t fuck with. Palm Oil were great and it was nice to see them after liking being stoked on the recordings. It’s far better live as well. Tina prowls the floor of the venue savagely, screaming and stomping. The band is still and lays back with heavily distorted, mid-tempo and even slow hardcore. Tina is intense and effective as a front-person. We spoke about this being one of Palm Oil’s last shows which was a bummer. See them while you can. Pooched played a mopey set of grunge-influenced, lo-fi, pop-punk. The drummer is great but the band barely plays together. Focusing more on melodies than consistency has me unable to find what an anchoring point might be for them. A perhaps unhealthy dose of slop with some good melodies. Their recordings are cool and saturated in distortion in a noisy mess that I like even if it’s not the style that I go for too often. Maybe an off show but I wasn’t feeling it. Second Narrows played what is also one of their last gigs (Legs is moving back to Ireland) and blasted out a set of tenacious pop-punk tracks. Legs always had a great voice and when they’re comfortable on stage they present well so if you’re a fan of that late 80’s early 9'0’s pop punk, especially Crimpshrine, this delivers exactly what you want. I sailed off into the sunset in a cloud of cigarettes and alcohol and was in bed by 4AM. Very nearly respectable.

If you’d like to read more about the Vancouver (and many other places) poisoned drug supply. Click here for an interview with Eris that touches on this. Photos in this article by me, Josh Nickel.