Thurs. Mar. 3: Punk rawk rolls into Phog for pint and poutine
One of the ways you can tell a scene is on the up is when the venue’s genre lines are blurred. When you see metal guys at pop shows, or folk singers at punk shows, etc., it’s an indicator that people are transcending genre preference for talent preference, which translates that the scene is healthy.
One of the venues that subscribes to this is Phog Lounge, who in the past year have added a lot more acts outside their norm, such as hip-hop, metal and punk rock. This Thursday marks a full on punk show of varying degrees, led by a couple bands from Montreal.
Old School Politics are a Quebec punk-pop band who have been around for about six years and though they may have started rough around the edges, they’ve polished up quite nicely. Their sound is reminiscent of California punk like NOFX, pre-Dookie Green Day or early Blink 182. And while vocally they remain in the safety of the pop-punk melodica, at times their guitars stray to the outer rim where they tread just a little bit into the Bad Religion marshlands (such as on the track “Got It”). Their sound is that of a punk band growing up, when the anger is turning into joy of playing well crafted songs instead of just making a racket, when the revolution is more about positive empowerment than just reckless abandon.
The Hunters are another Quebec punk band whose sound reeks of a found maturity. The punk angst is still there but their musical appreciation is akin to Windsor’s own Orphan Choir, in that it seems to have amalgamated their original punk rawk DIY ethic and absorbed in other found music stylings into their pantheon. Their sound swirls with throw back sounds that are as much The Clash via Combat Rock as they are street punk. These guys have been work horses the past few years, sharing the stage with many of punk rock’s heavy weights, such as Bad Religion, Agnostic Front, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Mustard Plug, Subhumans and more, including a stint on the Vans Warped tour.
Opening the stage are two local punk bands from different sides of the street. The Nefidovs are one of the scene’s fast rising star (they’re on the February FREE Music Sampler), incorporating a punk rock credos with a ska vibe and one hell of a live show (as witnessed last Friday when they opened for the Benito Band and FourLetterWord at The FM Lounge). Starting things off are The Rowley Estate. Think if Orphan Choir had stayed more traditional head on street punk with a touch of the Oi! gang vocals. These guys are still running on piss and vinegar and sometimes you need to be reminded of what it meant to be punk rock in the first place.
This is a great line-up that shows four very different punk bands at different stages of their development, which will only benefit them all. The veterans will feel the hunger of the young ones nipping at their heels and reminding them of their roots, while the younger bands will see the result of what a good polishing can do to any genre.
Old School Politics and The Hunters with special guests The Nefidovs and The Rowley Estate, Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West), Doors 8pm, 19+, $5