Ragtag Ruffians with a Generally Disgusting Aura
By A. J. UrquidiFebruary 10, 2024
This weekend, I was catching up with my old roommate God, an entitled prick. After a few Jägerbombs, He confided in me: “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” And what was Mr. Judgmental gonna do about it? Apparently, “bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh” so “every thing that is in the earth shall die.” And it was so. He called in a few favors, and before I could remind Him that we’d planned to walk over to the grind/noise-rock showcase at Long Beach’s Supply and Demand on Monday night, a mile of atmospheric river deluge separated us from the venue. But the Great Flood couldn’t dampen our verve—we hadn’t seen sunlight in two days, and garages were becoming gravy caves in a muddy Studio City, so a punk club full of caterwauling masochists seemed as safe a sanctuary as any.
The evening’s first act, tudors, set the bar high with POC rage, leveling nearly as much loathing at themselves as they did at abusive parents or racist cops. This trio consists of higher-ed teachers/tutors by day (hence the cheeky moniker), certified feedback-freaks by night. Picture the pre-Skynet hoodlums who greet the Terminator upon nude arrival in 1984, but all grown up and trading Fugazi cassettes at community college. During their set, guitarist/vocalist Marcus Clayton engaged in hammy behind-the-head tremolo-picking while bassist/vocalist David Diaz unhinged his jaw to unleash yogurt-curdling screams, both by some miracle locking in with drummer Chris Page’s sociopathic grooves. During the changeover, I asked God His favorite track: I guess post-hardcore dronefest “Maybe Everything I Thought Was Complicated Was Just Super Fucking Pointless” spoke to Him. Amen, pal.
Major highlight of the night: Locals overflowed the bar to catch Denver’s self-described “doug rock” troupe Quits, a noise group that, on paper, seemed more hinged than their lineup peers. In actuality, their slimy-riffing multilayered distortion attack buzz-sawed my inner ear and gifted me tinnitus for next morning’s Zoom meetings. Front-man Lucius Fairchild, the spitting image of Karl Marx committing workplace homicide, yelped like Rumpelstiltskin over doom-warbled waves of dissonant yet melodic sludge, with a hint of Kyuss desert swagger. We bought their LP without a second thought. God, still pretty buzzed, joked that Fairchild’s ragtag ruffians could be mistaken for the night crew maintaining a Blockbuster franchise on its last leg, but they all looked like shift supervisors to me. And that’s no way to keep a store in business.
The two other bands (Dross, “Long Beach Hurtcore”; Glut, L.A. “bedroom screamo”) scared the ever-loving doodoo out of me. I’m too milquetoast for being whacked on the shoulder full force with a grimy boot on a work night, I tell ya what. Dross wore monogrammed white coveralls and roared Baphometically over snappy death jingles at impossible speed, all while the vocalist ran around the room punching everyone. Their see-through guitar and transparent drum kit, combined with a generally disgusting aura, reminded me of a childhood trauma: when I stumbled on Hollow Man’s shit-CGI scene where an invisible gorilla decapitates a writhing rat. God dug the Satanic homeboys’ sing-along See You Next Tuesday cover (He and the Luciferians have a kind of enemies-to-lovers thing going).
Glut’s witty, defeatist screamer, conversely, self-flagellated with the microphone while crying real tears, dove head-first into the concrete floor, and hid under the stage in a fetal ball. The tortured singer aimed to transfer his internal damnation to the audience, and I could feel it moving through me, though God judged the penance a bit ostentatious. The wailing stuntman eventually departed with blood raining from his gouged temple, while God and I stumbled out into the flood, Him puking in the storm drain and me soiled with guilt and loogies, wearing our corrupted flesh like a badge of honor.
Photo of Dross performing onstage by contributor.
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