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Words and Photos: Sarin Reaper / Ozersk at the mud fight

Sarin Reaper at the mud fight. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
September 11, 2021

The mud fight - Kansas City, MO


There isn't much of a physical home for DIY punk rock in Kansas City right now, so the kids have been getting creative this summer. Following a couple larger outdoor gigs (our July 4 show in the West Bottoms and a recent generator show by the river), some local teens put together a front yard mud wrestling party at their Volker neighborhood residence and invited a few bands to play. An inflatable kiddie pool was set up in the brick driveway with a small PA and a space for the musicians to play only a few yards away.

I missed teenage black death band Purgatorium due to a prior engagement (the gig started not long after 7 P.M. and wrapped up before 10 P.M.), but Ozersk began playing shortly after I arrived. Named for Russia's lesser known "forbidden nuclear city," Ben Kuder's solo project ties together rigid drum machine beats, no wave guitar stylings, and cryptic, postmodern lyricism. None of the songs stood out much from the others and the mud pool was vacant for most of the set, but Kuder was given a polite applause from the 50 or so teens and young adults in attendance, some sitting criss-cross, some standing.

Sarin Reaper got to rocking shortly after 9 P.M. and the mud pool and a small mosh pit simultaneously came to life. Similar to my last time seeing Sarin Reaper live, the band was looser than one would have hoped, but the thrill of witnessing the nihilistic metalpunks in the driveway of a neighborhood that recently overflowed with Joe Biden yard signs and is nearly unmatched in its ability to post about "sketchy" characters on Nextdoor and Facebook had me throwing up horns in between several songs.


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