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Words and Photos: Dare / D.Y.E. at 7th Heaven

Dare at 7th Heaven. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.

Date: November 2, 2021

7th Heaven - Kansas City, MO

Kansas City is far from a mecca for straight edge hardcore. The last release from a local straight edge act, unless I'm forgetting any, came in the form of a split 7" that included Contrast in 2018 (the group soonafter disbanded and at least one member has broken edge since). Before that, we'd have a straight edge record or demo maybe once every year or two. Despite this, roughly 75 punk and hardcore fans came out for an early evening, all ages gig in the 7th Heaven basement featuring Orange County straight edge torchbearers Dare. The band signed this year to the legendary Revelation Records, formerly based on the East Coast, now the West, home to some of the most iconic records in the genre. Southern California, known for its surf and skate culture and fast, snotty takes on punk rock, had its share of straight edge groups back in the day (Chain Of Strength, Uniform Choice, Insted, No For An Answer), but hasn't had one make as much noise as Dare in quite some time.

Dare proved itself worthy of its bona fides on Tuesday night. There was the most moshing I've witnessed in that basement yet as the band steamrolled through its 20 minute set. Though many of the songs on its Revelation Records LP, Against All Odds, hover around two minutes, the band broke out some speedier throwbacks that showed it was still in touch with the genre's punk rock roots. Though the space wasn't full enough to facilitate a full-on dogpile, fans would often point and shout along with the band, and occasionally grab for the mic. It's impossible to say whether any impressionable youths left the room ready to abstain from drugs and alcohol, but Dare (unlike the law enforcement program of the same name) made a convincing argument.

I forgot where I first encountered it, but I always find myself repeating the phrase "punk is hardcore, hardcore is punk." I say that because both sounds, aside from their sonic similarities and historical connection, arise from feelings of inescapable dissatisfaction. Kansas City hardcore punks D.Y.E. sounded quite dissatisfied during their opening set. Not much time was wasted before a handful of creepy-crawling slam dancers got to moving as the band churned out minute-long bangers like, "If You've Got It," which, ironically enough, seems to be a song where singer Austin Fetterolf is soliciting multiple different substances for his abuse. Like I said, two sides of the same coin.

[This show was booked and presented by Shuttlecock and Mickey Ortiz.]

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