Ads Top

Words and Photos: Big Laugh / Direct Threat / P.S.Y.W.A.R. / Foil at The Fix

Big Laugh at The Fix. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: December 18, 2021

The Fix - Kansas City, MO

Kansas City was the penultimate stop for Big Laugh's three week tour of the American West and Midwest. The Milwaukee band first played in our town just two months before the pandemic hit. Since gigs got rolling again this past summer, they have had to cancel two separate trips here, so third time's a charm I suppose. The house venue that was set to hold this show had to cancel its shows this week, but luckily E. 31st plant-based eatery The Fix saved the day and graciously provided a space. (As far as I know, no restaurant property was damaged. Kansas City can do something right every now and again.)

Big Laugh's set (clocking in somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes -- the correct amount of time for a hardcore punk set) was one of the rowdiest that Kansas City has seen post-COVID. The band's sound lands somewhere in the territory of Hardcore For Punk Fans, so in addition to the occasional, brief pogo part, you'd get a New York hardcore-style mosh part, only played at a faster clip than your Revelation Records favorites. (Though I haven't seen any sort of official announcements, the Rev Records logo was present on the bottom of the tour flyer and on the sleeves of a new Big Laugh tee. An interview with Rev's Adam Lentz on No Echo included praise for Big Laugh's 11 PM Records 7", so my guess is Rev will be putting out the band's next record. Exciting news if so.) Each song was performed with razor-like precision. This set was well worth the wait.

Joining Big Laugh on the final three dates of the tour was Denver's Direct Threat. This band released its self-titled debut EP on cassette via Iron Lung Records earlier this year, which is impressive considering most band's have at least one release under their belt before being picked up by Iron Lung. Kansas Citians unacquainted with the band's stompy, brute-force hardcore got acquainted pretty quickly during the evening's final set (ending around 10:30 P.M). Direct Threat, opting for heft over speed, delivered a 10-15 minute set of oi!-tinged hardcore punk that prompted side-to-side moshing, a shout-along or two, and one hardcore youth bleeding from the forehead after slamming into the bassist's headstock. (Maybe this makes me an irresponsible asshole edgelord or something, but a friend and I recently agreed it had been too long since we'd seen someone bleeding at a punk show. It was kind of the norm 10 years ago. Time to finally reset the Days Since Last Accident sign.)

This show marked the second local appearance of P.S.Y.W.A.R., a band featuring two members from Denver (both also play in Direct Threat) and two from Kansas City. The group self-released its (mean as hell) demo earlier this year and is set to release a 7" on a proper hardcore label next year (I'm unsure if I'm allowed to disclose which label). Though the performance was a hair less polished than the two bands that would follow them (who both have more recent gigs under their belt), this was fully made up for by the chilling performance of vocalist Matthew Ryan. He had mentioned to me before how people have complimented him on the wild look he gets in his eyes when he performs in P.S.Y.W.A.R. and I have no choice but to concur.

A sizable crowd had already gathered at The Fix by 8 P.M. (I'd guess attendance was somewhere around 75), so Foil got to jamming not long after. The trio, only a handful of shows into its time as a full band, is still working graduate from its Sloppy Era, but that didn't stop a gaggle of young punks from slamming in the shop's relatively cramped quarters (one friend of the band had to have his nose popped back into place). The set, like at the Hotline TNT show, was closed with a cover of The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog," which was fun to hear from a group of teens and early-20-somethings, performed with a bit of a hardcore bite to it.

Click here to view the full photo gallery.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.