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Words and Photos: Militarie Gun / Spine / World I Hate at 22/32

Militarie Gun at 22/32. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: November 6, 2021

22/32 - Kansas City, MO

Militarie Gun was one of the DIY hardcore scene's most buzzed-about bands during the pandemic after releasing its debut EP, My Life Is Over, last September. After two additional EPs and a couple secret shows in Los Angeles this year, the band set out on its first American tour and made a stop in Kansas City on Saturday night. The band is nearing the end of its month and a half on the road and it was evident that they're tour-tight as can be.

Due to the previously booked record store venue backing out and despite the fact that a chunk of this tour is taking place at small clubs, Saturday night's gig ended up in a basement on the city's East Side. The result was roughly 100 punks, hardcore kids, and other curious onlookers bouncing along to the gloriously punchy post-hardcore of Militarie Gun for 20 straight minutes. Friends in the front row had to stand guard to make sure the guitarists' pedals weren't stomped on, but that's a good problem, right? More anxious than enraged, Militarie Gun offered a catharsis more unique and artful than many acts the scene produces. That catharsis looked like fans shouting along, hands and fists punching the air in front of them in rhythm, and the humidity created by the close quarters turning into a visible mist hovering under the basement's low ceiling. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

Preceding Militarie Gun came a set from their friends in Spine (Militarie Gun features vocalist Ian Shelton of Regional Justice Center, past tour mates of Spine). It was the band's first performance in two years and its first since releasing two EPs, L.O.V. and Himnos Mambises, in the time that had elapsed. Singer Antonio Marquez cordially invited attendees to move up to the front and promised (perhaps with his fingers crossed behind his back) that there wouldn't be any of that moshing stuff. Of course, the result of any Spine set is sheer chaos and as the salsa music intro faded, the band hit its first notes and there was a whole lot of that moshing stuff. Vicious as ever, the band tore through its brief set, pausing only for a couple more salsa samples and an impassioned speech from Marquez about the recent political turmoil in Cuba, testifying to how he has been gaslit by white Americans who know little to nothing about his family's ancestral home. The band is set to complete its next LP before the year is over.


The gig was opened by Milwaukee hardcore band World I Hate. If you couldn't guess by the band name, they're not ones to mince words. The band screamed for the crowd to mosh, resulting in a cloud of literal dust being kicked up as dancers stomped on a patch of crumbling cement in the middle of the basement's floor. One song was prefaced by a rant (statistics cited) about the greed and power of D.C. politicians.

[This show was booked and presented by Shuttlecock.]

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