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Words and Photos: Koyo / Anxious / Oxford Remedy / Perfume at recordBar

Koyo at recordBar. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: November 21, 2021

recordBar - Kansas City, MO

Koyo decided to make its own fun in Kansas City. The Long Island, New York band's melodic hardcore (tinged with emo and pop-punk influence) and their co-headliners, Connecticut's Anxious, didn't manage to pull more than 50 attendees to this Sunday night gig downtown. So, a few days from the tour's end, rather than an awkward silence filling the gaps between their blasts of galloping melody, the band welcomed a friend of the tour to stand on stage with an extra bass and mime along. One guitarist also ditched his axe to sing a song by his hardcore band Soul Provider (to the delight of a few fans in the room who had done their homework). Members of Anxious padded the front row and sang along when the mic was pointed at them. The Kansas City crowd was fully secondary, left to watch a dozen tour-bonded pals having a blast with each other, and the show was all the better for it.


Anxious plays a style of music not unlike that of Koyo, taking some of the same influences and simply rearranging them. Both bands deal mostly in clean vocal hooks and the occasional two-step rhythm, but Anxious tends to keep the tempo speedier (more early Title Fight than Gypsy). The songwriting was smart and tight (the band played multiple songs from its upcoming Run For Cover Records LP) and every punch, jump, and kick to the air in front of him that vocalist Grady Allen delivered was a thrill to watch.

Since the release of the band's first two original songs in 2019, I've pined for a gig where Oxford Remedy could impress the rest of Kansas City's hardcore scene as much as they've impressed me. This show seemed like one of the more opportune moments for that to happen given that all of the bands performing are hardcore adjacent but playing with emo, indie, pop-punk, and alt-rock influences. Fortunately, Grady from Anxious took notice, noting that he was "still picking his brain up off the floor" following Oxford's set. 


Their performance was a solid one, but not without a couple flaws that if fixed may have won them more praise. A quiet but persistent whine of feedback was present throughout the set, leaving everyone scratching their heads, unsure of its source. The band also played multiple Wolf Alice covers, and though they played them well, a young band trying to set itself apart from the crowd should usually stick to one cover at most (though perhaps they needed to pad their set time with direction from the promoter, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt). All of this being said, Oxford writes great songs and seeing the knowing eye contact and musical interplay of siblings Kate and Grace McKown is always a joy.

At the point of this show I had already seen Perfume's current set a small handful of times. Not much was different aside from this being the nicest soundsystem I'd heard them on yet (all previous times had been at record stores or in basements with no amp or drum mics). The set was another solid one and hopefully gave non-DIY heads an enjoyable introduction to the band.


[Shuttlecock was a media partner on this show.]

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