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Words and Photos: Drain / Pain Of Truth / Ingrown / Spine at Encore

Drain. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: March 9, 2022

Encore - Kansas City, MO

What looked to be nearly 200 hardcore fans, young and old, assembled at Encore last week to receive one of the genre's most stacked touring packages of the year. The evening was headlined by Santa Cruz, California's Drain; a band riding high off their 2020 Revelation Records LP California Cursed and preparing for album two following their signing to Epitaph last summer. Drain's uncomplicated but undeniably potent blend of late '80s hardcore, early '90s hardcore, and crossover thrash was even more electric live than on record. 


From the moment the band took the stage (a vintage surf rock tune played over the PA) to the set's conclusion (when roughly two dozen people attempted to dive off the tiny stage to "California Cursed"), the band was locked in and vocalist Sammy Ciaramitaro (between his screams) was all smiles, sticking his tongue out and fist bumping fans between songs. I'm not sure if the Epitaph signing gave the band a large bump or if I had just underestimated the size of their fan base previously, but people really showed up for this one.

Long Island, New York's Pain Of Truth preceded Drain. The band's style is a particularly ignorant strain of New York hardcore reminiscent of '90s favorites like Madball and Biohazard -- heavy chugging, rugged hip-hop-style vocal delivery, and lyrics centering on themes of betrayal and hometown pride. Though the band only has an EP and a split seven-inch out so far, it's safe to say they're in the upper echelon of bands currently executing this type of heavy hardcore. Kansas City seemed to be on board -- more than a couple shout-along dog piles occurred during the set.

The night's first touring act was Boise, Idaho's Ingrown. The trio offered a set of songs that combined powerviolence blasting, hardcore riffing, and a gritty tone not far removed from crust punk. Guitarist/vocalist Calvin Hansen could often be spotted with a crazed look in his eye, fully aware of the sonic evil his band was presenting.

Getting going around 8:30 P.M., this may have been the earliest Spine had taken a stage (or basement floor) in years, but the Kansas City hardcore mainstays didn't let the early time slot keep them from delivering a predictably tight and mean set. Recognizing that this was likely the first Spine gig for many young fans in the audience (this was the band's second post-pandemic show and their first in a non-DIY setting), vocalist Antonio Marquez took a quick timeout to officially dub all in attendance part of Kansas City hardcore. It was a genuinely wholesome moment. Hopefully any mosh pit injuries sustained won't prevent any newcomers from demitting their KCHC membership.

[Shuttlecock was a media partner on this show.]

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