Saturday August 19th 2017

The Antidon’ts / The Guilloteenagers / The Runouts / Wargraves / Garbage Point


The Antidon’ts / The Guilloteenagers / The Runouts / Wargraves / Garbage Point
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA          7/16/17


I’m Samm Gunn. I’m a private eye. And you’re reading Thrash ‘N Bang, just in case you were unaware of that.

Not to insult you, but you’re probably aware that the two loony birds who put out this rag don’t usually know if they’re coming or going.

For me, I like to see them going. But I do pick up some extra cash such as when Andy, now serving hard time in a Kentucky prison and Scumdog, now being held as an illegal immigrant in Mexico- can’t make a show they want reviewed.

I get the call. I need the scratch. I’m here.

Garbage Point is the first combo to grace the elegant stage today of the Midway Ballroom. I remember reviewing them before as a pretty, nifty melodic punk band.

Today though, they’re down to two, as I believe their drummer was involved in that Mexican escapade- so this is more like Garbage Point unplugged.

I must admit, I only catch the tail end of their set. I was waiting for a valet, who never showed, to park my car. But what I did hear sounded really swell, especially the finish. A cover of The Ramones, “Oh, Oh, I Love You So,” which encapsulates perfectly the opposite feeling I feel for the fellows of Trash ‘N Burn.

Wargraves is next and though, I understand Slimehog was so impressed with their bandcamp, that his review will be in this paper at the same time this review hits the stands.

Though this band alludes to being, “punk, hardcore and surf,” I feel they have a fairly, unique style.

They have songs that are fast but not at hyper-sonic hardcore speed. Melodic but rough vocals and though the influences are there, they seem to escape falling into any of those categories.

Though they are young, I’m tempted to tag them as proto-punk as this band makes me think of The Stooges and The Dead Boys at times. I might describe them simply as rock if their music wasn’t so tough and fast and raw.

It seems like that noodle-brain Scumdog actually picked a great band to write about, judging from their powerful and pleasing set.

The Runouts are the next orchestra to man their musical instruments for the dancing crowd. I know that Scumsucker is big on this band and I’d trust his opinion like I’d trust a baby with a pack of coyotes.

But with The Runouts, I think he’s onto something, unlike most times, when I think he’s merely on something.

This is music influenced by early British punk bands with a singer that recalls Paul Weller of The Jam. Today I’m  noticing a wee bit of Irish/punk in their style along with a bit of Oi- though The Jam, The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers is most dominant.

But in the final analysis what you have is an exciting, emotional, earnest punk band turning in an exceptional set.

Before their set I tell Matt, the singer/guitarist for The Guilloteenagers, that I have one question for him. And that question is, “Are The Guilloteenagers back to rock’n’roll?” And he replies in the affirmative.

Seems they claim to be a major band in the seventies before they hit hard times and now they’ve regrouped. Though, if you ask my professional opinion, none of them even look old enough to be alive in the seventies.

But soon after they start their set they’re blasting into their hardcore punk/detonation “Fifty Seconds” and I quickly realize why they were so popular then. Also, their song that refers to my question nearly blows the roof off!

They’re a trio with Allie, their bassist, also singing several songs and their drummer, (and, I confirmed- GOP senator), Paul Ryan, who I think is one of the best drummers in Boston and plays much better than he politics.

Matt’s wife, Camille, and lead singer of The Dick Pics, comes on stage to sing a song called, “I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant.” The song was written a few years ago when Allie was indeed pregnant and now Camille, actually is, too. So congrats to Camille and Matt.

I’ve seen them several times before and they’re always entertaining, but this is probably their most cohesive, most exciting set yet.

The Antidon’ts are a young skate punk band from Florida and are next to approach the stage. I notice a young, blond beach babe they brought along with them at the side of the stage. And just as she looks out of place in an East Coast barroom, the band doesn’t really fit in with today’s show.

Though everyone in this trio is tremendous on their instruments, I’d suggest they think about the phrase “less is more.” Meaning, energetic playing is great but when every second is filled with as many notes and rhythms that you can play, it can get monotonous.

But this is not a bad band but any stretch of the imagination, their surf instrumentals are superb. I’m thinking they’re just a little inexperienced, that’s all.

I step outside the Midway. Though it’s mid-July I feel a cold wind blow against me and I pull the collar of my long raincoat up against my neck. Scattered newspapers rattle down the streets and gutters as I hear a game of stickball being played off in the distance. But what I most notice is the lack of color as everything is in black and white.

I walk the city streets and I notice how much has changed and I wonder if these streets will ever reclaim their memories after all the condos and modern architectural designs have crumbled along with our memories of the past?

I’m just a private eye. I make no judgment. I just observe and write down what I see.

(Samm Gunn)

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