Live Review: agonizer, klondike kate, dah wyrdos, brainsick

Nov. 9, 2013 • the cabin tavern

This was the closing night to the All American Punk Rock Weekend, a N7E Records event celebrating the birth of Robby Cleary, and tonight was his maiden voyage as lead vocalist for Agonizer.
Opening the show, this was Agonizer’s first with Cleary (of Human Infest) on vocals or, as he put it “their fifth practice” together. He began the show wearing a paper mask depiction of Alfred E. Neuman with Agonizer scribbled across the paper forehead. He simulated hanging himself during the charmingly titled “Kick Out the Chair” with the chord of the microphone. Cleary on vocals instead of Jeff Barrett (The Basque Rats) makes the band sound more punk, it’s still metal at its core but more akin to later Black Flag (My War) or the Suicidal Tendencies. Agonizer features Muppet Fetish members Gavin Hadley and Aaron Connors Driftmier on bass and guitar respectively. It also features Brett Mitchell on guitar as well as Astronauts in Airballoons drummer Chad Scott. They were short a guitarist that night but still maintained a good level of brutality as a four-piece.
Klondike Kate were up next, a three-piece punk band from Tacoma. The vocals alternated between their drummer, Kate Roxwell, and their guitarist, Justin Scott, with a sound pretty similar to Leftover Crack – the guitars in particular brought to mind the catchier moments of LOC but Scott’s voice sounded similar to the growls of Stza Crack as well. The addition of female vocals, and the shouted intermingling of them reminded me of Blatz.
Dah Wyrdos were next and true to their name presented an odd ensemble. One member wore a sock over a certain part of his body. That was it. The other appeared in a referee outfit with a huge afro wig. The four-piece hails from Bremerton, and their music seemed designed to incite parties, or perhaps a riot. They played some ska-influenced numbers, which interspersed with the straight-forward power-chord punk rock of their other stuff which made for a full and varied set.
Brainsick closed the show.
Originally formed in 1993, they relocated to Bellingham the following year. The five-piece released a full length Knuckle Sandwich before breaking up in 1998. Reuniting in 2010, Brainsick calls to mind the 80s with their music, like classic punk acts the Adolescents, Circle Jerks or Minor Threat. and they still deliver it with just as much youthful snot. The band currently features Shawn Devine on vocals, Jeff Rich and Jesse Herrick on guitar, Jason Belanger on bass and Kelly Paschal on drums, which is three-fifths their original line up. They play like a band that never quit though, and their songs are short, fast and aggressive – some clocking in at less than a minute long – but if punk ain’t broke why fix it?
– Ethan Smith