Live Review: anticulture, basque rats, muppet fetish, 13 scars, m.d.c.

Dec. 27
Cabin Tavern

The Cabin has been establishing itself as the go to place for punk rock and bringing in one of the all time legendary punk bands, M.D.C. will do nothing but enhance that image.
Everett band Anticulture opened up the show – their music is like the first wave of crossover thrash bands, such as D.R.I. but it most strongly resembles Dr. Know. Vocalist Glennerd Skinnerd even sounds a bit like Kyle Toucher in that he gargles whiskey-and-gravel sort of way. The crowd interaction was pretty minimal, normal for an opening band, but they got some heads banging. More heads should’ve been banging to be honest, but they were the first of five so many just let the sludgy-rage and sociopolitical wrath wash over them seated.
The Basque Rats, featuring Catholix alumni Jeff Barrett and Ryan Clapper (also of Totalizer, Leatherhorn, The Mark, and everything good) as well as Timmy Rinney on drums were next. By now, the Cabin had begun to fill in more (it would eventually hit capacity. Something I haven’t seen at a punk show there before.) Barrett goaded the audience, pointing out that they’re never at any other shows and only here for M.D.C. Little comments like that begin to lead to more moshing/circle pitting/general anarchy with the Basque Rats providing the perfect soundtrack. Drummer Riney is like a ball of anger and his hits are ferocious; Clapper is one of the best bassists in town. As a rhythm section there’s not much more someone can ask for. Barrett is entertaining to watch, he shreds on guitar and his use of the wah-pedal on solos is maddeningly chaotic at times.
Mūppet Fetish opened with “BTK,” a perfect kick off for their set. The repeated chanting of “Bind, torture, kill!” whipped the crowd into a complete frenzy. People in the pit were throwing their arms around each other’s necks and spinning around in circles. Muppet Fetish was Nero – except instead of playing fiddles it was angry punk rock about LSD and serial killers while the Cabin Tavern burned.
Washington punk veterans 13 Scars were next and more than happy to continue the mayhem. Vocalist Bradley Petrovich always needs to keep an eye kept on him because he’s not content to stand idly by at the front and scream. The crowd had mellowed out a bit at this point but after Petrovich pointed this out, observing the crowd’s “mommy’s must be so proud” it exploded again. He probably spent more time in the pit pushing people around, being pushed around, and screaming than at the helm of the band on stage.
13 Scars are a musical force to be reckoned with and just watching the band play is a treat in itself; Ex-Portraits of Poverty guitarist and master of punk-shred Shawn Durand in particular. They closed with “Stand and Be Heard,” which has all the hallmarks of a punk anthem and the crowd responded with all the violence and chaos that requires.
The moment everyone was waiting for came next. M.D.C. played a bit of a warm up and the crowd lost it. Dave Dictor had to remind everyone there was an invisible line that shouldn’t be crossed. They launched into “Millions of Dead Cops” next and the unbridled anger was as thick in the atmosphere as the smell of alcohol, sweat, and ass. Everyone screaming “MILLIONS OF DEAD COPS!” and I don’t think a call to violence has ever been more unified. There was the usual mosh-pit chaos but this time with added crowd surfing.
My favorite moment (and now new favorite M.D.C. song) came during “Chicken Squawk,” when everyone put their hands on their heads to imitate a rooster or they stuck them in their arm pits and flapped around like they were wings. These were the weirdest mosh pit moments ever and the closest thing to a punk rock hoedown I’ve ever seen.
They played the classics, “John Wayne was a Nazi,” “My Family is a Little Weird,” as well as “Patriot Asshole” (off their 2009 Mobocracy split). Their set list was an amazing thirty-four songs long.
Some bands explode onto the scene and it’s like an atom bomb going off. Their records become the hidden bibles of the punk rock scene. Some of these bands are parading around now, old and fat, and living off the good graces they bought themselves as kids decades ago. Other bands, like M.D.C., exploded and the shrapnel and fire never ceased.
–Ethan Smith