xRepresentx, Vice, Counterfeit, Cop Torture at BT
Local hardcore bands kick off the final month of shows at the old BT
After the weekend of fundraising shows June 6 and 7 at the new Basement Transmissions, it was difficult to go back to the old venue at 1501 State St. on June 10. It was like coming home from a vacation and struggling to transition back to reality. But there could be no better way to kick off the final month of shows at the old BT than with some good old-fashioned Lake Effect hardcore.
Local three-piece band Cop Torture's thrashy and straight-to-the-point style contributed to one of the shortest sets I've seen in a long time. They played their way through give-or-take ten songs in just as many minutes, not wasting any time to talk to the crowd – just delivering a continual array of distorted aggression until they had finished.
Ethan Oliva (guitar, vocals), Devon Brown (drums), and Rob Diehl (bass, vocals) always seem to be in several bands at once, including Barlow, Sonder, Spud Dog, and formerly The Concrete Summer and Cage Goldman. I still have yet to not like one of their projects. No two are the same, and each shows a great amount of versatility in their musicianship, instead of always sticking to the same genre.
One of the few female-fronted hardcore bands and the latest band to carry the "Lake Effect Hardcore" torch, Counterfeit, was next. Vocalist Hali Etie gave an energetic performance, even occasionally stepping out to mosh with the crowd. The group's sound seems to be influenced by a combination of '90s-era hardcore bands like Ten Yard Fight and Blood For Blood, which is a style I would like to see come back, since some modern hardcore bands can be a little too generic at times.
New York's Vice (not to be confused with a band of the same name from Ohio) was one of the only out of town bands on the night's bill. Their music tip-toed around the dividing lines between grindcore and hardcore, with the drummer rapid firing blast beats with machine gun speed, but then the music slowing down into a groovy, but sludgy guitar riff.
Erie's Straight Edge kings xRepresentx were the final band of the night. They had both young and old fans (old being late 20s in this case) moshing and singing along all through their set, even with a new song from their Wolf Mentality EP soon to be released on Seventh Dagger records. However, I was a little disappointed that they didn't play "If Only Words Could Kill" off of their 2006 album True at all Costs, as that had always been a staple part of their setlist.Being the oldest still-active hardcore band in Erie, they built their fan base in classic local venues like Forward Hall and The Hangout, so it only makes sense that they should be one of the last bands to play the old Basement Transmissions. Continual moshing during each band's set almost felt like a DIY demolition crew, stomping the floorboards loose and body slamming holes into the wall.
If anything can be said after the return from that brief glimpse into the future of Basement Transmissions at the old Roadhouse Theatre, it's that the old BT is definitely going to go out with a bang.
Tommy Shannon can be contacted at TommyXShannon@Gmail.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @txkx.