Posted in metal | music | pictures on January 24, 2011

by BBG

Haymaker
Haymaker

It started with me, G.I.S.M., and Cracker Barrel. On my way to Sonar in Baltimore on 1/22, a democratic vote in the Honda Accord led to a late lunch at the most American of all pit-stops, Cracker Barrel. Lined with rocking chairs (for sale!) and a menu with items like "Chicken Fried Chicken", I could feel the burning stinkeye as I walked through the "homey" restaurant and "country store", surrounded by a crew of tattooed hooligans, wearing my G.I.S.M. sweatshirt that reads "Die, You Bastards!!!" (replete with an anarchy symbol fashioned from an AK-47).

This un-American theme would continue later that night with the US debut of UK band Rot in Hell who openly discussed their disdain for the US ("I don't give a fuck"). Dropdead would add to that sentiment by (predictably) pointing out that the government was lying to us all, while the band that would follow had printed their manifesto on a 7": Fuck America. This negative, anti-authoritarian, and anti-social tone is how I like my hardcore, and what I got at the A389 anniversary.

The US may not have been king on stage, but its currency was king at the merch tables (save for Dropdead's that is) where phrases like "limited to 65", "ultra-rare", "test pressing", and "band only copies" reigned supreme. As we arrived at the venue, the merch tables were swarmed, as the show was an eBay fiend's dream with "show only" items like an Integrity flexi-disc and a 10" commemorating the 2010 edition of the show. The kids ate it up, as expected, so look for those items in a secondary market near you.

Pharoah's post-metallic hardcore kicked off the 2011 show at the stroke of 7PM, followed by blasting and punishing Californians The Love Below shortly thereafter. Seven Sisters of Sleep followed the pair, and the former members of Tafkata, Spring Break!, and Arm & Sword of a Bastard God ripped out crusty-sludgy post-metal that impressed. My first visit with SSoS was a great one.

Following SSoS was Pale Creation, and though their live show left something to be desired, the highly energetic Rot in Hell brought back the fun and energy. The rare US appearance doubled as the band's As Pearls Before Swine record release party, and in line with their negative imagery and blackened sound, RiH were not so much in a celebratory mood as they were antagonizing. Terms like "Fuck America" and "shite" (in reference to America/its products) were peppered throughout the on-stage banter. RiH got the pit started for the next band, Providence's Dropdead.

Dropdead made sure to point out their longetivity at A389 ('doing this for 20 years"), and broke-up their set of crusty and break-neck grind/hardcore with political and animal rights testimony. Fast, bludgeoning and beyond powerful, the Rhode Island band's performance was my first indication of the pit mayhem that would follow. But there was no way I could have predicted Haymaker.

Haymaker's reputation precedes them; tales of agression and live show violence coupled with their well-regarded recordings made their rare US appearance all the more exciting. Dressed like a clan of Western Virginia hillbillies, the band took to the stage while the clearly-inebriated vocalist took to the pit, performing the entire set while shoving off zealous fans. Trash cans were thrown, pizza boxes became weapons, and the kids went nuts. Pit antics aside, the two guitars/bass/drums, which featured Johnny Ibay of Fuck The Facts, were booming, unrelenting, and technically proficient. Haymaker was as good as they were fun, which says a lot.

It's tough to follow a band like Haymaker, but I can't imagine a better way to start an Integrity set than with the Humanity Is The Devil opener "Vocal Test". Apparently vocalist/mastermind Dwid agrees. Backed by a dual guitar attack played by a band half his age, Dwid's version of Integrity in 2011 were great, and delivered classics like "Incarnate 365", "Systems Overload", and newer material. Awesome set from Dwid & co, but Haymaker was the king of the stage (and the floor) that night.

More pictures from A389 are below.

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

The Love Below

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Seven Sisters of Sleep

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Pale Creation

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

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Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Rot In Hell

Dropdead

Dropdead

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Haymaker

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Integrity

Integrity

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Comments (40)

yes! integrity's drummer's got the soilent green shirt... so clutch.

does anyone happen to know who's in integrity these days? bummed i missed haymaker. long trip from moscow to baltimore.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 11:09 AM

not the melnicks, thats all i know..ha. did they play "hollow" right after "vocal test"? great pics and write up! thanks man!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 11:31 AM

Great write up. The Seven Sisters of Sleep album is amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 11:52 AM

all members used to be in a band called Unreal City. Check'em out. They still play once in a blue moon. Unusually in Pittsburgh where the band originated.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:01 PM

This story never, ever gets old:

“Come on, this guy’s crazy. He reads Dianetics.”

I lived out in Cleveland for like a year and a half with my ex-girlfriend. She’s part of Integrity’s crew with whom we had beef from back in the day. It all started when I went on tour in ’92 with Sick of It All, Biohazard, and Sheer Terror. They played a show in Peabody’s in Cleveland. Toby from H2O was on the road with me too, and I guess his wife’s named Moon? Anyway she had beef with Dwid from Integrity and the guy punched Moon in the face. He had a reason for doing it, but I don’t know what the reason was. I was with Toby, so I saw that, knocked the kid out, and chased the rest of the band outside. And that was it. I guess Dwid found out I used to be in a band called Crown of Thorns, and told people I was just like a little hardcore kid instead of the real thing. Whatever, I never paid any attention to it. But then I went to Europe and he was talking shit, and I was like, “Yo, come on.” People were saying, “Come on, this guy’s crazy. He reads Dianetics.” So I was like, “All right, get outta here.” But he was giving me more shit, and I was like, “What is he, fucking crazy? Obviously he’s fucking crazy.” I was getting furious at this point.

So I moved to Cleveland with my girl and I went to play pool at the same place as these guys. After like two to three hours of playing pool they come up and go, “What’s up with you?” and I was like, “What’s up? You guys have a beef?” They go, “No, no, we love fucking hardcore.” So that was pretty cool, and they told this Dwid dude to give me a call. He calls up and I say, “No talking, meet me outside. We’ll take care of it like men.” So he calls back, you know, “No, it’s all right, whatever. Everything’s cool, you know, this and that, it’s over.” So cool, you know? We shoot the shit for a while, but it’s over, right? So then I leave.

My girl calls me up like four weeks later going, “Yo, fuck this guy.” I was like, “Why?” She tells me, “He called back and started talking shit to my brother while I was away from the phone.” She’d gone to the bathroom, and he’d called back and was making fun of her brother, saying stupid stuff about Ebonics and New York City and everything. So it was on now.

I went to Holland to play this show like 30 minutes away from where he was playing, so we drove out there. Basically I was in Europe thinking they can’t press charges on me, so me and my boy Boston Mike, rest in peace, and my boy Goat—it was us three, we went to his thing looking for him. I see their tour manager, this European guy, so we grab him in an alleyway, put him in the frickin’ van—basically kidnap the guy—and started questioning him, “Where is he?” We get the address and head over to it. It’s this old European, Swiss Miss-like bed and breakfast, you know—very country. So we go upstairs, put on a European accent like “Ello?” but they don’t answer. So then I was like, “Fuck that.” I kick the door down and everyone’s running. The band is already running through another door in their room, trying to get outside and jump the fence.

Dwid comes running up and goes, “Yo, what’s up?” kinda like, “Hey, it’s me, I’m sorry.” He walks up to me, and I just punch him in the face, one shot. Then I proceeded to beat him down, bad.

I had ten stitches in my hand from this cut I’d got, so I was like, “God, I can’t hit him that hard.” As a result I was beating him with a 40-ounce of Coca Cola, like one of those European bottles. It’s fucking him up, but I wanna really beat him good. I make his bandmates watch, and he’s on the floor like, “You are the king, you are the king,” and I’m like, “Yo, stop it, please. Be a man. Get up.” But he keeps going, “No, you are the king of hardcore. I’m a bitch, I’m a little bitch”—which makes me more furious cause I don’t know if he’s mocking me or something and it’s really fucking my head. So I beat him even more. I grab his arm and twist it and I hear a pop, and that was it. I broke his ribs, his cheekbones. It was really bad.

He’s on the floor bleeding and I’m like, “That’s it. I got no more.” He goes, “I don’t want to lose my band over you, even though I deserve it.” And I say, “You’re a little bitch, you’ve deserved it seven to eight years in the making.”

It was funny because all the guys in the band, like Frank, became my boys when I lived in Cleveland. I played basketball and hung out with them every day. But basically, that was it. He had to have plastic surgery in Europe for his cheekbones and everything—his ribs were broken, his nose and jaw were broken, his arm was dislocated. Then he went back to his house, and found his wife fucking some guy. So the poor guy—I feel bad for him. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

There was another guy, Chubbie Fresh, who was also in Integrity and used to talk all this shit too. He used to prank all our houses when we were kids, which is how it all started. That kid, he played with Motörhead in Cleveland, and he was on the phone and I punched him dead in his face. He ran and brought the cops back to the show, so I had to hide. They ended up arresting one of the guys from Hatebreed by accident, then I came back and played the show anyway.

But then when I lived in Cleveland I caught him again. The Lunachicks were playing in like the Grog Shop or somewhere, and he pulled up on a Ninja motorcycle all guido’d out with cow spots on it. So I go up to him like, “What’s up?” He goes, “Oh, that old beef is over, when you beat down Dwid,” and I go, “No, it’s not over,” and I punch him again in his fucking face. One of his friend comes up like, “Yo, that’s my boy.” I go, “Mind your business,” and he goes, “This is my business,” so I punched him and knocked him out too. I ran inside the club—this was by myself—got the bouncer, and with the bouncer started taking beer bottles off the bar and smacking them across the guy’s face.

I was living in Murray Hill, so I went back to my house, but then I was like, “Yo, I bet someone’s going to rat me out on where I live.” So I take my dog and I’m going up the street, and all of a sudden I see cops coming down my block. So I go the other way with my dog, and the cops go down to my place and are talking to my girl or whatever, and who do I see around the other corner? Chubbie Fresh standing there on his motorcycle with his helmet off, posing with his hand on his hip and the other on the handlebar. I go “What’s up?” and he sees me and starts yelling, “Oh my god, he’s here! He’s here!” So I let my dog loose on him. He starts running, my dog Ajax is biting his tires, and he goes over to grab the cops to come back after me. I had to hide in the forest in Ohio for like an hour and a half covering my dog’s mouth so he wouldn’t bark at the cops.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:07 PM

"This un-American theme would continue later that night with the US debut of UK band Rot in Hell who openly discussed their disdain for the US"

-Yet their music is an American invention and they imitate all things American? What retards.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:26 PM

"This un-American theme would continue later that night with the US debut of UK band Rot in Hell who openly discussed their disdain for the US"
-Yet their music is an American invention and they imitate all things American? What retards.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:28 PM

12:07 is gay.

and bored.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:28 PM

^^ fucking classic!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:30 PM

Ummm which member of Crown of Thorns are you? I'm gonna guess it's not Ezec, because I dont remember hearing him ever living in Ohio. Then again, I never heard that story before either. Crazy.

Posted by GregBX | January 24, 2011 12:35 PM

12:07 you should sell your life story to the CW, they could make a really great (terrible) TV show based on the trials and tribulations of being a part of a shallow music scene

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:37 PM

On 2nd thought, it probably is Ezec. I wouldnt think Djian would do something like this. Anyway, im very curious and it wouldve been easier if he posted under an actual name haha.

Posted by GregBX | January 24, 2011 12:39 PM

that ezec story has been told and retold on the internet for years. i think it was in vice magazine too not too long ago. old news. and yes i believe exec lived in ohio for a short period. and 12:39, correct, definitely not dijan.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:42 PM

Well the joke's on you, because this isnt a music "scene". We dont put on uniforms, act too cool for the room, and stand around at shows with bored looks on our faces. The music is attuned to all sorts of emotions; one of them happens to be anger, and back in the 90s there was alot of violence in New York hardcore. It definitely isnt that way today, and it's definitely not shallow.

Not to say that with the absence of violence, that hardcore somehow loses its luster and relevance. The violence was distracting and all too commonplace, now the shows are safe, but the people still go nuts and have way more fun than any of you jerk-offs will have at a Beach House show. This music has a pulse and the live shows are more invigorating than probably 90% of the bands on your itunes playlist.

Posted by GregBX | January 24, 2011 12:45 PM

was the SSoS LP on sale?
looks like an amazing show. wish i attended.

Posted by suren | January 24, 2011 12:57 PM

i dunno man, i've been to a wavves show, that was pretty violent

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 12:59 PM

Is there any hummus in this scene?

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 1:01 PM

this part never NEVER N.E.V.E.R. gets old.

"...Swiss Miss-like bed and breakfast, you know—very country. So we go upstairs, put on a European accent like “Ello?” but they don’t answer... "

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 1:29 PM

happened to be in baltimore this weekend and in the same hotel as integrity... hotboxed our bathroom with a few of them, awesome dudes. only just listened to them though, kinda wish i hadnt..

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 1:30 PM

"Rot in Hell who openly discussed their disdain for the US" except when it comes to wearing Nikes. NIKES, the official American consumer product of Rot in Hell.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 2:39 PM

nikes are manufactured by children in third world countries though, NOT in america.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 3:06 PM

dozens of uglies, all together

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 3:32 PM

"disdain for the U.S.," but, ironically, look like many of the same obese slobs found across the nation--they certainly fit in that way

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 3:33 PM

12:07 its a shame Crown of Thornz suck and Integrity kill.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 4:43 PM

this was definately a MAJOR sausage fest.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 8:26 PM

I wish I could record audio and put it on this site. This everything about this show, makes me say "Aoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhh!! : (

Also that band Rot in Hell has such disdain for the U.S. yet they come here to play and take money from Americans. They should just shut up and play, and stop being such whiners.

Also the stylings and imagery of all of these bands playing are practically interchangeable!!!!! Don't believe the hype kids.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2011 11:28 PM

No shortage of hand tattoos either.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 12:10 AM

@ 4:43 I don't know, Icepick is a pretty dope song.

Posted by Nick | January 25, 2011 5:59 AM

8:26...obesessed with cocks.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 8:15 AM

That story is pretty hilarious. So, is Ezec if you knew him. I once saw that dude drop a huge skinhead at City Gardens who was bumping into him on purpose during a SIOA set, he turned around popped him in the mouth, skin goes down, and Ezec turns back around and continues to dance. Awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 9:31 AM

Winding up Septics, like shooting fish in a barrel.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 9:44 AM

Not only did they open with Vocal Test but they played Humanity is the devil from start to finish

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 11:45 AM

Fact = Integrity in their worst were better and more influential than ANYTHING Ezec was ever part of.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 4:05 PM

"Also the stylings and imagery of all of these bands playing are practically interchangeable!!!!! Don't believe the hype kids."

That is one of the dumbest things I think I've ever read. Yeah, When I think of Integrity "style" bands Drop dead immediately comes to mind.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2011 4:10 PM

Nothing Ezec ever does will top any Integrity record. I guess thats pretty frustrating to him.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2011 5:21 AM

In order to make hummus, you will need lots of chick peas, which these farmer guys grew in a kibbutz.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2011 3:31 PM

^^^^^^

LOL!

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2011 11:19 PM

It shocks me to see Integrity get so much credit these days. Way back they were one of the bands who really divided hardcore because they were such macho assholes.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2011 8:57 PM


I wish the beef could REALLY be over so that INTEG could play in NYC! That would make my life as I have been a fan for 16 yrs and never seem them live.


Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM

Assuming all above are nigger lovers for liking this jungle music. RAAAR RAAAR, what the hell haha? Trying to sound like a dying t rex or what? You kids need to get a job or something that's productive.

Posted by NoApologiesUSA | June 14, 2011 6:30 PM

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