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Corners With The Groms And Death Hymn #9 At The Echo, Monday July 14th 2014

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Death Hymn #9

I knew I would go back to this Corners’ Mondays residency at the Echo, because these guys are great and it gives me the occasion to see bands I had hardly time to watch at diverse festivals and events.

The Groms started their set a bit late, but after all they are rebels. Rebel music is how they describe the music they play, and they are surely reviving a sort of punk, or may be pre-punk rock infused with numerous ‘whoops’, screams and call-and response choruses by frontman Wrecks Brixton and his brother B. G. Brixton. The Groms don’t take themselves too seriously, and they like to get into some action on stage while playing an explosive soundtrack. They were on this Lollipalooza full-house bill and I had already enjoyed their set filled with an upbeat raw energy fueled by some stage antics and on Monday night, the Echo stage looked again like a restless rock party with songs entitled ‘Blood’, ‘Blow the roof off’, or ‘Howlin’’ – if I am not mistaken. The result was definitively garage rock and punk fun, outbursts of pure energy, a careless attitude on stage coming with a vengeance after you and a 70s feeling even injected with some ska rhythms at times. I wanted a bit more of them, but since they had started so late they didn’t play a very long set,… by the way, what is a grom? A young surfer who is generally better than the old ones? I see where they are going.

Next was Death Hymn #9, a band which I had already seen and which had left me very impressed, because of the chaos they could build in a few seconds. They have a story coming with them, a story about zombie-like creatures ‘formed out of the murky Louisiana Swamp’, which were a ‘former backing band to Motown’s greats’ but ‘abandoned at a routine gas stop in Baton Rouge in August 1965’. I believe you should always put the band in their context, even if it is ridiculously funny context like this one. They came on stage with zombie make-up and white tees covered with old fake blood, and played some extreme blues-gospel which resembled more to a swampy exorcism than to a musical act, let’s call it hardcore trash gospel? Frontman and vocalist Paul’e’wog was all long hair and long arms in the air, while screaming, yelling over infectious rhythms, jumping on the crowd, surfing with the demon, moshing with the lord. It was pure chaos and mayhem in a few seconds, the tempo soon transformed into a devilish dance proving he obviously wanted to may be murder someone, and everyone was bouncing and pushing. Their cacophonic biting sound smelt like danger, it was loud, violent and a lot of fun, and the music as the band’ antics seemed fearless – after all these guys were already dead. With sudden outbursts of rage and beyond, it was then moving to a hardcore show overdosing on decibels.

Once again Corners played a tight set, I am starting to get familiar with their sound and if you still haven’t heard this ‘Pressure’ song, well you should immediately, it’s dangerous and it has a swagger of a herd of black leather jackets with a dark Bauhaus-ish undercover, embodied by Tracy Bryant’ cold and tough vocals. I have written about them close to 4 or 5 times, I forgot, but their bold surf-y-new-wave garage rock with a vintage inspiration should not stay too long at the corner of everyone’s radar.

I am sorry I could not stay for the fourth band, The Shrills, but it was close to 12:30 and I had to get up at 6 am the next day… Blame the Groms who started late. Plus I was kind of mad at myself, of course Corners’ set was rowdy, the crowd always has a strong reaction to their music even during their darker synth numbers, and I was so caught by the action that I dropped one of my cameras on the floor. I guess/hope it will recover but all my videos were erased by the shock!

More pictures of the show here.

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