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Hardcore Warriors Birthday Bash

Ben Krawec
April 04, 2011

Photo is courtesy of Catharine Claus

Justin Weaver, or Hard Core Warrior, is one hell of a dude. His shows are my number one source of bruises, strained ligaments, split lips, bashed up joints, sore noses and general health problems, so it was definitely fitting that he celebrate his birthday by getting really drunk and throwing yet another show that was so awesome it endangered the well being of all present. As I type this my knees and ankle are stiff and painful, my neck hurts when I move it and my shoulder feels loose. I blame it all directly on Justin, because its obviously his fault for being an enabler of my mosh addiction. I expected the show to start a little late, because shows never start on time, ever. I guess somebody felt the need to throw a curveball and I wound up missing Smile Case because they actually started on time. After listening to Smile Case's stuff on their myspace page I stopped feeling disappointed about missing their set. We don't need more sappy acoustic acts, St. Paul St. has FAR too many of those already.

It's actually pretty impressive that the show went so smoothly, especially considering that Mr. Weaver had been drinking since about 2 pm.

Kings got off to a bit of a rocky start. I had a hard time getting into them at first because something about them didn't quite click with me right off the bat. While the vocalist's screaming was great singing is definitely not his strong suit and they could have stood to be a little more active on stage. However, as the energy in the room picked up they played better and better and by the end of their set I was a fan, although the vocalist's singing still sounded rather weak in comparison to his growling. These guys are relatively new, so its likely that the issues I had with them at the start of the set will get ironed out as they play more often and are able to pull it together with less of a warm up. They also played a f***ing wicked cover of Rage Against the Machine's Killing In The Name Of that rocked ALL of the
faces off. I look forward to seeing these guys again, despite the fact that Kings seems to draw out a
significantly younger crowd than you typically see at shows. If you are annoyed by that I wouldn't recommend seeing them. Personally, I feel warm and fuzzy about the fact that these kids are listening to something that's not like Justin Bieber or Rebecca Black.

Thorold's The Harder They Fall rocked faces off from the f***ing get-go. Their aggressive, pounding rhythm is catchy and energetic and sounds pretty much exactly what really great hardcore is supposed to sound like. What really floored me during their set though was their emotionally charged and melodic tribute to dead friends and family. That song had the same raw pulse that makes THTF sound the way they do but had a deeper and more meaningful sound than what they'd played earlier. THTF is one of the best live bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, I'd love to see them play again with a bigger turnout and a more intense mosh pit.

The After Chapter was as f***cking wicked as they always are. They came in very strong and kept us headbanging and moshing for the rest of the night. Their complex, savage melodies have a way of catching you and sucking you into the music so that you can hardly help but mosh everybody's face off. The After Chapter puts on an amazing show, they're great to listen to and they're even better to mosh to. If you get the chance go see them live definitely go for it.

The bands reviewed are all on myspace where you can hear samples of their music: (Kings)

This edition of Guy on a Soapbox was brought to you by caffeine and the number 24. Happy birthday Justin!

P.S. I'm selling tickets to see Gutwrench and Dark Carnival among other wicked bands for April 15th at Mikado's. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door. Save your 5 bucks and email me at I'll even deliver them right to you.

- Ben Krawec -