Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raw Nerve/Vile Gash/Nomos/No Coffin @ Ava House 3/26/10

First off I'm going to have to start this one by saying I REALLY liked this venue. It's been way too long since I went to a house or basement show, and this spot reminded me of some of the grungy punk venues I used to frequent in high school. It took me a few minutes to find the place, but once I found the door, the location was actually pretty obvious. I was really psyched on all the bands, and for $5 this is easily the cheapest thing around on a Friday night in Philly.

Walking up the stairs, the hallway was littered with empty PBR cans, tagged in graffiti, and smelled of stale cigarette smoke. Upstairs, everything opens up into a large, empty space, except for old couches most likely found on the side of the road, and band equipment. Kids are skateboarding around the hardwood floors, while people crack open 40 oz's and light up Camels. The place could actually be a really swank apartment for some rich dude, but this is a far better use of the space.

Locals No Coffin was starting to play just as I came upstairs, along with other people filtering in for the night. Their sound was definitely unpolished, with a slightly unsure feel, but still decent for a first show. They have a somewhat droning, yet pleasantly noisy approach to their songs, and I'm looking forward to a demo so I can hear it better.

Raw Nerve. If you don't know about them yet, you've been sleeping too long. Fast, raw, frantic hardcore from the Midwest. These guys set up and roared through a set in probably about eight minutes, playing songs from all of their releases, including some new stuff from the LP on Youth Attack Records. The vocals were a little low, so the singer wasn't very audible, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. People raged back and forth during their songs, smashing from side to side as beer sprayed onto the ground. Their singer writhed around while howling the lyrics, while the rest of the band thrashed their instruments into submission. Great stuff; short and sweet.

Brooklyn hardcore punk act, Nomos, were up next. They performed most of the songs from their demo EP, which is an absolute monster for a debut recording. Fast, hard, angry music, with well formed songs and some old school hardcore influence makes these guys one of my favorite newer bands around. Nomos rips it up live also, shredding through their set in experienced, confident fashion. Do not miss out on this band next time they're in your area.

The final audio assault of the evening was Columbus, Ohio's Vile Gash. Similar to Raw Nerve, they came on without saying a word and immediately launched into a song. Their singer looked like a man possessed, furiously spitting the lyrics and punching people that came within striking distance. The set was a bit marred by some technical difficulties though, as the guitar kept cutting out, and there also seemed to be a problem with his distortion pedal. Either way, I was stoked on this performance too, and Vile Gash put a nice cap on an awesome night.

Ava House is easily one of the best DIY house venues I've ever been too, with a PA and gear that actually works, and a chill, friendly environment to hang out in. The show was basically a party, with plenty of people hanging out, drinking, and listening to music. Also, I made some nice vinyl pick ups, including the Raw Nerve tour press, a live tape, and Vile Gash's new EP. Thanks to the Hartford dudes I met for sharing some of their beer with me, and thanks to the promoters and people at Ava House for putting on a top notch show. I'll definitely be back again.