The Old Blue Last
Sunday 18th May
Although you may be hard pushed to call them a ‘super group’ in the seventies rock concept style, Tropics feature many an ex-member of past UK post-hardcore faithfuls among their ranks.
Featuring Jodie Cox from Bullet Union on guitar, Dan Reeves from An Emergency on guitar, Matt Flag from Navajo Code on bass and Robin Silas Christian from Bullet Union on drums, with all this past experience, Tropics certainly know their chops. And pillaging the Dischord Records back catalogue for their main inspiration, they take the Fugazi blueprint and carve out their own style into it with passion and an eye-bulgingintensity and conviction. With the whole band sharing vocal duties, each song explodes into life propelled by Robin’s distinctive drumming style as the band throw (shudder) ‘angular’ shapes around his contorted grooves. Well worth checking out. Go see.
“If you close your eyes and concentrate,” says Pissed Jeans singer Matt Korvette, standing on the lip of the postage-stamp size stage as the crowd follow his lead and close their eyes. “You can smell the men’s toilets from here.”
He’s right, they stink. You can smell the rancid piss flooding into the venue as Pennsylvanian sick fucks Pissed Jeans begin to unleash slabs of disgusting noise from their amps. It’s almost as if their noise has the power to heighten our senses of smell and just when we’re at our weakest, they unleash the stink smeared across their piss crusted jeans and floor us all.
And then it fucking kicks off. Pissed Jeans are hardcore but they’re not fast or generic. They produce a lurching, doom-drenched monstrous noise that recalls Jesus Lizard at their most brutal. And it’s not just the noise they make, frontman Matt is a dead ringer for David Yow, shirt off, writhing around the stage, always looking for the next person to fuck up or bizarre item to improvise with. Then there’s drummer Sean McGuiness, pounding the kit like a back room John Bonham, screaming for marijuana between songs, breaking most of his kit as he smashes the shit out of it (and Tropics have to keep lending him parts of theirs with pure fear in their eyes). He plays so hard he cuts his finger to shreds, spewing blood everywhere. Then there’s bassist Dave Rosenstraus. He’s wearing a Void T-shirt. Nuff said. And on guitar we have Bradley Fry, pulling faces that look like a man in the throws of an uncontrollable mental fit as he spews out shards of broken glass riffs and grunge.
Think Killdozer. Think Scratch Acid. Think Melvins. Think Jesus Lizard. Now go and piss your fucking pants.