The Dome, London
It’s always a gamble going to see reformed old punk bands. You never know if they’re going to quite cut it, how many original members are left, are they just doing it for the money?
Well, in the case of Indianapolis, Indiana punks The Zero Boys, it certainly can’t be for the money. Whilst they do truly deserve the ‘legendary eighties punk band’ tag (their 1982 ‘Vicious Circle’ album is an absolute classic of the genre – a high octane mix of melodic punk and hardcore, a huge melodic and energetic rush), they are still only really renowned by those who closely follow US punk and have limited appeal having never played in the UK before. Suffice to say, there are only about 60 or so diehards and fans here tonight so any thoughts of cashing in must be long gone! And thankfully, original members drummer Mark Cutsinger and frontman Paul Mahern are still in the band and when they take the stage with two younger hired hands (sorry, I don’t know who they are!) and kick into the set, they sound tight and well-rehearsed.
Admittedly, it does take them a few songs to warm up (drummer Mark thankfully starts hitting a little harder a few songs in, propelling the band forward) and snotty hardcore pop punk anthems like ‘Living In The 80s’, ‘Civilization’s Dying’ and ‘Amphetamine Addiction’ all race past in a flurry of frenzied aggression. And although the venue isn’t exactly filled to capacity, those that are in attendance really get into it and the front area of the stage is soon filled with bodies, hot and sweaty and catapulting across the floor as the band beam back, buzzing on the energy spilling back at them and obviously thoroughly enjoying re-living their youths, casting their minds back to simpler more agile times.
All in all, a worthy reformation. Let’s hope they make it back again one day.
Words: James Sherry