Sunday, August 24, 2008

"The name of the band is Failures."

Sean said it best: "They call themselves Failures when any one of their many projects is more than enough to retire on and look back on." Charles Bronson, Orchid, Ampere, Das Oath, Cut the Shit, Cancer Kids...and that's just the short list. Could we go on? Sure, but what's the point? You know the deal. Failures has a pedigree.

So it's not hard to figure out that the music rips. Loud, brash, and much more than just the sum of its parts. What is more intriguing, though, is what the sound means, where the aesthetic comes from, and what it means for the future of hardcore punk. Mark McCoy and Will Killingsworth are salty pillars of the community; the two of them responsible for Youth Attack! and Clean Plate, respectively, more or less the standard-bearers for the bright bleak future. It's a wedding of strict concern for punk ethics but more importantly punk art, and I think it all comes out in the music.

And the performance. The recorded material, complete with all its well-designed trappings, are more than enough, but this ain't no studio project; these motherfuckers mess shit up for real. At the live show, the electricity actually boils over. The noise is actually assaulting; none of that full wall overload nonsense, but razor sharp, brutally nihilistic jabs at your very core. If the buzzsaw riffage doesn't cut you up entirely, Mark can take care of that. He's the consummate frontman, all arms and legs attached to a flailing torso and equipped by an angry but brilliant head. More than anything, though, it's his snarl and grimace that never leave his face that really leaves the impression. It's the face of a generation, and it's all his movement.

All of this came out in the Cake Shop show today, and more. No pictures, because a camera can't survive that. Not when beer bottles are flying, Mark is assaulting the crowd, tearing at lights, and even running over Andrew. Even on stage, it's a kill or be killed game; protect yourself, even if it's from your own frontman. More than failure, it's about survival.

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