Welp, it’s been quite a while since I last posted anything in this blog right here but here I am now, back on track and ready to post once again. Yay?

April 14, 2016 was just a typical Thursday for most people but not for those part of the local hardcore punk scene who were present over at Selda Dos that night as record label and distro Still Ill brought two bands from the ever-growing roster of Relapse Records – namely, Weekend Nachos and Primitive Man – to the country. What’s interesting was that while both bands are signed to the same record label, their respective musical styles are miles apart from each other. You have Weekend Nachos on the one hand who had plowed their way since 2004 as one of the most immediately recognizable names in powerviolence (despite their admittedly still hilarious name) through their ultra-fast, manic mini-songs interspersed with sludgy bits that make their entire catalog a bit more accessible compared to most bands from the said subgenre of hardcore punk. You then have Primitive Man on the other hand who make brutally slow and crushing sludge/doom metal with sinister vocals that are very much the aural equivalent of being hit in the head by a slowly falling piece of anvil. One band playing songs faster than I could even finish this long-overdue post, the other doing songs as sluggish and murky as my own writing speed (lol, self-loathing)… an interesting study in contrasts right there.

However, as if the mere presence of both Weekend Nachos and Primitive Man wasn’t enough, German hardcore band Wolf Down was also included as a last-minute addition to the already awesome lineup from two Thursdays ago, thus making last April 14’s show the first ever bar-held gig to feature three well-known foreign bands from the hardcore and metal scenes. Still Ill sure had pretty much outdone themselves with this one that it would be really hard to top in the years to come. And for only 400 bucks per head at that, very affordable if I do say so myself.

If that’s not a stellar lineup right there, then I honestly don’t know anymore what is.

While I aimed to get to Selda Dos on time at the very least, I wasn’t able to do so as the summer heat got the best of me and thus had to give my body tired from rendering an entire Thursday morning’s worth of office work some much-needed rest so that I can be at my best while moshing along to Wolf Down, Primitive Man and Weekend Nachos. As a result, I wasn’t able to catch both Value Lasts and grindcore band Commit Arson. Good thing though that I made it just in time for Nonentities, a band that I’ve been looking up to not just because of its members’ stature within the local hardcore punk scene but also as their angular, mathy brand of hardcore punk has more in common with much of Dischord Records’ catalog from the late 80’s to much of the 90’s than what passes for “hardcore” but is in fact just a bunch of overserious sweaty muscular bros on steroids. Veils had to be one of the opening acts in the show of course as their bassist runs Still Ill. I’m afraid I’ll be running out of things to say about Nonentities and Veils in the next few more foreign-headlined hardcore shows I’ll get myself into in the foreseeable future as I’m impressed every single time both bands hit the stage.

Nonentities killing it as always.

On the other hand, Holy Cow and PxSxFx’s sets proved to be a bit problematic for some as their respective brands of fastcore and powerviolence are far from accessible and perhaps absolutely meant to be that way. Just found it a bit disheartening that the two bands traveled all the way from Pampanga and Dubai, respectively, only to be shunned by those who aren’t into their kind of music (or non-music in this case) but I guess what mattered that night was that some of us who were more open to hearing sounds that others tend to dismiss as absolute garbage actually stayed on and watched; that and might as well make the most out of the 400 bucks’ entrance fee, no?

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Holy Cow. Wasn’t able to take a photo of PxSxFx as it got itself into trouble yet again (gotta replace that broken digicam asap).

Had already seen Wolf Down two years ago but they had vocalist Larissa at the time, so seeing them this time around with their new vocalist Thomas left me a bit wondering as to how he would pull off some of the songs from the band’s earlier material. Even if the band had just come fresh from two days of touring the country, Wolf Down still very much gave it their all and I noticed that compared to before, Thomas’ vocals seemed to have driven the rest of his bandmates to come up with a stronger, leaner overall sound that was made even more apparent when they tore through songs from their latest album “Incite and Conspire”. Thomas surely didn’t disappoint yours truly at all so here’s to hoping he stays in Wolf Down for good.

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A leaner and meaner Wolf Down with new vocalist Thomas.

A bunch of metalheads from the budding local doom/stoner/sludge scene were also in attendance that night mainly to see Primitive Man but found out that the band did only three songs spanning around 10 minutes each, thus making it a rather short set by metal standards. Hoping they’d figured out that maybe Primitive Man sort of gave way to Weekend Nachos for the reason indicated in the next few sentences below.

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Primitive Man vocalist Ethan McCarthy seems to be saying “Yo! Imma let you finish, but…” in this photo right here, haha.
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Primitive Man drummer Spy Soto. Nice Magrudergrind shirt!
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Primitive Man bassist Jonathan Campos and drummer Spy Soto feeling the country’s excruciating summer heat.

Primitive Man vocalist Ethan McCarthy’s other projects past and present leaning more towards grindcore – namely, Death of Self, Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire and Vermin Womb. Go check them out below:

Death of Self

Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire

Vermin Womb

Weekend Nachos then launched into a seemingly long set of ragers that made most of us go fully berserk moshing despite the venue smelling rather musty (somewhat reeking of this certain onion-like smell) at this point. Or at least Weekend Nachos’ set that night felt a bit longer to me, maybe because the band is scheduled to call it a day in a couple of months after the release of their farewell album “Apology”. Therefore, Weekend Nachos’ first visit to the country also happened to be their last and I can’t help but be really glad that I was there to witness it all, a willing participant in an historic event within the hardcore punk scene that’s sure to make for a good war story to tell to my own kids and grandkids anytime soon.

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The only photo I have of Weekend Nachos. Goes to show how much I really moshed and shouted along with vocalist John Hoffman during their set. Even hugged the fucker during one of his stagedives, very memorable for sure.
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Weekend Nachos’ farewell album is set to be released worldwide via Relapse Records late next month but the band fortunately brought their own copies of the thing which they had actually already put out on Japanese record label Cosmic Note. Features guest piano from… … Mike Kinsella (most famously known for essentially helping shape Midwest emo with American Football along with his other projects Owls, Owen, Joan of Arc, and Their/They’re/There)?! It’s been quite a while since Weekend Nachos did the whole unexpected guest thing wherein they’d pull in someone normally not that associated with powerviolence into the fray (see: “Jock Powerviolence” which features Patrick Stump… … YES, THAT Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy on guest vocals).

While Weekend Nachos might be bidding adieu to us all, half of the band had actually quietly been working on their side project Like Rats (whose name might have been taken from that Godflesh song), a death metal band that seems to be largely influenced by Obituary and Celtic Frost. No mere copycats of the old school though as Like Rats manage to keep their sound fit for the times. The band had most recently put out their sophomore album “II” on Southern Lord just last month which can be checked out below:

Their self-titled debut full-length and EP can also be listened to below:

With only less than the required amount of sleep, I was then gonna embark on a trip to Palawan the very next day as part of my family’s annual summer outing even if I was dead tired and exhausted after moshing really hard to Weekend Nachos. No regrets.