My mama warned me about hanging out with boys and seeing loud music.
Specifically, last week, she looked at my bruises from a show and said I’m going to get a blood clot, which I think is crap. I’m still not sure if I bruise especially easily or if not many people get in mosh pits wearing miniskirts to begin with. More skirt-wearers need to jump into pits so I have somebody to compare.
Anyway, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say day two of Total Fest was packed with ass-shaking, eardrum-blasting metallic radness, considering the havoc I wreaked on myself and others across town. Don’t tell my mom.
So I arrived at Zoo City Apparel to catch Guantanamo Baywatch, which I’ve had a score to settle with ever since I saw the band in Portland but was too tired to dance properly. The surfy trio seemed pretty excited about being in Missoula for the first time, and judging by how I saw them frolicking in the Golden Rose later, they made themselves at home.
I don’t know what the opening acts at the Badlander and Palace Lounge were like, but everybody who skipped Dikes of Holland at Zoo City missed out on some fabulous frenetic garage punk (and ‘accidental free jazz covers’ when a guitarist’s string went wonky), fronted by Liz Hererra, a tiny, fierce blonde woman. Several reviewers describe Dikes of Holland as having a rockabilly vibe. Maybe, if you put rockabilly on trucker speed.
After wiping off the Zoo City sweat, I made it over to the Badlander in time to see what was supposed to be Pins of Light, which canceled, and in its stead was SWAMP WOLF.
I feel compelled to say that in all caps, because that name perfectly captures the angry sludge. I Tweeted a note to myself, “Remind me later about SWAMP WOLF” because holy testerone-fueled thrash, Batman.
I missed a few bands to recuperate from Swamp Wolf in the Rose, which was a good idea because next up, I survived Iron Lung.
Yes, kids, a powerviolence band is in fact really violent live. Who knew? I placed myself strategically where I could catch myself with my hands on the stage to avoid getting pushed face-first into a mic. I’d describe Iron Lung less as music and more as a sonic beating. It ruled. I also apologize to anyone who ran into my ass, because I stick it out a bit and use it as a line of defense against mosh pits since it's rather sturdy.
But none ruled harder than Torche. Goddamn. What I know about metal fits in a thimble, but I know that I like Torche’s complex melodies and fast beats. Metal you can actually dance and/or punch people to!
One of the stranger parts of my evening was going from the packed fury of the Badlander to a quiet backyard afterparty. A bearded man was singing about alphabet soup! It was lovely. It breaks my heart that I can either dance really hard to the bands OR rage all night at afterparties, but I cannot do both, because I'd need some illegal uppers to achieve that. Drugs are bad!
And now, to skip my shower and head to the Record Swap. Smell you there!
Kate Whittle is the copy editor at the Independent, and blogs about the local music scene daily at Missoula Punk News.