For those of you disgruntled artists out there that have been scolded in the past for your musical weapon of choice; for those burdened with mental scars acquired at the tongues of all the “cool” kids that poked fun at you for lugging around such a bulbous instrument; for those of you that have ever wanted to pluck your cello in a rock band and been told “absolutely not,” heed this story of hope, for it is a gift to you.
I witnessed something on this cool Friday night in Long Branch that I never had: Punk rockers trading out conventional bass guitars for something much larger, for something they could climb upon and still pluck with relative ease, for cellos.
New Brunswick’s own The Silverhounds were the first of two acts to sport a cello wielding madman and it was truly a site to see. You don’t believe me? Are you calling me a liar? See for yourself.
The Silverhounds open its performance with “Misirlou” and “Terrors of the Night” at The Brighton Bar:
The headlining act, The Chop Tops, from Santa Cruz, California, also possess a cello picker by the name of Brett.
When his cello became too rebellious, Brett had a tendency to hop upon his bucking bronco of an upright bass and ride it into submission.
You can catch some of his thunderous plucking here:
I’m a rude boy at heart. If you ask around, people will tell you of my impromptu skanking sessions at hip hop clubs, discotheques, weddings, etc. So the moment that absolutely made my night was when The Chop Tops covered “Concrete Jungle” by one of my favorite bands, The Specials:
The Chop Tops and The Silverhounds: They’re a little bit Thrash-Punk and a little bit Rockabilly. I like to refer to this brand music as Punkabilly. But, no matter the label, these bands are undoubtedly talented and, respectively, put on one hell of show.
The Chop Tops’ vocalist and drummer, simply dubbed, Sinner, was constantly providing drinks to this man:
Sasquatch and The Sickabillys used to be a full band before his cohorts recently quit on him.
“But what am I supposed to do? I ain’t one to quit you know?” said Sasquatch to the crowd mid-improv jam. “I mean hell, I wrote all the fucking songs and booked all the fucking shows!”
If Johnny Cash was in his prime, hocked loogies mid-verse, and was more vulgar he and Sasquatch would be one in the same. And King Sickabilly isn’t a man who takes his Cash impersonation lightly. After covering The Man In Black’s “Cocaine Blues” he commented on another Cash imitator…Joaquin Phoenix.
“I Walk The Line, what a piece of trash that was,” said Sasquatch. “Joaquin Phoenix is a wet fart out of Jim Morrison’s ass.”
Sasquatch is a man that gets what he wants. If he’s thirsty he’ll ad-lib a chorus of screaming at the bartender.
“Hey bartender! Shot of Yeager to the fuckin’ stage please!”
If he wants the crowd to wake the hell up, he’ll insult them.
“Jesus Christ, is there anybody actually alive in here or are you all just limp dicked?”
And if you provide him with the aforementioned drink he’ll play a song of your choice, provided it’s in his arsenal.
If you look past the rugged exterior, the globs of mucous dripping off his bass drum, and Sasquatch’s tough guy act, what you have is a talented musician, a one man band even.
In fact, if you really want to know what type of person King Sickabilly is, just attend one of his sets and listen, he’ll tell you.
“This next song is a pretty accurate description of myself. I don’t take it as a bad thing by any means. It’s called “I am What I Eat,” and it goes like this. I am what I eat from my head to my feet/ I guess you can call me a pussy…”
I was most excited to see Decrepit Youth play. This four-peace punk collective is composed of Jersey rock royalty.
The front-man Skooch, a.k.a. Lord Skoochie, is a former, now fill-in sax player for Hub City Stompers and a founding member of Inspecter 7.
Bassist Gerry D and Rich, the drummer were members of Jersey-based rock band Steel Toe Solution.
And I don’t know where Buddy is from, but, the guy shreds like a grizzled veteran, so I’m sure he has a resume` worth celebrating (I’ve been told he was in Factor X and Lost Cause).
Watch Decrepit Youth perform it’s new song “Meditation…”
Decrepit Youth is band of veteran punks that have figured out how to complete the difficult task of constructing catchy Thrash-Punk songs. Having done it so many times before, this band understand what it takes to put on a great show: Music that’s loud, fast, and played with reckless abandon and a hint of humor.
Example: After the Youth played a high voltage cover of The Sonics’ “Like No Other Man,” and the audience seemed oblivious Skooch asked “Does anybody know that song?”
After receiving only blank stares he continued, “If nobody knows it that’s a god thing. We won’t have to pay royalties when we put it on the new album.”
I thought it was a funny. Do yourself a favor and catch Decrepit Youth, and the rest of these acts, especially the New Brunswick three-piece The Silverhounds, the next time they’re near your home.
Decrepit You Setlist:
- Shape Of Things To Come
- Another World
- Summers End
- Like No Other Man (The Sonics)
- Escape The Light
- Heroin Wrote Murphy’s Law
- Implants And Tramp Stamps
- What The Fuck Do I Know?