Stream City

support Øregas + Kill The Rooster + Stars Burn Stripes
author PP date 09/04/10 venue Huset, Copenhagen, DEN

After having bribed a guy at my work to start his shift two hours earlier than usual, I checked Facebook and noticed an update from Stars Burn Stripes that they'd be on stage already around 21:15. So I fireballed with my cycle from near the main station to Huset at Magstraede, the revered underground venue that's soon turning 40 years old, to catch Punk's Undead Vol. 5. Apparently it's some kind of punk rock zombie night, but if that's the case, where were all the outfits, blood and that sort of stuff? Nevermind, at least every band played a cover by horror punk legends The Misfits to compensate, and then again, the Copenhagen Zombie Crawl is looming just around the corner so lots of undead stuff on the way, not to worry.

Stars Burn Stripes

I arrive just on time to witness Stars Burn Stripes rush through their intense melodic hardcore piece "I Lost The Point" from the side of the stage whilst paying for my entrance ticket (yes us media folks DO pay sometimes, too!). The band has already gathered most of the venue in front of the stage, and though there's no circle pit or mosh pit as of yet, lots of people are moving about in their own comfort zones, banging heads and singing along. That's been the case for more or less every SBS set lately, which isn't that surprising given their solid EP "Buy Now, Pay Later" which people are now becoming more accustomed to. Sure, it's the usual suspects of the Danish punk scene dancing around, but does that really matter when people are singing along (or at least lip-syncing along if nothing else)? I think not. Given the familiar faces around, the band quickly loosens up and has a bit of fun with their opening slot tonight, translating into slightly.... ahem... alternative song versions: one verse is replaced entirely by lyrics about the band's favorite food, cracking up both the audience and half of the band, one bass intro is played by Dion from Stream City, and of course there's the cheeky announcement of another song being the "2nd best punk song in Denmark", a reference to the undersigned crowning a Stream City song as the best punk rock song in Denmark at the moment in the review of their EP. Sorry boys, actually the 2nd best punk rock song goes to The 20Belows and their (as-of-yet unreleased) track "For Better Days". But not to worry, "I Rot Away" is still an amazing track which can be seen in the way it initiated the mosh pit and a small sing along just like last time. All in all, a fun, light-hearted punk rock show of the high standard we're now accustomed to receiving from these guys.

Kill The Rooster

Does a show exist where SBS and Kill The Rooster wouldn't both be on the bill?`I don't think so, but I don't care either, because usually Kill The Rooster put up an enjoyable rock show nicely contrasting the high-velocity punk rock of SBS. That's also what the band did today, gathering a decent crowd in front of them from the start, even displaying some of the much longed-for energy on stage that I've mentioned in a bunch of reviews before. However, Kill The Rooster have one problem which has been haunting their live shows for as long as I can remember, but has doubled in size after the release of their latest EP. You see, their new EP is mostly real good, and then they have an older EP which has like one or two good tracks ("Silver John" and "I Wish That I Could Be" I believe), and then they have a bunch of demos/old/new tracks that they play live which a) nobody knows and b) that don't make as good of an impression - at least just yet. Tonight, for the new EP songs and a couple of great old cuts, the front of the stage is nearly as crowded as for Stars Burn Stripes, with people dancing and even singing along to "Speed Soldiers" and "Let Me Go" in particular. But as soon as the band dives into the unknown, the crowd disappears towards the bars and sofas, only to re-appear for every song they actually know. What that observation should tell you is that the quality difference between the band's best and so-so tracks is large enough to make a noticeable difference. Occasionally, like at their release party show, it's not significant enough to affect the show adversely, but tonight it's just hard to enjoy the show fully because it's such a roller-coaster ride with an equal amount of up-and-down moments. That said, I had fun, but it seemed like I was one of the only few who watched the entire set without pausing to do something else in between the favorites.

Øregas

Next up were Øregas. Now this is my second time seeing the band, and the second time of me not liking the band very much despite trying my best to do so. Not only is there the language barrier (they sing in Danish, you have no idea how difficult it is for a foreigner even when you otherwise speak the language), but the band sounds exactly like old school Guttermouth and Dead Kennedy's combined. Two great bands, where's the problem, I hear you ask, but that's exactly the problem. Øregas sound like a second rate version of both, not necessarily mixed because their songs either sound just like Guttermouth or just like Dead Kennedys (but not both at the same time obviously). Their songs just aren't good enough for me to praise them, I'm sorry to say, at least based on my impression live or from a few Myspace plays. They have a good deal of energy on stage, however, and everyone else at the venue seems to be eating it up, so take this review with a grain of salt and check them out yourselves, because most likely it's just me not fully understanding what the band is all about more than anything else, which is also okay really. Reviews are subjective, remember?

Stream City

Earlier on during the night I overheard the organizer of Punk's Undead say to a Stars Burn Stripes member that they were the band pulling most of the crowd to the venue tonight. I think he misunderstood the number of heads that Stream City have been turning as of late with their eccentric folk/jazz/ska/punk mixture, because if Stars Burn Stripes filled the front of the stage with people, then Stream City had it absolutely packed, allowing for a couple of crowd surfs and lots intense dancing all around. Having seen the guys perform a few weeks earlier at their release party where I complained about the lengthy pauses in between songs, it seemed like tonight the band were on the ball and spent much less time in launching into the cuts, although that doesn't mean they weren't also prone to joking around. Picking up on what SBS started earlier, the band announced "Incompetent Doctor" as the best punk rock song in Denmark to poke more fun at this scribe. Am I hyping it too much? Maybe, but it honestly it IS one of the finest punk songs I've heard coming from a Danish band, so I'm not planning on stopping anytime soon. The band played with considerable intensity and energy on stage - much more so than last time if you ask me - which in turn encouraged the crowd to go crazy as well. This is the second time I've seen the majority of the people in crowd dancing, moving, and moshing to Stream City's songs, which really highlights the potential this band has, maybe even internationally? Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet though and allow the band to develop in peace. Having the guys from Stars Burn Stripes on stage towards the end of the set provided a nice finishing touch to a set of the kind that will have all the old fans returning next time, too, and most likely a bunch of new ones who were checking out the show tonight.

Photo credits: Filip from Stars Burn Stripes and whoever else had his camera (why are there no photos of SBS? :D)

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