Seasick and Pollution Get Back to Basement Punk
The last time I saw New Jersey's Seasick at The Charleston, the audience and every band member glistened from August basement heat. Fast forward to Dec. 5, when snow flurries graced Brooklyn's streets. The bitter weather didn't stop the Massachusetts-bred, mostly-female punk band Foreign Objects from starting the night off.
Afterwards, Pollution played a set that reminded me it's never too late to grow up, and it's never too late to play punk like you're 16 again. With Unearthly Trance's Ryan Lipynsky on mic and bass, Pollution is what Brooklyn needs even more of: authentic, dirty, punky sludge.
For some reason, headliner American Cheeseburger was moved up a couple spots and played right after Pollution. They also had the physically biggest setlist I've ever seen in my life. It was song titles scribbled on over-sized neon green posterboard. American Cheeseburger may hail from Athens, Ga., but they produce a similar kind of violent and aggressive hardcore similar to Chicago's Weekend Nachos.
After an extended cigarette break, I walked back into the basement. "Oh, is this another fat guy band?" I asked myself as I navigated my way through the moving crowd. I thought I had walked into another show with a big, shirtless frontman-led band like F---ed Up and the Bronx. But no, even the power of those bands didn't match the ferocity of Nomos. The barbarity of their '80s-influenced hardcore was one of the most inspiring acts of the night.
Seasick's members were probably the youngest of all the bands of the night. For example: I'm pretty sure the guys in Pollution haven't had to sneak in their underage friends into a bar in a really long time. Yet they perform with such animosity against the world you would think they were 100 years old.
"Play one more song. Impress me! Don't turn off that amp," a fan in the crowd demanded. But Seasick's frontman kindly declined by saying "thank you" from the floor, where he was still recovering. After an entire night of hostile music, that one moment proved to me one thing: Real hardcore shows don't have encores.