Magruder Grind

Even though Blacklisted and Hope Conspiracy played there last week, Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Cake Shop is usually a venue where indie bands play. Yet on Jan. 23, it was the sanctuary to underage grindcore lovers. With the show -- that was put on by Rich Hall of 1,000 Knives and Black Bubblegum of BrooklynVegan -- starting mid-afternoon and ending before 9 PM, it was just like being at a matinee.

"National recording artists Magrudergrind are next. They're letting us open for them," Defeatist vocalist Aaron Nichols said. In a mix of roaring bass, blastbeats and Nichols' screams, a girl who was making peace with someone in the pit shouted, "It's all good. It's all good." With all the dancing bodies squeezed into the front of the stage, it was getting pretty claustrophobic in the basement venue.

"It's not all good," another person from way in the back jokingly shouted. There were no actual fights going on, but any person not used to the push and tug of mosh pits might have thought so.

When it was Margrudergrind's turn to play, frontman Avi Kulawy had push through the crowd saying "my bad" because the place was so packed. "This is really awesome. Everyone is raging, but I just broke a string," Magrudergrind guitarist R.J. said right after they played their first song.

Just about half an hour later, they were playing their last song. By this time, the stage was barely visible because it was covered with people falling over -- including Kulawy -- and still shaking fists. It was as if there was never a stage, and the band was just playing on the floor of a VFW hall. For as much energy as the band had, the crowd had double.

You can catch Magrudergrind on tour until they play Scion Rock Fest on March 13 in Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, Magrudergrind and Defeatist are playing Maryland Deathfest. Defeatist play day one on May 28, while Margrudergrind hit day three on May 30.

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