Halloween was colder than a witch’s youknowwhat this year, so my girlfriend and I hit the road to Boo-uisville for a show at Spinelli’s Pizza (the CBGB’s for hardcore/punk/metal here in the South). Better yet, it was $5 if you wore a costume! We threw on our Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock outfits, scooped up our friend (who was dressed as Kip from Napoleon Dynamite) and got downright spooky.
While usually a brightly lit venue/restaurant (there’s no stage lights since there’s no stage), Spinelli’s was in full ‘Ween Mode: lights were turned off for cheap strobe lights, crowd surfing plastic skeleton decorations, bowls of fun size candy, and 35-40 dressed up hardcore kids that made for an interesting mosh pit. My personal favorites were the dude in the Eeyore onesie, the 3 different people wearing black metal corpse paint, and Hunter S. Thompson who kept the cigarette prop in his teeth while slam dancing.
We ordered an extra-large cheese pizza (the only size they sell) and settled in for local opener, Transgression. With the vocalist dressed as Hello Kitty, they delivered a solid queercore beatdown definitely inspired by Knocked Loose, who started at this very venue 6 years ago. Lot of the other bands on the bill were throwing down during their set, which shows how tight knit Louisville’s scene is.
The final local band, WolfxPiss, was a real sight to behold. A cardboard coffin was laid in front of the cobweb-covered drums and hanging paper monsters. Once the 10-minute pre-show noise loop mercifully ended, 4 members in assorted masks started playing the theme song to Halloween while 2 more members circled the casket and got the crowd to “AH-WOO!” to summon a 7th wolf-masked member! The power violence -or lycanviolence as they identify- rang relentless for the next 15 minutes. When the multiple vocalists weren’t incomprehensibly howling, they would swing fake (I hope) axes and brought plastic chains that eventually were used for tug-o-war and a sacrifice circle for the plastic skeletons. It was as shock rock and macabre as All Hallows’ Eve should be.
Capping off our fright night was the cleverly named headliner, .gif from god. The sextet from Richmond Virginia are a part of the micro-revival of early 00’s sassy grindcore like Blood Brothers which introduced skronky dance parts to the no-fun-club hardcore scene. They crushed through most of their Prosthetic Records debut approximationofa_human, packed with start-stop song structures and a drummer who can stop blast beating on a dime. The guitars shredded more noisy half-step chords (often called “panic chords”) than downtuned chugs, so the pit wasn’t as active. This left room for one of the two screamers (rocking a throwback scenemullet) to traipse and writhe on the floor.
It‘s shows like these that make me jealous Lexington doesn’t have a Spinelli’s.
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