Protomartyr / Priests / Beech Creeps @ Music Hall of Williamsburg – 2.13.16 Protomartyr / Priests / Beech Creeps @ Music Hall of Williamsburg – 2.13.16

Saturday was cold, man. Bitter fucking cold. Nut-skinningly cold. Clit-crackingly cold. Straight-up skull sheering old soul hemorrhaging cold and I know, I know, I know that I live in New York City and as a lover of Eastern Seaboard seasons I should be comfortable with a winter wild but a windchill of -20 is totally unacceptable and were it not for the massive threat of punk qua postpunk ire this night promised I’d probably still be in bed with bourbon today.

But I’m not, am I?

And I’m glad not least of all because I get to make a dime or dozen working stiff but because these three bands fucking delivered.

Beech Creeps
Beech Creeps busted out a fine-ass slab of kill surf city cum pigfuck trash a little ways back and though I loved the record pretty decently then it was only with time and personal disappointments that the tough gnarl underlings really took hold of my heart. These boys are bad, man. Shitkickers with a keen yen for party-killing. They started a long slow racket in the near dark, growling and groaning through brown notes and death squalls before settling into the rock and roll monolith, ripping, shredding and pounding out un-hits for the anti-futurists like it was the only way they could get through their day without burning Bedford city back to the coke age.

I don’t know what I thought about them but I think it was pretty good. Never heard ’em. Never knew ’em. Saw some pictures here and there of a pretty girl howling black claws in a prom dress so, of course, I had to be present. Besides, the kids seem to pitter patter something fierce when Priests are present and the kids these know better. And, yeah, I liked them. And I certainly liked a few songs but the brand of pump shotgunning post punk yelp/noise/thump they delve in only really sustains me for a single or so. That’s me, though. The hundreds around me were rabid and the stage presentation was total Iggy on a peanut butter spree or Kathleen in the prime of her echolalic revelations.

Mark says Gang of Four meets (I forget) and I say The Fall with teeth (mostly literally) but after another beer we agree that Protomartyr is like the Hold Steady’s unmentionable underbelly. The afterparty for the vainglorious death that never came and took us in our wild and potent youth. It’s sprechgesang and furious indifference. Battered down if not broken and decidedly drunk, Protomartyr delivers the undilutable slang truth that the black suits are coming and no matter how hard you love and no matter what good you do, they’ll find you and when they do all your pleasures will turn to poison and when that happens all a man can do is crack his neck, ball his fists and live.

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