Shot Baker is a great band. They avoid most of the pitfalls and claptraps that modern punk bands fall into. They're rowdy and aggressive, yet not idiotic like most hardcore bands; down-to-earth and relatable, not pretentious or high-handed.
The Chicago quartet played at the E.S. Jungle in Broad Ripple Saturday. The first band, Subatomic, was a standard "Pirad" band, with over-played hair-dos, gratuitous patchwork and sloppy hardcore. The next band, Nailbiter, was another band that I had previously written-off as being another "Pirad" band. I was taught a lesson on the ills of stereotyping and generalizations by their impressive and energetic set. While they seemed at times like a Bolth cover band trying to become a Phoenix Bodies cover band, their sound showed a lot of potential and the performance itself was great. With a new EP coming out later this month, I will keep my eyes (and ears) on Nailbiter. Next was new local legends Stand And Deliver. S&D brought the goods with their gruff, melodic bar-punk fist-pumpers. Imagine if Dickey Barrett (the gravely growler from The Bosstones) sang for Hot Water Music.
No Enemy, the Chicago four-piece on tour with Shot Baker, took the stage next. Their catchy guitar parts and up-beat energy elicited a positive reaction from the young crowd, which included a sing-along to their ode to substance abuse (which is pretty rad considering the lack of substances, other than sugar, to abuse at the E.S. Jungle). When Shot Baker finally began, the modest crowd began bouncing around and shouting along with the band. They played the highlights from their two full-lengths Awake and Take Control. When they announced that they were going to play a new song titled "I'm Not Okay", one of the 14-year-olds in the crowd asked "is it a My Chemical Romance cover?". Disgusted at any comparison to My Chemical Romance, the band ripped into the song and showed the teeny-boppers in the crowd a thing or two about punk rock. At the end of the night, all the bands played great sets, but the lack of booze and the fact that the E.S. Jungle is just too big for small shows like this had me thinking, "This should have been in a basement".