The Risk Taken, Agents of Man, The Hoods, Merauder
United States of Mind
Ah, Valentine's Day, when a young man's heart turns to love and romance and the occasional destruction of all that is. The Hoods and faithful followers perform during the Valentine's Day hardcore show at United States of Mind.
United States of Mind is not the venue one thinks of for hardcore music, but that's what happened when The Hoods and friends took over for a night.
The Risk Taken opened with good old-fashioned thundercracking, earsplitting hardcore. Next up was Agents of Man, and they were an interesting contrast. Musically it was still loud brain-blowing stuff, but a laid-back demeanor and tighter melodies and rhythms holding it together.
Every band played a short set, delivering a blazing performance in less than half an hour each. Probably a good thing; any more and all our heads might have exploded. This is powerful stuff, best taken in controlled doses. Even in quick bursts the mosh pit threatened to careen right over the couches and overflow into the entire venue.
The Hoods boasted the best instrumental lineup of the night, with a relentlessly talented guitar duo and a bassist who pounded out soundwarping grooves that damn near opened up an anomaly.
Merauder closed up the night, with an interesting world-weary take on hardcore music, traditionally the domain of the young, with a 35-year-old lead singer who could still knock out a half hour of ferocious lyrics, backed up by a band that included one of the best live bassists I've ever heard.