Love in the Time of Cholera, Akkolyte, Hamas, He Who Corrupts, Ricin

So I get this tip about a part grind-core, part balls-out noise show at Rito's Restaurant ("The Family Place"). Apparently, after the restaurant closes, Rito's son Jesus plays host in the back room to bands from Dallas, suburbs and all over the country. It's primarily an underage crowd, but not irritating in the way 15-year-old popsters would be. These kids love their punk, their experimental, their noise. They fully appreciate the opportunity to see these bands come through (usually from about 9 p.m. to midnight on scheduled nights). It's rare. And it's cool.

By cool, I mean attitude. I'm not sure there was A/C involved in my experience, and the single shop light that illuminated the stage from behind the drummers' heads had to be boiling the brains of each band. Leaving to grab a quick beer nearby, we let Love in the Time of Cholera (from D.C.) have at it with typical teen rebellion punk à la the Warped Tour. My guide for the evening and I arrive back disappointed to have missed local brothers Aaron and Stefan Gonzalez in Akkolyte (we were gone for only 30 minutes!) but in time to catch a few measures from Hamas and the full set from Chicago's He Who Corrupts--a band that can claim one of the best technical drummers I've ever seen. They threw out biting rhythms that felt like they were leaving scars, a candor with the audience any front man should be jealous of and a propensity for whipping out genitalia. It was an aural and full-frontal assault that 30-odd kids (and about four of us adults) relished right through to the random onstage coloring contest between a pair of brothers (7 and 9--yes, their parents were there) that lasted the duration of a 30-second song. See, that's what's so awesome about noise bands--in a set that maybe lasts 25 minutes, audience members get a fast-forward through the tutorial of what music teachers never wanted any student to do. And, we got doughnuts.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin