Last year's trend of infamously defunct bands reforming and reintroducing themselves to the spotlight has carried itself into 2006, and frankly, I'm pretty psyched about it. To hell with the haters, I say. Because of this resurgence, I've spent my year seeing a handful of old favorites I thought I would never have the chance to see live (Lifetime) or never see again (the Rentals and Murder City Devils). And though I regrettably missed my chance to see the Smoking Popes at the Crocodile earlier this summer, I can't stop listening to their new live record, At Metro, which is a perfect recording of the band's first show after a seven-year hiatus. (The live version of "Pretty Pathetic" is—and I say this with complete sincerity—one of the best things I have ever heard in my entire life, and worth the near-decade wait.)
I am not ashamed to say that I am 100 percent in favor of band reunions. (Except for in Lifetime's case, when re-forming also involves signing to a Pete Wentz–owned record label. Then it just makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.) So when Gorilla Biscuits, one of the most revered straight-edge hardcore bands of the '80s, reunited last year for a handful of shows (including a CBGB benefit), I was pretty stoked. I was immediately crushed, though, when I found out they were keeping their show dates on the East Coast. But then I got stoked again (!) when the band announced a month-long original lineup U.S. tour, including a date in Seattle. Redemption!
I've never seen the Gorilla Biscuits live, but for years I've imagined the glorious chaos of their shows. After releasing a highly celebrated full-length, Start Today, in 1989 (the follow-up to their self-titled debut the previous year), the band managed to become a staple among frenzied Minor Threat/Youth of Today fans. But at the height of their popularity, before they really had much of a chance to tour on Start Today (save for a lot of East Coast appearances), Gorilla Biscuits disbanded. Their last tour was in 1991. I didn't go; I was 11. I was really into Paula Abdul. Eventually, Gorilla Biscuits' members went on to start new projects (including CIV, Quicksand, and Rival Schools), but their legacy remained strong among hardcore communities.
It's easy to see why. Start Today is a blistering and passionate classic East Coast hardcore record. With a bullshit-calling attitude, GB took a stand and their fans eagerly backed 'em up. They're the originals. They're the Godfathers. Plus, how often does a hardcore band pull off a frickin' harmonica solo?! I can't wait for my turn to finally witness it all live. They play El Corazón on Wednesday, August 16, with Sinking Ships, Shook Ones, and the Vows (featuring members of Champion).
Now, confidential to Botch and Juno: This whole reunion bandwagon? It's your turn to jump on it.
See page 50 for All Ages Action.