There are a lot of different types of venues that you can see your favorite bands play in. You can see them in arenas, you can see them in big clubs, small clubs, dive bars, at festivals, but in my opinion there is one way that you can experience artists that no other way can hold a candle to: House shows. This past Saturday my fellow punks and I went to the Rocketship in Washignton DC to see hardcore up and comers Full of Hell and Code Orange Kids play sets in a sweaty basement.
It wasn’t until recently that I got immersed into house show culture, and to be frank I’m really glad it happened. I had gone to one this past summer, but it wasn’t until I went with my great friends Christina and Mariana (who to Mariana’s delight dubbed us the Pokemon squad, stilltrying to figure out how I feel about this) to my friends house called “Little Man’s Garage” in Virginia to see DC hardcore act Coke Bust play a rowdy set. For those readers who haven’t been to a house show yet, find your local punk and get out to a few shows and you find great joy in seeing some bands literally slay in in a basement in a residential neighborhood.
Code Orange Kids and Full of Hell did everything and more this past Saturday. The show opened up with Misled Youth, who due to my misjudgement of the time it took to commute there, I missed all but one song of their set. From what I saw as I crept into the basement kids were going off for them, so it’s really good to see locals having a good time to a local band. After Misled Youth grind band Triacstarted to play, and I was very impressed. They were fast, they were angry, and the crowd really enjoyed them as well. Their drummer was lightning fast, and as he threw down some of the fastest blast beats I’ve ever seen he never faltered once, which is something I find completely fascinating. All too often punk and hardcore bands get sloppy on their instruments (which is totally fine, it’s punk), but these guys really did a great job keeping everything together in my opinion.
Next was Extermination Angel. I cann try to describe to you really what this wsa like, but frankly you honestly had to be there. The band was a death metal band, and their
lead singer looked like he was straight from an 80’s hair metal cover band. He was wearing a leather jacket, huge hair, he had gauntlets on, this guy went the whole nine yards. I couldn’ttell if he was doing this as a joke or if this was a real thing, but the set was interesting to say the least. I personally am not a huge metal fan, but with a song called “Meat Chainsaw” you kinda get what you get.
After Extermination Angel played Code Orange Kids stepped up. They were the reason why I went to this show (with the adittion of seeing some really great friends), and they did anything but disappoint. They were loud, they were abrasive, and the 50 some kids who were packed into this small basement went absolutely nuts. I personally had to get my friend Noorann to take pictures for me (She did a great job if I might add!) because I knew in advance that I was going to get really into their set which I found to be a great judgement call. Code Orange Kids are steadily getting a lot of respect and hype within the hardcore, and it’s warranted. The band delivers both on record as well as live, and sometimes those things don’t necessarily work together. Their drummer was passionate as he played both drums and screamed (which I found to be highly enjoyable to watch), and the rest of the band was on point throughout the entirety of the set. Notable favorites of the night were their songs “Coasts” off of their Demo, and “Cycles (The Days Get Longer)” off of their 7inch Cycles.
Last on the bill was Full of Hell, a hardcore band that I was only familiar with since they have a split coming out on Topshelf Records with Code Orange Kids (pre order here). I knew they were heavy, but they were REALLY heavy in the best way possible. They came out and completely threw the basement into anarchy, with the heavy stylings of both the instrumentation and vocals. Full of Hell is very in your face, and their singer made sure you knew that he was there as he ran in and out of the pit as he threw everything he had into the microphone. By this point I was pretty tired, so I planned on staying closer to the back instead of hanging in the pit like I normally do. However Full of Hell came out with a song (which I later found to be called “Black Iron” off of their record Roots of Earth are Consuming My Home) that made me feel like losing it. The bass was so low and sludgy, then it erupted into a firestorm where my only reaction could be to crush people in the pit. This sort of reaction isn’t too infrequent to me (I’m a level 8 mosh warrior, soon to reach level 10 pit wizard with the help of Scott Vogel of Terror’s mentorship), but this band really made me lose it. Since the show their record has been on repeat, and I highly recommend both Full of Hell and Code Orange Kids to become a part of your hardcore rotation. Misled Youth from DC is also a fantastic band who after checking them out I came home seem to be really doing some great things. So for the people who skip to the end to see what I rated the show (Pro-Tip: I don’t rate shows so your attempts are futile), the bands from this night were awesome and if you have a chance to see them in your local punk house, make sure you do it fast because they are going to be blowing up fast.
Written By Tyler Osborne
Photography By Noorann Matties