SHOW REVIEW: Malachi/Victims/Trash Talk/High On Crime @ Borg Ward, 05.14.08

Words and photo by Dan Agacki

I have a confession to make. Attending this show was less about the actual bands and more about hanging out with Robert Collins (bass player for High On Crime / Malachi) one last time before he moves back to California. I don’t blame him for going back. Usually I’m one of the first people to champion my homeland, but after this past winter, even I’m a little unsure of these harsh lands.

After an hour of yapping, munching on gas station snacks and getting heckled by locals for wearing a man purse (It’s a camera bag!), High On Crime started their noise. I’ve seen them dozens of times, stretching all the way back to their days as a two-piece. Two members or four, it’s never made a difference. They’ve always sounded huge. And last night was no different. Even with their re-learning songs before playing ‘em, they still pulled off a pummeling set.

Trash Talk from California followed. Within seconds of the opening song, I was glad I chose to stand on a chair in the back. Fists were flying everywhere, the crowd scattered… complete chaos. The same clean-cut youngsters that brought the mosh during last week’s Pulling Teeth set were out again in full force. (Maybe I’m getting old, but I’d rather stand in the back and keep all my teeth. )

Trash Talk’s set was a rager. They pulled off some heavy, pissed-off hardcore without stepping too far into metal territory. I didn’t expect to be too keen on them, but I’ll admit it, I’m a fan.

Sweden’s greatest export was up next. Victims reminded everyone of the importance of Discharge. Towering amps, screaming distortion and foreigners railing against our country! Other than a couple power outages, it was a great set. All the black-clad, patch-wearing, dreadlock-having attendees surely went to bed with pleasant memories imbedded in their brains.

Malachi closed out the night. I ventured up front to get photos, knowing that there wouldn’t be any moshing to their drawn out stoner jams. Somehow I never noticed before that they added a cello player. Skepticism set in, but the cello worked well and complimented the songs. It adds another layer to their wave of sound as it sucks you in. Certain bands have the musical power to carry you off into anther world and Malachi is one of those groups.

Their set crawled to an end and the show was over. I, like many others, waited around to wish Robert well on his journey back to the West Coast. The Milwaukee punk scene will keep moving without him, but it will always be thankful for the help he gave us during his time here.

For more info on any of the above bands, we give you this convenient list of MySpace pages, Web sites, and, well, that’s really it:

– High On Crime’s Web site
– Trash Talk’s Web site
– Victims’ Web site
– Malachi’s MySpace page

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