Fri, Sep 07, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Live Wire: The smell of Napalm Death in the morning

By Alita Rickards  /  Contributing reporter

Napalm Death broke down The Wall.

Photo Courtesy of Alita Rickards

An attempt to show support for live music last week by attending Revolver’s Thursday band night ended well when I headed to the bar for a happy hour pint (NT$50 for beer and wine 8pm to 10pm weeknights) and recognized a blast from the past, still ripping it up in 2012.

Mitch Harris, the guitar player of Napalm Death, was standing at the bar.

An impromptu interview led to drinking with band members, Masquerader and Revilement until the wee hours Thursday, but that didn’t hinder the show at The Wall Friday night: It was so authentically hardcore, so passionate and aggressive and driven that it inspired obsessive stage-diving, with one avid Russian fan spending more time with his red high-tops in the air than on the floor.

Though Napalm Death are a bit like Washington’s ax (none of the original members are still in the group), Harris and vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway have been with the band since 1989.

This was their first time in Taiwan and Greenway said repeatedly during the show that they planned on returning soon. The set included classics and new songs, and an extended encore. The crowd went wild to his anti-theist proclamation prior to The Wolf I Feed: “You’ve heard of freedom of religion?” said Greenway. “How about freedom from religion!”

Members of the band returned to Revolver after the show. So, with other fans and friends and band members we drank until dawn again. Ah, the smell of Napalm Death in the morning. This is why music reporters put up with low pay, late hours, smoky bars, beer-stained shoes hangovers, and encroaching deafness.

■ The Wall (這牆) is located at B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1), and Revolver is at 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號).

Taylor Briere’s band Luxury Apartments and punk act Floaty debuted at the Treellage stage Aug 24. It’s a nice space, reminiscent of North American west coast cafe culture (though it would fit the eco-vibe better if the interior was decorated with drift wood and not stripped young green trees).

Both of these front men are well versed in music and know their genres: Luxury Apartments blends 90s sensibilities into a sound with a narcotic, hypnotizing quality that brings on a high of its own: heroin music by and for people who don’t actually do heroin.

Floaty creates a great mosh up of punk flavors — that’s mosh up, not mash up, because it’s pure old-school punk, not techno-electro. The group’s namesake, a long-time resident DJ at Underworld, is known for playing a wide-range of alternative music and has managed to create an original and engaging sound from a suitcase of influences. He has a wry onstage humor that invites the audience in, and rocks the best “guyliner” in Taipei.

Floaty himself is also the only permanent member of the trio at this point and is now looking for a new bass player and drummer, which hasn’t stopped him from booking shows. This month Roxymoron and OCD Girl’s John Stephenson will be filling in on drums until Floaty finds a replacement. Check out the group with Roxymoron at Underworld on Sept. 29 (rumor has it Floaty will release a new EP).

■ Treellage Stage is near Yuanshan MRT at 33 Minzu W Rd, Taipei City (台北市大同區民族西路33號).

Floaty and Roxymoron play 9pm Saturday, Sept. 29 at Underworld (地下社會), B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1). Admission is NT$300.

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