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HomeBlogsJeff Hewitt's blogLAVA Presents: NFK Nightmares with MAS Y MAS, Doll Baby, and Bad Magic

LAVA Presents: NFK Nightmares with MAS Y MAS, Doll Baby, and Bad Magic

April 10, 2018509Views

NFK Nightmares killed it this past Saturday with a few other bands in tow. This proto-typical punk rock band has always blown the doors out when I've caught them live, and they seemed especially on point this evening.

I don't know a ton about the group and they generally seem to subscribe to the old-school genre based disdain around self promotion so there's not much floating around for me to crib notes from to relay here. But they're awesome. I hear through the grapevine that there's an album in the works that's more or less mastered and is reportedly excellent -- so we'll keep an eye out and bring forth more news of that when it's available. This is pretty much everything you want a punk band to be, and they're always worth the cover at the door.

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This is twice I've seen Doll Baby from Richmond -- they were part of the LAVA all women event a few.. Six? Eight? Whatever months ago, and they've impressed me on both occasions. There's a more than a little Seattle sound here, but stripped down. The overall vibe recalls battle-scarred echoes of Live Through This at times, but you know.. More disciplined. Vocally, lead singer Julie Storey veers from that to something that reminds me a bit of the recently late Dolores O'Riordan to great effect.

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Vinnie Mas of MAS Y MAS is a player in the mold of old blues masters like John Lee Hooker, except he’s not playing the blues — instead, his playground takes place in puddles of mayhem formed from the outsized footprints of groups like Fugazi or TSOL. The fundamental nature of hardcore makes it easy to miss how clever this music is — the group’s name is a double entendre between eponymity and the Spanish translation of “More and More.” And while their melodies may lie submerged in service of stomp and grind, the lyrics are much more intricate than catching the group live perhaps allows one to appreciate. This band is at its core a study of excess. Digging deep, one marvels at how much is packed into each song.

Add to this the sheer fortitude of a fifteen year run in a town that hasn’t always been supportive of local bands plying the trade of producing original music? The stamina it takes to survive multiple line-up changes over a decade and a half? MAS Y MAS is an institution. One that deserves much more attention than they get. Pick up their '08 full length release -- Proud Sponsors of Pepsi, to dig into what I'm saying.

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Also from out of RVA -- Bad Magic lays down a solid foundation of rust streaked, well weathered rock and roll upon which front-woman Julie Krr is able to layer in some impressive lyrical work. While the rhythm section comprised of Jimmy Held and Tim Falen is top notch, the band rises and falls on the strength of Krr's smoke stained, world-wary vocals. There is painfully earned wisdom here -- this is a band that likely pairs well with a bottle of something from Kentucky. One of the joys of Norfolk's scene is that bands like this occasionally trickle down form Richmond, so we get to experience the joy of watching a younger, more nascent scene develop while at the same time sample the sonic tapestry of a city that quite simply spends more live music and therefore employs a richness we have yet to reach here.

A good time was had by all. And then we went home to face the morning.

NFK Nightmares

Doll Baby

MAS Y MAS

Bad Magic

Words and pictures by Jeff Hewitt.