I'm not familiar with The Stops!!! and there doesn't appear to be much info online. While nominally from Baltimore according to their social media info, the group appears to have deep ties to our area as drummer Ronnie Kline has played/is playing for a fair number of bands locally. As part of an extensive, high energy set, the group contributed a notable and moving cover from the late Darbe Warner's catalog with his former band-mate Alex Harrison stepping in to great effect.
I tried connecting the dots here from memory, and got it all tangled up and wrong. Memory really isn't any kind of friend to me these days. So I checked with a couple of folks and here's what I figured out:
Warner, who journeyed beyond the veil last August, fronted the Real Tears with Harrison, George Homich, and Dickie Fulcher, who was in attendance tonight as a member of the Cazz.
Here's where it gets tricky to keep everything straight: The bands of this era were pretty loose about who would play with who. Prior to the Real Tears, Warner was in Black Jesus -- alongside way too many other folks who have also since moved on to the next world -- Barry Johnson, Chris Korbet, Lee Reams, and Jay Clarke. Warner toured with the Candy Snatchers, and Johnson was a member of that band as well, along with Matthew Odietus who passed away in 2008.
The main point here being that it was really sweet for The Stops!!! to pay homage to Warner, whose loss is still very fresh for many from the halcyon days of our scene. And that by doing so they tapped a deep well of emotions for those in the audience who knew what was up.
And gets me thinking on the names of my own people who haven't made it to today. We're entering an time where the list of fallen punks is only going to expand. That saddens me. But there's been a resurgence lately of that era of our scene that's pleasing to my ear, and my heart. I hope it continues, a music community that doesn't look back to its roots is a stunted form.
Regardless of all the history packed into his playing that one cover, what is beyond dispute is that frontman Scott Garrish is an absolute beast. Kline is a powerhouse behind the kit. And I highly recommend you drop whatever it is you're doing to get tickets the next time they're in town.
. . .
It feels to me like The Cemetery Boys have been around forever. I know I've seen em play a bunch of times but I've always missed covering them until tonight. Personally, I think they're one of the tightest bands in our city. They're also one of the most original -- I've never really known how to characterize the unique arrangement of dual basses in service of a singular sound. Gothic industrial? Spookycore? Horror Punk? I hear this is a family affair between a father and his sons, but I strongly suspect they're actually revenants raised at some midnight hour, cursed to rock the fuck out for all eternity. They threw in a cover of 'The Killing Moon' tonight that I would bounce a check to buy right now if they pushed a recording of it out.
. . .
I love The Cazz. They play punk rock from my favorite era of punk rock. I hear a record is on the way. I can't wait for it. One notes the inclusion of Hardcore Norfolk scion, James Persons, for a Clash cover ostensibly as a dry run for their billed slot at this year's Veer Awards. The kid has skills. If you missed this, you should carry your ass to the Granby Theater on February 12th to hear it in person.
-- end transmission --
The Cemetery Boys
Norfolk. Horror Punk?