Photo: Jamie Moore
I always forget how much I hate Ogden. Nothing against the city itself (my mom says it's "cute") ... just that it's not Salt Lake. Which means I have to drive there. Which means I have to pay for gas. Which means I have to will myself through a bleary-eyed funk of anti-depressants, caffeine and the Type O Negative album that's currently stuck in my car's stereo (Bloody Kisses, thanks for asking).
All in all, Mojos ain't a bad place. Not being a drinker of the brown nectar myself, I don't pass much judgment on coffee shops, but any one that'll open their doors for a bunch of smelly dropouts to beat each other to the rhythm of a few power chords is straight groovy in my book o' lies. Last time I was here, roughly two years ago, Backtrack and Foundation played to almost no one, and someone broke a picture hanging on the wall.
Crowd's good, though. Especially for a Wednesday night. Fever Dreams are loose after playing last night with Weekend Nachos and Dead in the Dirt in St. George. My roomie says that Dead in the Dirt made disparaging remarks about SLC. Is shit-talking vegan? No comment (except for one: "lame"). I've seen Fever Dreams a few times, and I don't remember them being this sludgy, but it's an improvement. Powerviolence? Not quite, but definitely copping a few pages from a dirgier copy of the Slap-a-Ham Bible. There's plenty of reasons to be mad about living in St. George. Let's stop acting like Vegas is cool.
Speak Out has shirts made. They've got a chain surrounding a guy in a varsity jacket. I wish they'd flesh out the lineup a little more, because it's still trio status and they'd be bitchin' if someone was playing bass. Still, I can't help but come up with half-assed comparisons to a markedly less screechy incarnation of Stop & Think. TJRB. Salty Stomp. All things good. Gumby mosh? You betcha ... and since we're talking about me, let's talk about the time I took my shirt off, beat my chest like a mongolopid and raged through a ramshackle rendition of "Straight Edge Revenge" for these guys, while 50 or 60 dirty rotten folk punks frowned at me. Real rain pours dawg.
Truth be told, Focused Minds is what got me here. Midwest wolfpack. A split with Another Mistake. Serious Youth Crew, straight edge-bent. Color me "into it" and finger-point in my face. Last time they played here was at an acoustically wretched skatepark with a bunch of x-tian metalcore knuckledraggers. They didn't complain. Here's what I have to say: The dude with the "MIDWEST STRAIGHT EDGE" windbreaker had supreme pit style and the shout-along in "I'm Not You" and the live debut (for me) of "Scene of the Crime" makes this the best set of the night. I don't care if you're straight edge, if you don't get a serious case of the "get up and jumps" when the needle hits Uniform Choice's Screaming for Change, you don't really like hardcore and you're probably not that smart. Send in your resignation, and pack up your things. Good frontman too, posi-jumps and indecipherable stage banter in between. The shtuff that gets any real hardcore kid chubbed and fresh (get it? Maybe you're not as into hardcore as me. Go cry about it). I can't be the only one who thinks about Expired Youth (R.I.P) when this band plays, right?
Rotting Out was supposed to play here with Backtrack, but had to drop off, so thank whatever eight-armed deity John Joseph prays to that they rolled through this time. Skate-goat shirts? Cholo steez? Hard ass dudes from L.A. playing some hybrid mutation of the 'Mags and the Nerve Agents (think about it). Excellent reaction that quickly turned into a "mosh 2 survive" scenario. "We're gonna be back soon ... I can't believe we were hesitant to come here!" was the singer's basic mantra throughout the set (along with an impassioned speech about finding salvation on a skateboard and living life by your own terms no matter what ... stuff I back). Vocalist's Raybeez-via-JJ stage persona is straight wild, and the faces he makes deserve their own column entirely. Hell, one of their songs even sounds like the moshier doppleganger to "Malfunction," but maybe that's just because I had ear plugs in. For those not in the know, Street Prowl is an excellent record that fits somewhere between the fast skate punk of the Golden State and the stompier moments of later era NYHC. Act now or pose later.
A succesful Wednesday usually comes in the form of a good episode of Modern Family (it's a feel-good show for feel-bad times) and a lovingly cooked meal. It's getting harder and harder to say the right thing, but hear this: I love hardcore the same way I love a hot bath, a bag of M & M's and a crisp issue of Baseball Digest. Mosh harder, cuz this ship ain't gonna sink itself.