Friday afternoon at Lovejoys in Austin was the place to be for all things heavy, with sets by Maryland’s Magrudergrind and Salt Lake City’s own Gaza.
Magrudergrind was about halfway through their set when I arrived. This three piece from Maryland plays grindcore with punk rock influences that reminded me a lot of All Systems Fail. I quickly grabbed a Lone Star and took my place in the crowd—which was predominantly male and rocking black filth encrusted t-shirts. Everything was played at a breakneck speed, with pounding drums and scorching vocals. It didn’t take long after I’d gotten my beer for a pit to break out and for some of my beer to end up in my eyeball. Nothing compares to the unbridled anger of a grind core show.
Salt Lake City’s Gaza was up next. Gaza destroyed Austin. Their short set was one of the more passionate and engaging grindcore sets that I have ever seen. Plus, it’s always amazing to watch band’s from your hometown absolutely murder it in a different city. Lead singer Jon Parkin paced in front of the tiny stage like some sort of wild animal, taunting and provoking members of the crowd. As the band began “He is Never Coming Back,” the crowd surged to scream along with Parkin. Gaza’s minimalistic approach to their music creates a final product that is extremely brutal, precise and very powerful. I’m happy to say that a local Salt Lake City band blew my mind in Austin.