OBSERVE: Fastcore Fest 6


IMG_2592 copyYes Fastcore Fest has come and gone again. This year British Columbia is a little bit on fire so in order to avoid potentially burning even more of it the usual forest grindcore hoedown in Squamish was moved to two separate shows in Vancouver.

Under a bridge isn’t exactly like a forest but it wasn’t any less loud or fun. Less chance a soggy bun fight might break out, certainly less bugs, and definitely more cops. The change of setting was a slight upset for some but the show went on and with success thanks to the hardworking people behind the fest, and of course the terrific bands.

Make the jump for some quick impressions, photos and video of Fastcore Fest 6.

IMG_2797 copyThe Fastcore Fest 6 line up was split between the venue downtown and the bridge post-show:

Tenchu (Victoria)
Happy Pill Trauma (California)
Altercation (Kamloops)
Sordo (SoCal)
LxDxT (California)
Scum Human (Vancouver)
Vulva Essers (California)

Dr. Stalker (Squamish)
Power Trip (Squamish)
Sickner (Vancouver)
Vacant Life (Seattle)
Pressing On (Oregon)
Honduran (Oregon)
Shooting Spree (Squamish)

A few bands couldn’t make it, played at the pre-fest shows (which I couldn’t make it to) or stepped aside for out-of-towners (False, Sickner, Husk, SixBrewBantha, Osk, Waste Away) as sometimes happens. I was looking forward to seeing False in a forest with a bunch of grind bands but you can’t have everything you want.

The day/evening was great anyway of course. As you’ve no doubt noticed the lineup was once again strong, all west coast split between the USA and here with a few repeats from the past fests. The California bands played the first venue in east Vancouver while any left over bands were set to play under the bridge.

I was only familiar with just over half the groups and was consistently impressed by those I hadn’t heard; specifically Vacant Life, Pressing On and Sordo.

What follows is a short wrap up of the fest. All photos can be found in hi-res on Flickr, and all videos can be viewed on Youtube.

___________________
___________________
___________________

TENCHU

IMG_2354 copyVictoria locals Tenchu opened up the festival, and I gotta recommend those who haven’t already done so to check them out. A strong start-up to a long day of grind, here’s a bit of their set below:

___________________
___________________
___________________

HAPPY PILL TRAUMA

IMG_2379 copyLast year Happy Pill Trauma was supposed to play but their drummer couldn’t make it. Val came anyway and did a song with Tension, making for a killer surprise. This year they both made it in and aside from a few pauses for a tired drummer they slayed. Val’s vocals peel paint man.

___________________
___________________
___________________

ALTERCATION

IMG_2393 copyKamloops two piece Altercation who I saw not long ago for the first time also played the fest. Can’t wait for some hard material to get released by these two.

___________________
___________________
___________________

SORDO

IMG_2418 copy

First Cali band to play was Sordo, frenetic bass/drum powerviolence trampled the venue. Improvised street fighter songs between the long streak of manic tracks, and truly gnarly vocals.

___________________
___________________
___________________

LxDxT

IMG_2499 copyLxDxT were the next Cali band to play, getting the crowd the most worked up yet.

___________________
___________________
___________________

SCUM HUMAN

IMG_2539 copySCUM HUMAN just put out a demo last month, the recording quality is fairly crude but the material itself is like a kick in the dick so you should go download it. Four piece from Vancouver, equal parts SIXBREWBANTHA, THROAT SLITTER, Subsist, and Sickener.

Their set was a stand out as the ran through a lot of songs on the demo and a new one.

___________________
___________________
___________________

VULVA ESSERS

IMG_2571 copyThey slayed in the previous year, and made it up to do it again. Vulva Essers noisy eccentric grind closed off the indoor part of the festival.

_____________________
___________
______

BRIDGE SHOW

IMG_2599 copy

This was my first bridge show. They’ve happened in the past I’ve just never been able to attend one. I didn’t know where it was happening but Anju and Thomas kindly allowed me to tag along while they picked up some PAs and mic stands, and food of course afterwards with some of the Washington/Oregon bands.

By the time 9:00 pm rolled around we were at the bridge. The lighting was a bit of an issue for the first few bands and later nearly impossible for video with my set up, however I had it under control by the time Vacant Life was kicking up dust. My apologies for that in advance.

Again this was the line up for the bridge show:

Dr. Stalker (Squamish)
Power Trip (Squamish)
Sickner (Vancouver)

Vacant Life (Seattle)
Pressing On (Oregon)
Honduran (Oregon)
Shooting Spree (Squamish)

___________________
___________________
___________________

DR. STALKER

IMG_2612 copyI don’t know that I’ve seen these guys before, I feel like I have and their lumbering, low-end grinding did strike me as familiar. Either way they opened the bridge set.

___________________
___________________
___________________

POWER TRIP + SICKNER

IMG_2623 copyIn between the previous Dr. Stalker set and the next bands I was talking to some one from the UK taking photos, so I was a bit distracted when these two were setting up. I did notice the two different drum sets but assumed it was preemption. In actuality it was so Power Trip and Sickner (I think) could switch off between songs, doubling up and making for a killer contrast.

___________________
___________________
___________________

VACANT LIFE

IMG_2667 copyI don’t know much about these guys but aside from the mic issues which were no fault of theirs they put on an amazing show. Really heavy, quite different from any of the other bands in attendance. I tried to get one track recorded even if the vocals weren’t mic’d properly and it was dark as shit, just because of how groovy it was.

Vacant Life were definitely a favorite that night and I recommend getting into them.

___________________
___________________
___________________

PRESSING ON

IMG_2699 copyOne of two bands from Oregon, Pressing On were another one I didn’t know much about prior to fastcore fest. They played straight through with no interruptions, dolling out a crushing old school style of hardcore, a lot of material from their demo that came out this year. Screaming solos and punk riff madness blowing up the bridge, throwing up a ton of dirt and gravel.

___________________
___________________
___________________

HONDURAN

IMG_2739 copyHonduran played fastcore fest last year, I think I actually got a lift back into Squamish with them; anyway they came back and again threw down some of the best shit of the night. Again not so much grind but heavy, clobbering hardcore. Big low-end presence with tracks that stretch further than most of the groups here, and it works well. One or two new songs too.

They had one of the longest sets and I loved it. I definitely regret not getting some footage of them again

___________________
___________________
___________________

SHOOTING SPREE

IMG_2781 copySHOOTING SPREE ended up being the last band to play the night. I fucking love these guys, one of the best in B.C. no doubt, crazy fast and fun. They were gonna have a new split out with Ether Binge this year however I asked them and it looks like it might be released by itself on a 5″. I hope that happens soon because what they’re playing needs to be out there more.

Their set tore the place up. I recorded one of their tracks but again it was really dark at this point and there were no lights.

_____________________
___________
______

IMG_2801 copyAlmost immediately after SHOOTING SPREE switched their shit off the police showed up, prevented the last one or two bands from closing the show (I think LxDxt were supposed to play), and that was the end of Fastcore Festival 6.

I didn’t stick around much longer as I had to be up early to get back on the island for work in the afternoon. I said goodbye to a few people and made the long walk back to the skytrain station.

Fastcore Fest 7 is next year same time, and hopefully the province won’t be burning like it has been this year so it can be held in the Squamish forest again. If not, no doubt the organizers and bands can make something happen. It is greatly appreciated how hard they work each year to put on and put up with a lot of shit in order to make a great gathering happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s