Photo by Cosmo Lee

You think you know what to expect. You've seen the band before. Yet when Landmine Marathon raze the Lit Lounge, you are just as saucer-eyed as every other punter afterwards. The band has quite a look: four beards and a skinny young lady in skinny jeans. On their first note, bassist Matt Martinez breaks a string. His lowest, biggest one. What kind of bassist breaks a low E (tuned down to B, actually)? Martinez is as stunned as everyone else. He has brought no spare axe and, hoping that his band won't stop, walks offstage to change strings. The band can't stop, won't stop grinding. Grace Perry has become a demoness in a t-shirt with a mic. She can't stand still. She runs back and forth, perpetually in search of something. She charges into the crowd and ends her lines on tiptoe. Two guys are doing that synchronized European brothers-in-arms headbanging. Martinez returns with the ugliest bass I've ever seen. It's so worn, it looks furry and diseased. Jackson made it??? Turns out that he works for Jackson, and that he Frankensteined it together from spare parts. Perry is shivering from the demons inside. Racing back and forth thankfully doesn't help. Drums clatter away in the back, proficiently but sounding like shit. No matter - everyone's faces are melting from the carpet bombing up front. Grind, grind, grind. Fucking Monday the 13th. Suddenly the set ends. Groans, cheers. Perry announces that she is (wo)manning the merch table because, as the vocalist, she has nothing to carry. Prices are low, she says, because people, like the band, are poor. This song comes straight from that table to you.

- Cosmo Lee

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