Local natives Raspberry Bulbs and Villains kicked off New York City’s CMJ New Music Marathon with a raucous night of thrashy black metal punk at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus on Tuesday, October 18. Raspberry Bulbs have only recently started playing live, and if you have the chance, you should check them out; they’re one of the more intense bands I’ve seen in recent memory (one of the few bands ahead of them on that list is Black Twilight Circle’s Arizmenda, who were freaking nuts at The Charleston in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, a show that Raspberry Bulbs opened).

On Tuesday, Raspberry Bulbs frontman He Who Crushes Teeth—who plays all instruments on the band’s recordings—flailed across the stage and into the near-capacity crowd as he barked out his violent and abrasive lyrics. Raspberry Bulbs’ songs are hypnotic and raw punk-derived rippers that rarely cross the three-minute mark. After each song, in the brief moments before they dive headfirst into the next, you get the feeling you just witnessed some sort of aural blitz.

Brooklyn’s Villains’ black metal/thrash/punk sound is similar to that of Raspberry Bulbs, but is a bit less crusty. Villains is, in a word, fun, and the crowd at Saint Vitus reacted with some throwback dancing at the foot of the stage. Openers Skull, a bass/drum black/death metal duo, and Occultation, a retro psych-metal foursome with a female lead singer who also does duty behind the drums, were good as well. The show thankfully finished up before midnight, giving us music journalists some rest before the approximately 2 billion other shows that were to follow (few of which were as good as this one).

— Wyatt Marshall

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