Live Report: Raspberry Bulbs, Salvation, Pharmakon
Unseasonably warm temperatures and a dense fog blanketing the city added atmosphere to a bleak, yet ripping show at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn last night (1/13). In their first local performance in more than a year, Raspberry Bulbs (mems of Bone Awl, Rorschach) teamed with the like-minded maniacs in Salvation and local noise favorite Pharmakon to close a string of tour dates together.
Raspberry Bulbs combine elements like nihilistic early 80s hardcore punk with a stomp not dissimilar from Hewhocrushesteeth's other band, Bone Awl. A new bassist and a second guitarist (the first seat is occupied by Nick from Rorschach) frees Hewhocrushesteeth to be just a vocalist now (he previously played second guitar on occaision), and the addition welcomes a strong visual element along with the extra firepower.
Support was equally impressive. Salvation is clearly a punk band at heart, but many elements about this Pennsylvania band blur the lines with black metal. Matthew Adis's vocals are distinctly nihilistic and chord progressions take cues from Norway's godfathers. Yet Adis's stage presence is also distinctly hardcore, mixing it up with the crowd and being generally confrontational. Combine those aesthetics with the jump kicks of a youth crew band, and you have, much like Raspberry Bulbs, a unique and fascinating live show.
Industrial/power electronics from Pharmakon opened the evening. The noise artist utilized pedals, keys, and a contact mic on sheet metal to propel her throbbing beats. Her music is confrontational and the performance mirrored that; Pharmakon set up in the center of the room and spent a good portion of the set wandering around the crowd while belting out raspy, anguished screams.
Raspberry Bulbs recently recorded a new LP at Heaven Street, though no word as to when the long-player will appear. The bulk of the band's set was comprised of that new material.
- photos and words by Fred Pessaro