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Story and photos by Carmelo Española

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For less than the price of a cup of Bud Light, I attended a killer basement show featuring Weekend Nachos, Masakari, Alpinist, Regrets, and Protestant. After I got off my weekend job, I armed myself with a six-pack of Big Flats from Walgreens (a recession friendly-price of $2.99!) and hopped on the bus to the Albion House.

Unfortunately due to rain and traffic, I missed the excellent Protestant from Milwaukee and arrived in the middle of Regrets' short but sharp set. Regrets have been around for a few years, and they are one of the current torchbearers of Chicago's heavy powerviolence sound. They only play shows locally for the time being, so if you're in Chicago, they are definitely worth checking out.

Alpinist came all the way from Germany to do a tour that culminates at the Southern Lord-curated Power of the Riff festivals on the West Coast. They were very happy to tour the US for the first time. This enthusiasm definitely showed as they plowed through their set. Traces of Portland via Nashville hardcore mixed with Swedish epic crust mixed and resonated well.

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Alpinist - "Yarncarrier and Break"

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Masakari from Cleveland impressed me the last couple of times I saw them, at SXSW in Austin and Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore. But the primal basement setting made their crust fury even more rabid. As a Cleveland band, they were definitely influenced by Integrity, as far as speed and breakdowns go, but their riffing was as heavy and dark as Winter and Entombed.

Weekend Nachos ended the show with a bang, literally. During their first few songs, several firecrackers were thrown into and exploded continuously in the pit. The already humid basement air was further made nauseating by the smell of smoke mixed with sweat. Weekend Nachos always turn people's switches on to rage. Maybe Exodus could take Weekend Nachos on tour with them to re-ignite the true meaning of good, friendly, violent fun. The most gonzo moment was when a log was thrown into the pit during a break and smashed into pieces.

I felt like I had spent a day in the hairiest men's sauna ever, as I was completely soaked in sweat. That, however, was a 100 times better than being surrounded by wasted bros in Big Ten shirts at an overpriced outdoor festival.

— Carmelo Española
See full photo set here

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