Killswitch Engage isn't nearly as dire and one-note as the name suggests. Though ostensibly metalcore, the rise of screamo has shifted what it means to be -core, displacing, to some extent, metal in the process. Thus metalcore becomes a bit redundant. We seek to rectify this, declaring Killswitch Engage to be pretty solidly hardcore. But God, sometimes, when the vocals go from growls, barks and screams (long since co-opted from agro-metal by hardcore kids) to quasi-operatic tenor (complete with vibrato), we'll be damned if it doesn't just sound like metal's golden era. So metalcore's not right, but neither is it correct to simply call them hardcore or just metal. The seemingly pointless genre speculation serves this purpose: easily classified bands aren't any damn fun. Killswitch Engage isn't easily classified, therefore they must be fun right? No, not exactly fun, but cunningly schizophrenic. They play the Big Easy on Sunday. Tickets are $19.
Punk and punk alone day
The Fumes, a late-'80s South Hill punk band that has played with the likes of At the Drive-In, AFI and the Offspring, are playing their first show in six years at the Blvd Saturday with the Blowouts, Deadones USA and The Sex Cells. Formed in 1989, their music is indicative of a period after punk had ceased being a social movement and had become a beast of its own.
The Antlerand show at the Big Dipper was filthy. Their nimble atmospherics had we staffers fighting over just what ambient pop means. Antlerand certainly defies the old guard definition, that ambience need somehow be droney, soothing and relaxing. They were that, certainly, but punctuated with hooks and rhythms that fill the Big Dipper with a very light, lively, propulsive sound. Delaney Kelly's drumming was met with stunned silence. Gawk-inducing, then, might be the best way to describe it.