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VFW #160; Glen Burnie, MD: 12/03/99

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

As this was a Recoil Production I was expecting a lot from this show and I was not disappointed. Karl and Jacque did an excellent job in setting up a diverse line-up - each band brought their own distinctive contribution to the sound and vibe of the evening.

Divulsion opened the show with a blast of modern hardcore spliced with metallic riffs. Divulsion were able to blend post-hardcore, ultra-heavy riffing and slow-dirges with breakneck pacing in a satisfying concoction.

Local punk rockers The Heroin Addicts were down to a three piece for this show due to a bandmate who was ill. No problem. The Heroin Addicts laid down a blend of punk that was not too poppy nor too angry - this happy medium fit in with the good vibes of the evening.

Gamewinner, purveyors of the old school hardcore sound with a positive message, played what I normally think of when I think of hardcore.  Gamewinner really got into the action with the audience. Fearless devotion to the moment is the feeling I got from Gamewinner.

Carved In Stone played a thrash-laden set of hardcore edged metal.  Clearly the young talent in Carved In Stone has been exposed to both hardcore and metal is crafting a new harder edge sound without resorting to the kinds of tactics that metal bands suffer when seeking an identity. 

The Smizokes, a ska-core band, were the night's most accomplished musical act. This nine member outfit is tight and steady. And everyone came prepared with their dancin' shoes - the music literally demanded that the audience dance and nearly everyone complied. The mix of hardcore and ska was augmented by a five-piece horn section; the horns really make the sound full and vibrant. The Smizokes already have a smash debut record, yet the band showcased a number of new tunes from their upcoming sophomore effort. When a band reaches a certain level of musicianship and confidence the music just flows out - such is the case with The Smizokes.

This show was proof that as long as you can put together a few bands and a room big enough to hold a couple hundred of your best friends you can party all night long. 

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:17 -0400.