Killing Me with DAT: Jordan Selbo Reviews Necro
January 15, 2008
By Jordan Selbo
Photos by Tony Nelson
Better Than: Mosh pits, youth unity, and unchecked aggression at a skinhead rally.
Station 4 is the perfect venue for the hardcore death stylings of Necro and his ilk -- dark, grimy, working-class sincere -- and Tuesday at 6 p.m. is about the perfect time for them, too. The clientele he attracts is a select sub-genre, awkward but proud, pissed-off but unified, stupid yet self-aware. The product he kicks is uncompromisingly violent, death-obsessed, and misogynistic. And yet the steam this skilled-but-nonetheless-grating music allows its listeners to blow off is, in the end, all gravy: teenagers have angst and horniness and rage at the world for days, and where else can it be better channeled than here, through moshing and harmless fantasizing?
Stay classy, Necro: Nothing says decorum like the middle finger and an "I [Heart] Fucking shirt. See even more dignified photos in our gallery.
Necro had the restless and partly-buzzed crowd in his big angry hands from the moment the two opening acts finished their perfunctory and underwhelming four-song sets. Clearly, they were here for him. And for 18 duckets, they better be passionate. So while PE samples Nation of Islam officer Dr. Khallid Muhammad, the forever young and dumbly violent Necro started his show with a Charles Manson soundbite. It made perfect sense, as did eschewing the standard rap crowd participation chants of "hey! ho!" for "show your ass," "suck it" and "pit! pit! pit!" (The last an exhortation to, of course, start moshing like maniacs). So when, late in the show, Necro asked in succession who was a metal head versus a hip hop head, and the former got a much louder response, that made sense too. But don't be too alarmed; for every manic mosher, there were two wallflowers living vicariously through the sex and violence soundscapes Necro provided, glassy-eyed but nonetheless transfixed.
With a killer hype man in Mr. Hyde, the show kept its energy high. The wheels of steel sat sadly on their pedestals, untouched, while the all-too-typical-yet-still-depressing DAT took their place. The songs all sounded the same in a comforting sort of manager, as even the two encores were squeezed off with little fanfare (but welcomed from the forever hungry party people). The standard boom-bap beats and repetitive-but-infectious melodic loops (notwithstanding a handful of awful metal-rap tracks) blasted through the speakers effectively, yet a weak mic volume occasionally sabotaged Necro's assured machine-gun flow. Not that it mattered much, as the content never veered far from tons of guns, revenge fantasies, and sophomoric sex attitudes.
In the end, whether good or bad (and I'm sure the majority opinion differs from the fans' view), Necro's disgusting, vile, infectious, intoxicating, and inclusive music is just what it should be-- unapologetic, warts and all. Ending the night with the screamo chant, "Violence! Death! There ain't nothin' left to say," I couldn't agree more.
Personal Bias: Although I like the occasional "Shook Ones, pt.2"-era nihilism as much as the next guy, I'm really more D.A.I.S.Y. Age than DMX.
Random Detail: That's the most JNCOs I've seen in one place since 6th grade. Granted, there were only like three people rocking the extreme boot cuts, but still.
By the way: Despite (or perhaps because of) their best intentions, these murder-kids are actually the nicest and most sincere younguns you'll ever be lucky enough to meet (sometimes cringe-inducingly so, as when breaking down the finer points of Necro's artistry while wearing an ICP t-shirt).
-- Jordan Selbo