Amphetamine Reptile's Bash 13 at Grumpy's, 7/20/13
|Photo By Ryan Siverson|
Amphetamine Reptile's Bash 13
With Melvins, Honky, Negative Approach, Gay Witch Abortion, Mudhoney, Hepa/Titus, and Die Kreuzen
Grumpy's Downtown, Minneapolis
July 20, 2013
Part way through Mudhoney's incendiary early evening set at Bash 13 on Saturday, they broke into their new underachievement anthem, "I Like It Small." That song perfectly sums up the longstanding philosophy of both Amphetamine Reptile Records as well as the litany of unassuming but ass-kicking bands signed to the label over the past 27 years. It would have served as the perfect song to start a soundtrack or Spotify playlist encapsulating the musical mayhem of Bash 13 -- if AmRep actually gave a shit about soundtracks or Spotify playlists.
And thankfully, the label and the acts associated with AmRep over the years have seen through the bullshit that plagues much of modern music, and have distilled their formula down to -- play great music and everything else will take care of itself. And on a sunny summer Saturday at Grumpy's downtown, the music brought everyone together for the day, and it was what ultimately ruled the entire raucous event.
Melvins launched the festivities in grand fashion, taking the stage to the hazy sounds of Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" before launching into their breathless but all-too-brief set. The band was joined by Butthole Surfers' bassist Jeff Pinkus, who was filling in for Jared Warren who was out on paternity leave awaiting the birth of his new child. And Pinkus added a grimy, pulsing undercurrent to Melvins' sludgy sound, with the double-drum attack of Dale Crover and Coady Willis providing a fitful rhythm that kept up with Buzz Osbourne's crunchy guitar riffs.
|Photo By Ryan Siverson|
Melvins' set started and ended with gems from their 1993 classic, Houdini, with "Hag Me" kicking off the set tempestuously, while an extended, blistering version of "Night Goat" closing the performance down thunderously. The one-two punch of "The War On Wisdom" and "We Are Doomed" from the Bulls & The Bees EP also proved to be clear standouts of the set, despite the PA cutting out for a brief minute or two. The well-paced set churned on with a fiery run through of "Sweet Willy Rollbar" from Stoner Witch, and a simmering take on "A Growing Disgust" from their recent record, Freak Puke.
But it was a powerful, potent version of "Let It All Be" which really lit the fuse of the performance, with Pinkus' funky low end giving the song an ominous core while Buzz's filthy guitar riffs and threatening vocals set the song on fire. An untamed, experimental run through of Bullhead's "Your Blessened" set the stage for a wild take on "Night Goat," which the band expanded on before Buzz ceded the stage to Pinkus' band, Honky, with both Dale and Jared sticking around to play drums for the first song in their set.
Honky seemed to revel in the moment, playing to a decidedly unpretentious crowd filled with dedicated AmRep disciples who were there to have a good time. And Honky's high-spirited, fun-fueled music certainly added to the festive nature of the day. Crover played drums for Honky's entire set, which drew mainly from their combustible recent record, the awesomely titled 421, with Pinkus and guitarist Bobby Ed Landgraf trading vocal duties seamlessly during their jocular numbers. The group even playfully apologized to the females in the crowd before dedicating "Just A Man" to all the dudes in the audience.
|Photos By Ryan Siverson|
Honky's enjoyable set went by in a flash, but the wait for Negative Approach proved to be a long one. Though, considering the Detroit punk band was making their Minneapolis debut despite being around since the '80s, their fans could wait a few extra minutes. But as soon as the hardcore quartet hit the stage, the whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their high-octane punk aggression.
Their combative, hostile songs came in rapid-fire succession, as frontman John Brannon gazed menacingly at the crowd while screaming his lyrics atop the mayhem his band were generating behind him. Negative Approach certainly gave Bash 13 a jolt in the hot, mid-afternoon sun, giving their area fans the type of feral live performance they've been waiting for.
Gay Witch Abortion were the lone local band on the Bash 13 bill, and singer/guitarist Jesse Bottomley and drummer Shawn Walker made the most of their coveted mid-day slot amidst all of these classic, noise-rock stalwarts. It did take a while for the band to hit their stride, though, but once they settled in their set really took off. Their fast-paced set focused mainly on material from their recent album, Opporntunistic Smokescreen Behavior, with a brazen new song thrown into the mix as well. GWA continue to boldly stand alone as far as local bands go, generating a fierce but focused type of metal that commands your attention while melting your face.