Youth Code at the Triple Rock, 2/4/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess
Sara Taylor of Youth Code

Youth Code
With Coming & Prostate
Triple Rock, Minneapolis
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Youth Code is not for the faint of heart. Last night, the L.A.-based duo of Sara Taylor and Ryan George returned to Minneapolis on the heels of a tour with AFI for their second performance with local industrial outfit Prostate, bringing along self-described "weirdo art-punk" band Coming to open. The ensuing onslaught of EBM was reminiscent of early Throbbing Gristle, who are often considered to have invented the industrial music genre -- bringing to mind the disconcerting and harrowing feel of their infamous 1981 single, "Discipline."

See Also: Slideshow: Youth Code at Triple Rock Social Club, 2/4/14

Photo by Erik Hess

Prostate's set began as a low-resounding moan, growing and pulsing into their opening song "Black Dolphin." With a sudden blast accompanied by the sharp metallic staccato beat of drummer Mike Filkins and guest percussionist Brandon Keegan -- filling in for Oskar Brummel, who is currently traveling through Europe -- vocalist Seth Ryan screamed primally into the microphone, agony etched upon his face. Wrapping the microphone cord around his tightly clenched fist, he lunged forward as Filkins and Keegan maintained their controlled, measured pummeling.

Prostate emitted the nature of sound that forces your eyes to blink unwillingly upon impact. It felt like crawling endlessly through a tepid swamp, or cloud made of glass shards, with the synthesized strains of a demented ice cream truck echoing from afar. Lyrically, it was lacerating. "Best wishes, and godspeed," Ryan bellowed, with a disgusted flick of the wrist. "I love you." A tattooed silhouette of birds hovered on Keegan's arm as he kept time.

Coming followed with a display of off-kilter, abrasive punk, incorporating elements of doom and sped-up sludge to produce a guitar-fueled, throbbing pump and grind. Strutting menacingly across the stage, Dustin Hollenbeck led the band with a guttural roar seemingly too large for his small frame to produce. Sweat forming in beads upon his brow, he paused only to explain the message of their music: "It's about terrorizing the American dream."

Photos by Erik Hess

The standout moment of Coming's set was their rendition of "Trust," for which drummer AJ English set down his drumsticks and joined Hollenbeck on vocals, microphone cords draped over his naked shoulders as he slinked over the equipment on stage, bringing to mind the antics of a young, nihilistic Iggy Pop. "Don't you trust me with her," the two shouted at one another, moving off the stage and into the crowd. After covering Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades," they closed with their song "Waiting," self destructing into a sprawling ocean of feedback.

Photo by Erik Hess
Ryan George of Youth Code

The crowd coagulated into a dark mass, swarming the stage as Youth Code's Taylor and George obliterated eardrums with the opening sequence of "Let the Sky Burn," the first track on their self-titled album. George's voice was searing, echoing endlessly as he began to shriek, one hand outstretched towards the sky. The room suddenly seemed bullet-ridden, pierced by harsh industrialized yet strikingly danceable synthesized beats. Jumping, Taylor took to the microphone.

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