A legendary hardcore band shares the bill with a couple of Madison's finest punk outfits. Info/tix
Detroit band Negative Approach's classic lineup played together from just 1981 to 1983 and produced one 7-inch and one album, Tied Down. But the band's influence still resonates wherever people make lean, scorched-earth hardcore, not to mention its impact on other corners of metal and noise-rock. John Brannon's rusty-edged screams on Tied Down tracks like "Said And Done" and "Friend Or Foe" remain among the most instantly recognizable vocal performances in the history of heavy music. Guitarist Rob McCulloch, bassist Rob McCulloch, and drummer OP Moore did as much as anyone to dial in hardcore's menacing parameters—thrashing rhythms, riffs tinged with the influence of metal. The band reunited in 2006 for the Touch & Go label's 25th anniversary celebration in Chicago, but the McCulloch brothers weren't invited along; Brannon and Moore recruited Detroit noise-rock veteran Harold Richardson on guitar and fellow Detroit musician Ron Sakowski, who played in Brannon's post-Negative Approach band Laughing Hyenas, on bass. (The 2010 release Friends Of No One documents a short-lived Negative Approach lineup Brannon assembled in 1984.) Live videos of the current lineup find the band playing with grim determination, and Brannon keeping up a somewhat fearsome stage presence and a powerful, gravelly voice.
This show also features Madison bands No Question and No Hoax, who are not to be confused with each other, though they both excel at unsparing punk-rock. No Question—who of Madison's two "No" punk bands draws the most direct influence from Negative Approach—will be celebrating the release of a self-titled 7-inch. These 10 songs of slashing hardcore, most of them less than a minute and a half long, are some of the most satisfying heavy music I've heard all year. There's a lot of rhythmic dimension packed into this fast-and-filthy record, from the high-speed thrash of "No One Cares Now" and "Double Negative" to the grisly rumble of "Play Your Role." No Question vocalist Lauden Nute combines the kind of urgency Brannon brought to early-'80s hardcore with a generous dash of the extra nastiness you'd expect from a grindcore or death-metal vocalist, over the band's blasted-out riffs and breakdowns. —Scott Gordon