Last Friday was another intense night at the Elk’s as local heavy hitters The Shithawks and Dead Skanks were joined by emerging indie group Rad+Subtract. The show was intended to feature Winnipeg’s The Brat Attack as well but, due to some ferry schedule mixups, they were unable to make the appearance. Regardless, the show did not disappoint for the audience that filled the club to two-thirds capacity.
Rad+Subtract kicked off the night, the drum and bass pair blasting through a set of thick rock tunes. The songs feel more complex than they are, with frontman Andrew Greig’s bass playing going from quick licks to thick chording and Red MacDougall’s drumming creating dynamic rhythms to complement. Greig’s voice still needs a bit of work, but it makes up for any flaw with raw intensity.
It was Star Wars Day and Dead Skanks made a point to embrace the occasion by beginning their set with a three-piece kazoo rendition of the “Imperial March”. The group then ripped through an 11 song set of originals and covers that was liberally peppered with feedback, noise, and punk rock antics, ending with a vicious cover of the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian”. The band is openly foolish but endearing and this performance lead CBLocals.com’s Harry Doyle to proclaim, “Go to all of the dead skanks shows.”
The Shithawks hit the stage like a bad storm; their heavy, hard hitting punk rock whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The band paid homage to the recently deceased MCA of the Beastie Boys with the opening bars of “Sabotage” before diving right into their own tunes. All the favorites were there, as well as some new material, and they took the show to a furious climax. Frontman Matty Burke is a favorite at the club, with his Bruce Banner-like performances becoming one of the most interesting pieces of the band’s performance. Go see these fellas whenever you get the chance.
The Elk’s lands on the national radar this week as New Bedford, Massachusetts’ A Wilhelm Scream headlines a show Friday night with Ricochet and The Motorleague that promises to be among the best to hit Sydney in years.
A Wilhelm Scream combine fast punk rock with technical riffs, akin to Propagandhi, while maintaining catchy hooks and choruses that stay with you long after the set is done. The band hits Cape Breton on the tail end of their Canadian tour, which began on May 3 in Sarnia, Ontario and will end May 13 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Hailing from Glace Bay, but now mostly living up on Hardwood Hill, Ricochet is the last of the bevy of local punk rock groups that began in the mid-’00s. With A Wilhelm Scream being a favorite of singer Colin Mitchell’s, the band has been making sure they are ready to bring their A-game and have supplemented some of their “classic” set with some brand new hard hitting tunes.
When Caper Radio caught up with Moncton’s The Motorleague last month and asked about their special connection with Cape Breton, they called it “home”. The band has played to capacity crowds here often since their birth in 2006, continuing a prior relationship with the area treaded by frontman Don Levandier’s time in The Ditchpigs. This show will mark another transition in The Motorleague story; with guitarist Nathan Jones having to take a break because of work commitments, the band will debut their new touring guitarist, Sydney’s Andrew Greig, who has played in local bands such as Ricochet, Richmond Hill, and Heartwood Slacks.
Doors for the show will open at 9pm and only 35 tickets are available. Admission is $15 and will feature A.S.A before The Motorleague hit the stage at 10:30pm.
The Elk’s Lodge is located at 101 Bentinck Street, which is behind MaryJanes, in downtown Sydney. 12 oz draft is $2.50 all night and special happy hour shooters happen from 11-12. For more information on the Elk’s of Canada, visit elks-canada.org.