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Hardcore Bands ACxDC and Nomads Performed With a Porn Star Last Night

ACxDC at The Viper Room

Nicholas PellACxDC at The Viper Room

ACxDC and Nomads

The Viper Room

8-7-13

Better than... the last season of The Walking Dead.

Last night DIY hardcore heroes ACxDC and Nomads performed at the Viper Room, part of a release party for The Walking Dead: A Hardcore Parody, which is probably what you think it is. It was also a birthday celebration for Burning Angel starlet Phoenix Askani (below). So, you know, just your average night on the town.

See also: Our cover story on ACxDC

Phoenix Askani

flickr/chiropracticPhoenix Askani

The crowd was thin, especially considering the promise of being in the very same room as people who have sex on camera. A strange odor of fog machine lingered as bowdlerized clips from the zombie parody played on the wall above red-roped tables.

The censored bits struck an odd contrast to the unfiltered noise coming off of the main stage. However ACxDC and Nomads were there at the request of the birthday girl, Phoenix Askani, who was kind enough to bare her breasts before throwing a copy of the film into the audience, making one man, a professional photographer from the Valley, very, very happy.

Openers Badblood from North Hollywood are definitely one to keep your eyes on. They lumbered through a set that was so heavy it probably left dents in the wall. There were fast parts, yes, but mostly a slow, thick sludge that not many people in Los Angeles are doing these days. Think of your favorite crust punk band, and now play their 45 rpm record at 33 rpms. This is more a metal band with punk influences than the other way around, an act that wouldn't be out of place on the local Southern Lord label.

Nomads have quickly becoming a favorite live act among local punk and hardcore cognizanti, in part because of their relentless gigging regimen. The band blasted through a noisy set of raging d-beat (a style of hardcore inspired by '80s British noisemakers Discharge and their mutant progeny) more in the vein of lo-fi Japanese bands in the genre than the more polished Swedish ones displayed on frontman Michael Torres' punk rock vest. It was all over just as quickly as it began, Torres commenting that the band "likes to keep it short and sweet."

Nomads at The Viper Room

Nicholas PellNomads at The Viper Room

Short it certainly was. When Torres said the next song would be their last, I wondered if he was poking fun at hardcore's general brevity. The band couldn't have played for more than 10 minutes. While lots of bands in the Los Angeles underground compete for the title of the most anti-musical, none are currently as sonically destructive as Nomads. A wall of white noise, the band was a lurching juggernaut of rhythm instruments, Torres' intense, hoarse vocals another layer of static, albeit a distinctive one.

This is all great stuff, in case you were wondering, precisely what Los Angeles needs right now.

For ACxDC, the small audience showed a level of excitement that few bands could muster in a nearly empty room. While the pits at their other gigs might be larger, this one was particularly intense.

It was somewhere around the fourth song, "Turtle Power," an ode to (what else?) those rude dudes with 'tudes, that the slim crowd started getting truly buck. The fact that there were less than 50 people wasn't going to stop them from creating a killer circle pit. Front man Sergio Amalfitano jumped what seemed like six feet in the air while screeching, the band capably backing him and giving it their all.

Indeed, the eclectic nature of the crowd and the odd setting seemed to bring out something in ACxDC I've not seen before. It's one thing to play in front of a hardcore audience and participate in the now ancient tribal rituals that go along with it. It's another thing to be in a sparsely populated room half filled with Sunset Strip denizens. I'd wager that it had been a long time since ACxDC really shocked an audience before last night. Given that the band live to freak the mundanes, they probably had a blast.

Personal Bias: The Viper Room gave me a VIP table and I kind of loved it.

The Crowd: A bizarre stew of Sunset Strip types, porn stars and their hangers on and crusty punk dudes.

Random Notebook Dump: In person, Joanna Angel is pretty much Sarah Silverman's punk rock twin.

ACxDC Set List:

No Fly Zone

Milk Was a Bad Choice

Broken // Fixed

Turtle Power

Intro

Trolls

Worthless

Bone Claw

Crux

Fiction Monger

Leech

We Kill Christians

See also: Our cover story on ACxDC

Follow Nicholas Pell on Twitter @NicholasPell or like him at Facebook and like us at LAWeeklyMusic.

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The Viper Room
miles

8852 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

310-358-1881

www.viperroom.com