by Robert Bell
Every once in a while I'll pick up a copy of Maximumrocknroll, the long-running DIY punk periodical that has never and will never change. And every time I do, I'm amazed that there are still enough people who dig crusty gutter-punk bands that wear bullet belts and butt-flaps and sound exactly like Discharge to support a monthly magazine. And even though I don't care about the music, it makes me happy to know it's there.
But in recent years, I'd begun to worry about the life spans of other deeply obscure musical micro-genres. Specifically, I was concerned that a certain style of hardcore had gone extinct, that being the genus that spread from San Diego in the early '90s and employed dissonant guitars and screaming and white polyester belts and Mr. Spock hairdos and had really dramatic, personal lyrics about things like drowning and loneliness and how no one understands and everyone has changed and they all died inside and maybe you're dead inside too.
This was once called "emo," a mildly pejorative but generally accepted term. That name was expropriated at some point and is now even more of an insult, though the music sounds different. But hey, looky here, there are some bands keeping the '90s emo flame alive — case in point, Touche Amore. The band cops from The Swing Kids, early Drive Like Jehu and maybe Assfactor 4, and if you're old enough to remember that band, you've probably got kids and a mortgage and you're in bed by 10 p.m.
There are five bands on the bill, which would be a pain in the ass for grownups, but is perfect for those youthful, carefree summer evenings when you have nothing more pressing to do than watch five hardcore bands, befriend them, sneak into some swimming pool and then go to Waffle House. Openers include Mainland Divide, Lifer, I Was Afraid and Second-Rate.