Now that Labor Day weekend is upon us, the time has come once again for the annual Panic in Hamtramck festival. Having a long weekend without the worry of the impending drudgery of Monday to impede on your lust for great music, irresponsible over-indulgence of alcohol or any number of illegal substances to get in the way of your enjoyment is a priceless commodity. You should probably scrap those plans you had for charring brats on your grill and watching Full House re-runs and head over to the low-rent island in the middle of Detroit, Hamtramck, for a weekend of guaranteed (not actually guaranteed) rock'n'roll debauchery.
Again in its fourth year, the event will be held at the Painted Lady and features some of the Midwest's best representations of a broad spectrum of rock'n'roll. Kicking off tonight with openers, Mother Whale and Demons, the night should unfold in to a noisy, clamorous display that will be topped off with the bizarre Lafayette act TV Ghost, whose debut appeared recently on die Stasi and caused a dark wave of dins so rectifying, the shadowy musical landscape will probably not be able to support plant life for at least a year or two. Terrible Twos, now back from their tour with Frustrations, are set to headline Friday night, and their tantrums of sonic calamity should knock your grade-point average back down to the greasy middle where it belongs.
Saturday night holds a couple of special treats. First the opening act, Root Bear play a bubbly take on fuzzed-out, bouncy and oddly sweet songs that come off a little folky, and with only a self-released cassette in their catalog, it looks like they've just begun. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Minus 9 featuring Andy from MHz and proprietor of Flying Bomb Records. His latest venture is a brutal concoction of grinding hardcore that amalgamates driving, immediate rhythms with snarling vocals and equates to the perfect music to enjoy with a nice panic attack. The real surprise of the night is the Clone Defects who unquestionably set the Chrome standard with their ground-shattering sound in the late 90s releasing two stellar albums and a handful of singles. Front man, Timmy Vulgar has the stage presence of a Martian sideshow and their live sets are completely engrossing to the point of sheer terror, and will take the audience hostage with tweaking feedback benders that will probably do some welcoming chromosomal damage to everyone in attendance.
Try to save yourself for Sunday night because the line up is pretty amazing. Bad Party is the latest mysterious glue-wave act that drags danceable, machine-driven beats through an industrial nightmare and tops it off with fuzzed-out and indifferent vocals. With a sound that comes close to an updated Suicide, their live act can be nothing less than intense. Headlining are none other than Tyvek, who headlined last year on the opening night of the fest. With a sound that is pretty hard to pinpoint, they play off-kilter, bedroom brewed songs that seem as out of place as the moods they portray. Twangy, neophytic aloof-wave that is simply brilliant, and you'd be a sucker not to pick up their double 7" single, Summer Burns, on What's Your Rupture? which you can pick up HERE or pick up a copy from the band at the show.
check out a video clip of the Clone Defects at the turn of the century live at the long gone Pop's On Chicago performing the Berlin Brats' classic 'Tropically Hot' courtesy of Rob Karlic...