Milwaukee Stumblurfest Affects Balance and Impairs Vision

Cheater Slicks Live at 2006 Chicago Blackout, photo by <a href=
Cheater Slicks Live at 2006 Chicago Blackout, photo by Canderson
posted Friday May 30th, 2008

Starting tonight in Milwaukee, Stumblurfest features two solid nights of stumbling blind drunken fun as some of the Midwest's great earth-shakers convene for two crazy nights of unforgettable good times. Keeping these 'fests' between two separate venues is really the best way to go, as everyone inevitably gets sick of standing in the same room, holding the same beer for more than one night, and a change of scenery and bar staff is usually a great idea, just to break up the monotony of the fest experience. Stumblurfest utilizes this notion to great effect as tonight's show takes place at Linneman's and tomorrow at Frank's Power Plant.

Tonight's insanity starts out with a rousing set by Milwaukee newcomers Goibbledoimbs, who usher in a new age of aggressive punk smashing. With half parts of the best elements of early 80s hardcore and half parts of unfinished Blatz cans, expect Goibbledoimbs to blow the lid off Linneman's in true Wisconsin style as they badger the crowd into submission with their sharp, short songs bleating out the urgency most bands lack. The Reverse are another Milwaukee institution that you don't hear about outside the state very often, and they throw together a punishing rock'n'roll attack that may end up getting them out to a venue near you sooner than you expect. Somewhat typical garage, yet the blown-apart vocals and dramatic breaks suggests they probably triple their firepower in a live setting, so don't fall asleep on the couch and check 'em out.

Northern Wisconsin woodland cretins, AluminumKnotEye take the stage next and dissect the insidious minds of the brain trust that decides what's en vogue. They thrust an ugly and irregular template into the night's festivities as they lay waste to anything predictable, and pummel their blackened prerogative into the sausage-filled souls who are brave enough to catch a glimpse. For a band that's been around over ten years, they have a criminally small amount of official releases, so don't scratch your head in wonder and just head over to the merch table and pick up their records before the embarrassment takes hold.

Headlining tonight's escapade are Midwest legends the Cheater Slicks, who need no introduction. With this year marking the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album, their trademark indescribable murky/malcontent disposition aligns all the stars in their favor and proves that they are tried and true stalwarts of the genre. And it's only proper that they end out the night with their one-of-a-kind sound. Holding a career spanning two decades and releases across many universally respected imprints such as Crypt, In The Red, Dogmeat, and Sympathy, it'll be hard to find one head in the house that doesn't own at least a handful of Cheater Slicks records.

Once you've washed off that sweet film of smoke and beer sweat, get ready for the Saturday night party of Stumblurfest at Frank's Power Plant to begin. Opening up the show are local Milwaukee mod poppers The Nice Outfit whose singer has an incredible Arthur Lee style that will surely turn some heads, and get those asses moving. Check out their CDEP on Easter Records for a full tasting experience of their well-crafted pop repertoire from ex-members of Trolley who just keep getting better as the time passes. Minneapolis' Real Numbers are up next and blast forth with a stripped-down punk barrage, consisting of two members of Boys Club, yet with an angrier edge to their execution. Simple, repetitive and instantly catchy rock'n'roll played like this needs to be seen live so these outta-towners are primed to take charge and validate your sketchy lifestyle within minutes. Check out their debut 7" on Three Dimensional Records, which just came out a few weeks back for the real deal.

Up next, Plexi 3 have always got what it takes to put together some of the catchiest songs you're ever gonna hear, and Saturday will be no exception. With two already classic 7" EPs under their belt on Dusty Medical and HoZac Records, Plexi 3 have already carved out a perfect niche for themselves which sheds their previous band associations and pushes them right to the top of today's best rock'n'roll songwriting. Keep an eye out for them on tour throughout the country starting this week, and don't miss them when they roll through your town.

San Francisco's The Pets are also kicking off their Midwest tour and have their long-awaited debut LP in tow, so their set should be as furious and contagious as their singles, and just as irresistible. If you can't check them out in Milwaukee, don't miss them on the rest of the leg of their tour, and while you're at it, you might wanna head out to the alley and "get ready" for LiveFastDie. The LFD boys are all tanked up and ready to explode, and since every night is a Saturday night for Camero Werewolf, it's gonna tear your head off in all the best ways. Catch them Sunday in Chicago too, for those of you that just can't get enough.

Wrapping up the belligerence and headlining Saturday night's show are none other than the fathers of retarded modern punk, Seattle's The Spits! It's hard to believe these guys have been pounding away at their own formula with such a great track record for over ten years, and with the promise of their long-awaited fourth studio album surely nearing release time, the lucky crowd should be treated to a full set of new classics and old favorites as The Spits carry everyone away into a haze of TOTAL punk satisfaction, with no unnecessary byproducts.