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Sweatstock 2015

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Sweatstock came and went, and so did the hard rockin’ happenings all come to expect from such a day. Having the sun beam down on your face and feeling a kick to the teeth through gnarly power chords is enough to make any sane person crawl to safety. But that’s the charm of Sweatstock; if you’re there, you’re a weirdo. I mean that in the most affectionate way possible. Wading through the sweat and solo cups, you are bound to trip on the shoes of some interesting person. Going to Sweatstock is admitting defeat to normality; you are going to listen to crazy people making crazy music. And it’s a beautiful thing. The avant-garde meets punk meets electronic many times over. There’s enough variety in sounds to ensure that if you are the least bit open minded you’d be able to stagger upon some great bands.

 

One of the acts I was most excited to watch was JuJu Pie. Softly voiced and profoundly impactful, Juju Pie’s set is the feeling of nirvana, but if that nirvana was kinda aloof and you wanted it to really like you. Vocals got a bit drowned out by the more aggressive instruments, but not nearly enough to take way from any kind of satisfaction.

Juju Pie

Juju Pie

 

Gun Hoes consistently hits hard with a punk soaked sound. Like a damp cloth getting twisted over your head, you are left wet and shocked but rather by the movements and convulsions your body is doing as a direct reaction to the band pumping your neurons full of dopamine. The pleasure center of your brain is dead after a set of the Gun Hoes and your heart is left palpitating.

 

Gun Hoes

Gun Hoes

The first band that I got to watch play Sweatstock was Trench. They present themselves more like performance art rather than a band; lead singer Vinny stomps his feet as he edges himself further into the crowd, all while screaming into a mic. Anyone can splatter paint on a canvas and call it art, but not everyone can say that art is good. And by that same logic, anyone can scream into a microphone, but Vinny does it well. This was my second time watching Trench preform, and with much better sound quality than my first. There was a clear elevation in the performance. Listing out and writing how belligerent each of the instruments felt seems unneeded seeing as all of them performed beautifully and in the most abrasive way possible, and would act as a finely paired composition to a light frolic through a meadow of petunias…if you like moshing while doing so.

 

Trench

Trench

Bleeth was the best band to just happen to walk by. Roaring bass and guitar met by ruminating drums prompted me to look inside Churchill’s. Doing so resulted in me discovering one of the best metal bands in Miami. A forceful air lingers with every note played. Bleeth doesn’t feel like they play songs; they feel like they play a set. Maybe it was because of the lack of water and abundance in body heat, but I can’t remember a pause in between songs, only the crowd moshing and my face grinning as my pilgrimage to a shady spot to rest was interrupted by my own curiosity about the muffled rampage on the other end of a door.

 

Bleeth

Bleeth

Booty and the Browns is surf rock, ok not really. The perfect way to describe B&B is taking a surfboard (or in essence surf rock), and just dragging it across some dirt. Not to ruin it, but just to add some battle scars and to make it a bit grimier. This union of different types of influences adds to the layers of enjoyment one can have by listening to B&B. By peeling back the fleshy layer of noisy rock you can dissect your way into a pumped and, at times, even ambient band.

Moshing by local youths

Moshing by local youths

Pariuh is offbeat personified. Even before Pariuh starts their set you can see they are something special. Setting up a living room scene and piñata Pariuh establishes themselves as the coo-coo aunt that sneaks you a glass of beer when your tight ass parents aren’t looking. Having an audience member up on stage to swing at a piñata with a giant toothbrush was a nice touch. An even nicer touch was having that piñata explode its contents on the spectators, handing out toothbrushes and promoting some oral hygiene mere moments before jumping back on the crazy train to spin out synth heavy and thrashing music. Pariuh’s performance was both great and outlandish enough to have made Zappa shed a tear, if he wasn’t so not alive.

Pariuh

Pariuh

Once the clock hit 10, the much anticipated and much revered Tobacco hit the Sweat Records stage. Performing with The Seven Fields of Aphelion, the duo played electronic melodies balanced with hip-hop undertones to create a synchronized world that both the veteran underground electronic listener and his thirteen-year-old neighbor that he was supposed to keep an eye on at home but took to Sweatstock instead could jam out too.

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Snakehole

 

It was hot and sweaty, and I’m sure at least one person had to have had a sunstroke at some point, but once you arrive at Sweatstock you breath in an attitude of fun. You can temporarily forget about work or that piece of cake you have in your fridge or whatever and just tune out. Though I spent most of my time over at Churchill’s stage set up by Idle Hands and Degeneration, the main stage next to Sweat had some really great artists playing and unfortunately I couldn’t be at two places at once. Going over to the taco truck, grabbing some food to munch on while walking over to watch the macabre duo, Snakehole, break off and spill a piece of their grizzled creation on the floor, and then to happen upon Iggy Pop himself was not even close to what I expected to experience at my first Sweatstock. Sweatstock seems to be the conglomeration of the best parts of the Miami scene all in one under a punishing sun.

2 responses to “Sweatstock 2015”

  1. chuck loose says:

    nice write up :) Top band pic is Party Flag

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