After posting about Kill The Hippies, the Kent inspiration has been flowing. I have a love/hate relationship with that place but will always treasure my fond memories of yesteryear. Getting carried out of the Zephyr while on crutches for calling the door guy a “fat piece of shit, cocksucker, failure at life” after he called my ID fake, knowing that it wasn’t. Putting on a show hosted by Toby Radloff of American Splendor and Killer Nerd fame. Living in the “Yellow House” and hosting house shows where anything could and did happen. Hell, I even went to class sometimes. Like many little hidden pockets of America, Kent has always been home to some great and interesting musicians. Everyone knows Devo, but here are some people you may not have heard before that have origins in Kent.
Sockeye play brain dead music for mutants that could loosely be defined as punk rock. These oddballs had hysterical lyrics and offensive song titles long before Anal Cunt. There is a undefinable, amateurish beauty and brilliance found in the music of these idiots. I don’t know much about them but their legend has traveled in DIY music circles, long and far reaching. If you have more info on these guys, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vel is like Melle Mel meets Rick James, funneled through a lo-fi four track tape recorder. His lyrics are just so damn good! He is a story teller on par with Slick Rick but with more quirk. This video is directed by my friend, the late Frank Bochard.
Cocaine James were a group of journalism majors who briefly formed a grinding band in the vein of Pig Destroyer.
Knuckles and Nipples play powerviolence/grindcore that is not coincidentally similar to Spazz. They have had no less than ten different guitarists and have never played a set over ten minutes. Did I mention that I was the singer?
The Slow Mutants were one of my favorites. We did many shows together. I like this song because it’s like a more sludgy and synthy Pixies. Matt Mutant is currently a documentary filmmaker.
Parsley Flakes originated in Kent and then moved to Chicago. They reminded me of Le Tigre mixed with Devo and Crass. This band had the potential to do huge things but they broke up after a few years. The music is awesome and anyone who got to see them live is pretty lucky. Both Jeff and Maria played in Knuckles and Nipples at different points.
I don’t know much about Hyper as Hell but this it totally punishing hardcore. It really reminds me of mid period Poison Idea at times. That obviously is not a bad thing. Metallic punk played with a sense of distraught urgency. Someone please get me more info on these berserkers!
Party of Helicopters played 90s style emo/post hardcore. This makes sense since they are from the 90s. I think PoH achieved some sort of popularity at one point but have now dwindled into obscurity. I really dig this stuff. It would be a shocker if they have never played a show with At The Drive-In.
I have likely forgotten about fifty bands but these are the ones that pop in my head immediately. I hope you folks discover something new.
-Matt G @rustbelthammer