April 29, 2011
@ The New Parish, Oakland
Better than: Shrooming through a Steven Seagal double feature.
The wait was short for Little Queenie. A supergroup composed of members of Battleship, the Gris-Gris, and others, LQ's raging, bass-heavy geek punk detonated in a spot two feet above the heads of the guys in back, which bobbed respectfully in placid wonderment. Up front, the gals were raging and pushing already, squealing through one stammering cannonade after another. My girl and I were just screening Elvis Costello's 1978 turn on Saturday Night Live, and there's something of Little E's spastic charm in mainman Mark Murrmann. Closing applause was magnified by the venue's close quarters into an ear-bending din.
Between sets we ran into noise impresario Parker T. Gibbs, who hailed me as a genius from across the room before sidling up for some high-ballyhoo about the next act. Hank IV frontman Bob McDonald, he swore, was a mere shavetail kid whose paunch and grave bearing were the result of a tragic glandular condition. Hank IV's reputation as one of the West Coast's most manic punk-rock acts long preceded it. A sonic grenade like "Garbage Star" is less the traditional leather-lunged manifesto at a shit-clotted world and more an attempt to annihilate it through sheer howling. McDonald is a sweatsoaked marvel akin to watching a congressman whooping and shoving out his belly like a manic toddler. At once the kids up front started bounding up and down, and the fanboys in back looked credibly impressed, then overwhelmed. Awesome in its own right, Hank IV was, and a fine bonus to the cult just then packing it to the walls for the headliners. Audience response was vociferous and the crowd looked like it could've handled a half-hour more.
One Drink Maximum: Parish Punch, made from ginger limeade and white rum, priced at six bucks. My photographer rated it "strong and delicious."
You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)
Suck You Dry
Into The Drink
F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)
Hard-On for War
When Tomorrow Hits
In 'N' Out of Grace
Sweet Young Thing (Ain't Sweet No More)
Let It Slide
Judgment, Rage, Retribution and Thyme
No One Has
Touch Me I'm Sick
The Open Mind
The Lucky Ones
Tales of Terror
Who You Drivin' Now?
Hate The Police
Fix Me (Black Flag cover)