When someone, who has never heard of the band 68’, asks me what they sound like this is the general answer I can give; they are a two piece band like The White Stripes, except they are here to shove their hardcore rock grooves down your throat, not lullaby you to sleep.
68’, along with Whores, Alistair Hennessey and Tiler invaded Philly for an early bird, all ages show at the Voltage Lounge right next door to the Electric Factory. It was odd walking into the venue seeing some kids no older than 15 being accompanied by their parents who are only there so their adolescent teen stops bitching, and of course for the cheap beer prices.
Whores took the stage, but started off with some technical difficulties as there was too much feedback on amps. After the crisis was averted the band ripped into fan favorites like “Fake Life” and “I am Not A Goal-Oriented Person”. This was the first time I have seen this three piece band, from Atlanta, Georgia live. Their blend of noise and sludge rock reminded me of legends in those genres like Helmet and The Melvins. As their cathartic set was gaining a new fan in me, they also grew my respect. Singer Christian Lembach was giving it his all while wearing a knee brace (Christian has been soldiering in through much of the year with a torn Anterior) Cruciate Ligament and Anterolateral Ligament -Ed.), even at times showing great pain while performing. Like he uttered to the crowd, “the show must go on”.
Anyone who has been a fan of 68’ noticed a big difference as they were setting up their gear. Founding member and drummer Michael McClellan has been absent since October. Instead in his place was Nikko Yamada and to be honest is a more energetic, charismatic and stylish performer than Michael. He matches singer and guitarist Josh Scogin’s hectic and insane pulse pounding stage antics. Even after the first song, Nikko took off into the crowd before returning, fist in the air, ready to beat the hell out of his drums till they are no more. As the band ripped through tracks and after tracks, they ditched the fine well pressed suits they took the stage in. By the time they were ending their set they were dismantling their gear with ferocity as they performed “Track 8” while Josh stood atop of Nikko’s drumhead.