Published Oct 30, 2010Recently reformed Winnipeg noise grinders Head Hits Concrete were as uncompromising as their name; a skull-thudding smoosh in a midst of complicated feedback, distorted bass and the guttural screaming of Mike Alexander. Partygoers at the Red Door (a house on the outskirts of Victoria) were in a frenzy during the band's 25-minute set; couch-dives and high-grind-fives were in full effect.
But before someone's living room was obliterated, Vancouver's Sick delivered some droning, and alternately speedy, grind metal. The vocals were barely audible but their drummer was pure hellion; a veritable Tommy Lee for the dirty crust punk world. Drummer limbs were flailing.
Head Hits Concrete singer Alexander (Putrescence, Swallowing Shit) had no trouble being audible. In fact, he had no trouble being the loudest thing in the room; a raging, bellowing and genuinely impassioned lunatic who was the proud recipient of a back massage before the band's set so he could "limber up." Beginning with a mic check of "fuck, shit, fuck, shit," Alexander went into a frightening trance while the band began their set by reaching a climax fever pitch. When the group finally launched into their rhythmic bursts of noise, Alexander went crazy, screaming and spitting out his rage. A couple of new songs were delivered with even more intensity as bodies began to catapult across the seemingly quaint living room. And then it was over, and a general feeling of grindcore contentment filled the room.
Most of all, it was just good to see Alexander perform after all of these years. He's a kind, gentle soul who just happens to have an extreme need for scream therapy.