Published Nov 12, 2011As though time had decided to reverse itself, the mighty Scratch Acid returned to the concert stage not long after the triumphant return of the mighty Jesus Lizard. Led by the fearsome, spastic, decidedly unconventional frontman stylings of the irrepressible David Yow, the Jesus Lizard's Toronto show two autumns ago was an orgy of flailing bodies and full on rock'n'roll hedonism. Now Yow has returned with his considerably cultier baby band Scratch Acid to embark on a similar, if smaller scale, tour, or "re-enactment." While Scratch Acid will likely never have the same scope of influence as the Lizard they birthed, it was certainly an amazing sight to see them receive a warm welcome back to the stage more than two and a half decades after they last set foot on it.
Fear not, friends, this band haven't lost a single step since their mid-'80s heyday. They may be less drunk and more professional as they hover 50, but seeing them throw it down in 2011 couldn't have been much different to seeing them in 1985. The Acids played their dangerously exciting pig-fuck music the way it was meant to be heard: David Wm. Sims providing a dark, relentless bass line, grounding the proceedings as Brett Bradford tortured his six-string and Rey Washam kept relentless time. Make no mistake, though, it's the glorious Yow -- a consummate showman who would punch anyone in the face who called him such -- who makes Scratch Acid tick. Yow is a wonder to behold, and, at the very least, working on a far higher plain than the hordes of ridiculous bands who refuse to get their shirts dirty in these difficult modern times.
Openers the Soupcans borrowed heavily from the complete history of Scratch Acid's old label, Touch & Go, playing jagged noise rock stripped down to its essence. An engaging three-piece with a minimal aesthetic, the Soupcans wear their influences on their sleeve, but play tight and definitely deserve to be heard on a broader level. Fans of the early American post-punk underground, take note: You will dig this.