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Bangers and Thrash

What’s up with heavy music

If Sonar’s passing passed you by a little too easy—recall the large club/complex shut down, suddenly, the week before last—please note that this sucks for heavy music in Baltimore. Not just once a year, at Maryland Death Fest (which is currently selecting a new Baltimore home), but year-round, Sonar was a big supporter of metal and punk, whether it was booking big, touring, extreme metal awesomeness or throwing last winter’s free hardcore bash Mass Movement. Where does that stuff even go now? No, I’m not going to see death metal at Rams Head Live—or at the very least, I expect my rate of attendance to drastically slip.

It’s another month, which, naturally, means another batch of high-quality vinyl heaviness from A389 Records. Of that batch, I’m especially looking forward to the Full of Hell side of a split 7-inch with the Guilt of... for quality sludgey hardcore, a first proper LP from D.C. hardcore band Sick Fix, and an LP from Toronto’s Vilipend, purveyors of most-excellent 12-ton noisecore catharsis. Also out on A389 this summer: a new Eyehategod 7-inch. Yep, the grand high master of sludge-loathing is putting out its first new material since 2000 on Baltimore’s very own A389, in advance of a new full-length, out later (not on A389).

In other release news, Toxic Pop has an LP from Austin pop-punk good-time the Capitalist Kids, while the Pilgrim record you all pitched in for on Kickstarter a few months back is well on its way to your earholes. Test presses are in, and the word is “soon.”

Sonar or not, shows are happening. Greg Ginn (you know, Black Flag, SST Records, etc.) is playing with his new band, the Royal We, at the Golden West July 25 (disclosure: I work there). On Aug. 4, Scott Reynolds (All) packs Charm City Art Space with Taking Back Sunday’s Fred Mascherino. On Aug. 25, the Ottobar’s Metal Monday finds a new kindred spirit with Dirtball Wednesday, in which punkland favorite dude Diamond Dustin spins quality loud music for your getting-drunk pleasure. Baltimore pop-punk favorites Sick Sick Birds crawl into the Golden West’s ears on Aug. 22.

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