[Braddock Hit Factory]
At the nine-second mark of this demo, there is a sick dive-bomb that, my first time through, had me instantly intrigued. Eight minutes, seven songs, a million guitar squeals and a few gang vocals later, I was totally hooked. Made up of people who have been kicking it in other bands — Hounds of Hate, Heartless, etc. — for a while, Concealed Blade coalesces the past 30-plus years of hardcore punk into a frothing, raging stew of gruff vocals, nasty guitars and pounding drums, that come together to make actual songs, instead of the 30-second blasts of noise or musical wankery that often passes for hardcore these days. This record reminds me (in execution, if not actual style) of what New York City's Citizen's Arrest did in the early '90s, pulling the best bits from the various mutations of hardcore while keeping the spirit intact. The raw, yet clear, recording perfectly captures the seething energy without losing precision.
By Dan Morgan
CONCEALED BLADE with MYSTIC INANE, DRUG LUST. 11:30 p.m. Fri., April 24. The Rock Room, 1054 Herron Ave., Polish Hill. 412-683-4418
Five albums in, it's doubtful that anyone has ever accused Chip DiMonick of being too subtle. Sample lyric: "Wanna put my fist through a plaster wall or two, make your nightmares come true / That's how much I hate you." Lack of subtlety isn't necessarily a bad thing — the same could be said of Mötley Crüe. This ain't no Crüe, to be clear, but the band's got charisma to spare, and for fans of heavy radio rock, Uncaged is worth a listen.
by Margaret Welsh