Evil Will Always Triumph Because Good is Dumb
In an era when some grindy, crusty hardcore punk bands take deadly serious stances against globalism and capitalism, it's refreshing to step back and listen to what Pittsburgh's fun-loving drunk punks have to say instead. Enter the Plastered Bastards, whose lineup includes Western PA punk vets Jeff Cherep (of Submachine) and Clete Wilt (of Altoona's The Insignificant) on guitars, and bassist Jay "Chachi" Nulph (The Creeps).
With a love for '80s Brits GBH and Discharge, redneck Americans like Poison Idea and Antiseen, and lots and lots of metal ("we all went to the Judas Priest concert and formed an air-guitar line," Cherep informed me), the Bastards have a style that complex emo noodlers and metalcore beatdown types would probably hate. But if you love relentless, high-tempo, chugga-chugga punk with Kenny Hauser's gravelly vocals in song after song, it's your kind of heaven.
And that's not even mentioning the tongue-in-cheek song titles and lyrics, somewhat similar to Submachine's resigned but caustic sense of humor. Take for example, "Chicken Polpot Pie," which is about people blindly following their leaders ("another dumb-ass theory / drowned in desperate cheers," growls Hauser), or "Happy Pills Stupid Pills," which criticizes the practice of drugging the mentally ill rather than treating them.
With tracks like "Christians to the Lions," about fundamentalist Christian ideals seeping into the fabric of the nation, the Bastards prove more topical and political than at first glance.
Meanwhile, the band also knows how to have a hell of a time with its interpretations of punk and metal: "Alternative to Music" is a 30-second blast making fun of the homogenization of underground music, while the paean "What Would Lemmy Do?" seems a solid philosophy of life. I'd rather listen to the Plastered Bastards sing "Who Put Pants on the Kool-Aid Guy?" than drink whatever Kool-Aid Sarah Palin thinks the country is going to swallow.
Plastered Bastards CD release with Mud City Manglers, Parasytic and Firethorn. 10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 31. Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $5. 412-431-4668 or www.smiling-moose.com