HOLIER THAN THOU?
Bunker, Brussels (B)
07/30/2003
BRANDSTON, HOLIER THAN THOU?, DEAD STOP
Lintfabriek, Kontich (B)
07/31/2003

I've been waiting for this cult band shows for almost 6 months, first having no belgian date, only one in Holland at that time… crossing fingers, searching the net, asking distributors, the only dutch organisator and so on…
And it's already over, the band is back to California with huge debts, having crashed a van during the first leg of the tour and losing or damaging instruments… (check their website for a complete list, it's impressing!)

Thus they first played in that small place called Bunker, located in one of the worst part of the city where all the scum of the society are selling their body (wreckage?), dealing drugs and everything that makes you want to leave without breathing…
The guys had a very bad sound, impossible to distinguish vocals and drums, but, on the other hand, guitar was very loud and the sick riffing was enough to make people move like crazy. The band members themselves were moving a lot despites the shitty sound and the beer they seemed to have abused before hitting the "stage" (none actually!).
The day after, BRANDSTON, a Punk Rock band opened and I'm unable to review their show since we didn't expect such a band to open and we were having some drinks and were talking too much to be able to give an objective view except that we were bored by the lack of excitment provided by such band…
HOLIER THAN THOU played next, not headlining to my biggest surprise. Better sound, of course and, except for the fact the singer was moving less than in Brussels, the band was really great, once again, delivering their unique blend of old-school Skatecore, Crossover with awesome/intense riffing, great bass stuff and killer drumming.
What really strikes me is the pleasure and the dedication of the band… these guys are not trying to make a livin' of their music, sure it's their life, but they don't spend time on promotion, searching for a big label… no, they still have that DIY spirit, remaining underground despites the huge quality of their stuff. Best example is, their next recording will be a split with MUNICIPAL WASTE (where all other bands would release a full-length of their own).
Anyway, to make things short (?), except the fact both shows were too short, these guys are probably the best band of the kind around and I think all those fat posers in Hardcore bands could learn a lot from this band, being on the musical level or on the behavior level… a lot!
When headliners hit the stage, I understood why HTT? played before them… local heroes DEAD STOP had an amazing following with them, like twice the people who attended HTT? Show and they seemed to know all lyrics and stuff… This band plays some incredible old-school Hardcore like I haven't heard for ages! Imagine AGNOSTIC FRONT with much more power and speed! Singer is moving a lot, being really at ease and professional like the whole band anyway. They played something like only 20 minutes, but with such intensity, we couldn't blame them being short (and they played a BAD BRAINS cover!!!). Let me tell you this : it was the first time I had the opportunity to see (and hear) this belgian band, and I can claim they're the best Hardcore band our country has ever had!!!
What a beautiful world!

Steph