Their live sound was nasty and thick, the only thing restraining the chaos within.
It was a hot, soggy night in St. Louis as I was walking down Locust Street heading to Fubar. Out of uniform of metal and punk, the bands loading in, smoking cigarettes, and mingling ignored me completely during my wait to enter the club. During this time, many thoughts of SNAFU’s Present Day Plague came into my head. This is a band with a precisely imprecise sound full of raw power and energy. Could they bring that to the stage?
Small club shows are an interesting thing. Many concertgoers never experience the AAA concert circuit. For the purposes of this writing, The Pageant and above are the Major Leagues. In the bigs, opening acts are rookies, but often of the same level of ability and polish. In the minors, it’s quite different. Think of it like watching the progression of a hockey player from the amateur ranks to the top of the minor leagues.
As with any minor league sporting event, there were things never seen at “The Show,” like a standup comic beginning the night. Picture a comedian opening for Slayer: It’s impossible. Then, the music portion of the show began with the junior players.
Local punk band Slightly Less Infected played a spirited, though amateur set. What they lacked in prowess and experience they tried to make up for with volume and attitude. With time and determination, they could develop.
Up next were the players just drafted, Stinkbomb. The quality was a step in the right direction. Unlike Slightly Less Infected, there were flashes of potential from all members of the band. They have a spark, and they could nurture that into a flame. With the right coaching and practice, these young lads could become a hybrid punk/thrash/death band, much like SNAFU.
Now, SNAFU: They were the stars of the night, the AAA player who’s been passed over for a cup of coffee with the big guys. Without wasting any time, they showed the crowd what makes them a band on the rise. Their live sound was nasty and thick, the only thing restraining the chaos within. Their set was a full-frontal assault on all five senses.
None of the men with whom I spoke earlier in the evening was recognizable to me. The spiritual element, the need, and the compulsion to play music were the only things on stage. The idea of the song was the only thing holding them in check—or maybe it was the drummer, but either way.
SNAFU is a perfect example of why we must all make our way to the clubs and enjoy a reasonably priced beer while checking out some lesser-known acts. During their set, this reviewer was mesmerized, and when they announced their last song, it was all too soon. | Nik Cameron