Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
At the annual “Ghosts of Hardcore Past” show at Valentine’s – where local bands pay tribute to their favorite punk acts – costumes and props are sometimes involved.
Swathed in layers of white tape and gauze, with “Fuck You” scrawled in black across their chests, the members of Banzai Washout took on the self-proclaimed “Kings of Budget Rock” this year, covering legendary, lo-fi San Francisco garage-punk band the Mummies.
The name of the “Ghosts of Hardcore Past” event – which, hard to believe, is now in its 10th year – can be a tad misleading. Most of the bands that were covered – at least this year – fell more on the punk or even metal side of things than what’s come to be known as hardcore.
Fellas took on riot-grrrl forebears Bikini Kill, a wig-wearing Motorbreath covered Metallica, Infidels played songs by platinum-selling pop-punks Blink-182 and After the Fall paid tribute to their heroes in the Descendents, to mention just a few of the 15 acts on the bill.
The members of Banzai Washout – featuring drummer Mike Cronin, bassist Allen Fazzone, guitarist Sam Wessels and singer/keyboardist Sean Joyce – managed to put both the “ghost” and the “hardcore” back in the event title.
The group’s wild, all-Mummies set ended in a cratered speaker – after Wessels swung his guitar repeatedly overhead, demolishing both to bits – and a black eye for Joyce, who somehow dropped the keyboard on his face while manically lugging it around the stage.