The Show: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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Swilley churns out ska, old-school punk, metal, and much more.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Fri w/Westbound Train and Go Johnny Go

By Anthony Mariani

Nothing makes the veins throb harder on old scenesters’ heads than talk about “new” punk. Mention the words “Green Day” or “Blink-182” or “Good Charlotte,” and the spit will commence flying, fast and furious. That bullshit’s not punk! That ain’t nothing but a bunch of godamn bullshit! The Stooges, the New York Dolls, The Ramones, The Clash, The Sex Pistols — now that’s punk. Green Day, Blink-182 — that shit ain’t nothing but godamn bullshit!

The problem is that most of us spend too much time categorizing music instead of just opening our ears and listening. We’re friggin fans, not record store employees! Who cares whether Green Day came out in 1977 or 1997. If their music moves you, enjoy it. The Music Police aren’t watching (unlike, y’know, the FBI and CIA).

The Ridglea Theater’s Ska Brawl 2006 is happening this weekend, and it’s too bad that thirtysomething scenesters we all know who can appreciate a good punk tune won’t be in the audience. They’d probably really like a couple of the bands on the bill, including the Toasters, The Goners, and Aledo boys Swilley.

More so than a lot of other regionally based punk-oriented outfits, Swilley doesn’t limit itself to any one hard-rock sub-genre. Based on a new recording of eight tracks, Caleb McQueary (guitar, vocals), Jake Gage (bass, vocals), and Cory Hoad do pretty much everything — and well. In any one of their songs, you’ll hear (in no particular order): hardcore, ska, Oi!, pop, old-school punk, hair metal (honestly), classic rock, and most points in between. “Still Taking Donations,” a not-so-surprisingly earnest tribute to Hurricane Katrina victims, is kind of like a medley of several classic-rock B-sides. “Reflection of Youth” moves effortlessly from Rage Against the Machine-ish anthemic rock to jazzy Clash to double-bass fury à la Pantera. “Designated Loser” is one of the band’s best tracks and a story that most dudes, young and old, can relate to — a guy who’s so attracted to a girl that he’ll drive her around from party to party all night long, even though she’s wasted and he’s drunk, tired, and wants desperately to go home. (Funny lyric: “Quick, stick your head out the window / You’re throwing up in my car / It’s not that fucking funny / You’ll clean it up tomorrow.”)

The show is all-ages, so old folks, bring your kids.

Fri w/Westbound Train and Go Johnny Go at Ridglea Theater, 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. 817-738-9500. Tickets available at www.frontgatetickets.com.


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