Last Monday’s show at the Great Scott featured energetic performances from PAWS, Dude York, and Idiot Genes. The unsurprisingly small and bearded crowd met each band with enthusiasm and a fresh round of head banging.
Idiot Genes opened the night of pop punk pleasure. The Allston-based four piece contains locals Pete Bayko (vocals, guitar), Dicky Stock (bass), and Dana P. Recker (drums). Kyle Cartland is also a member, but I couldn’t figure out his instrument, because it just says “noise stick, random screams” next to his name on the band’s Facebook page. Also indicative of the band’s self-effacing personality, in addition to their names (and their bandcamp URL of stupidpants.bandcamp.com), is their music. Their screams and groggy, LOUD guitars speak for the band’s direct, no-nonsense style. They play punk music, that’s it. If you like visceral music that includes angsty chants of “I gotta have it” then you would’ve liked this band’s performance.
Next was Dude York, who scaled back the emo levels with their neon, super sweet energy. The Seattle band, composed of Claire England, Andrew Hall, and Peter Richards, took the stage confidently, ready to play their new 2017 release Sincerely. With songs about anxiety, missed connections, sly smirks, and crop tops, Dude York brought a fun West Coast energy that somehow blended with their openers. Hardly Art, Dude York’s label, would surely have been proud of their Ramones-esque guitars that are so often used with fellow labelmates Colleen Green, Tacocat, and Hunx and his Punx. The second band of this silly bill did not hesitate to continue the sense of humor of the night.
PAWS finished the night with a performance that took me by surprise. For their act, they were less sarcastic than Dude York and Idiot Genes, and as, if not more, powerful. Their punk performance featuring heart-wrenching emo vocals and slammed, frantic guitars was wholly captivating. Who knows what it is about Glasgow, Scotland that imbeds its punk bands with a kind of youthful desperation, but I support it. From the start to finish, PAWS immersed themselves in a marathon or sprint performance, who can tell the difference when it features endlessly wavering vocals. Although Pitchfork once called this trio “mildly embarrassing” I have a feeling that they didn’t give this a second thought. PAWS’ set was more sincere than their openers, but a somewhat silly punk group all the same, with pauses to make jokes and lead singer in a bright green knit cardigan and floppy, endearing hair. But if there was anything to be taken from this night, it’s that maybe silliness in a punk show is not unwelcome to me, and I look forward to seeing more shows like this one.