Negative Approach front man John Brannon is a notoriously intense lunatic onstage—I don't envy an opening band the task of delivering a comparable amount of venom to a crowd that Brannon and company are about to maul. But Western Mass hardcore outfit Hoax
, who provide main support to Negative Approach tonight, rage through their thick, stomping, chaotic thrash with almost unnerving fury. They've put out three dystopic seven-inch EPs so far—the most recent a self-titled release on Painkiller Records
that's likely going out of print as you read this—but the intensity of Hoax on vinyl pales in comparison to their deranged live sets. Their front man—let's call him "Jesse"—reliably ends up bloodied and beaten, either because he's been bashing the mike into his own head or because dozens of kids have been flailing around him in a basement the size of a walk-in closet. (Be ready for some punching back
from Jesse too.) I've spent the past 20 minutes watching videos
of Hoax commanding ready-to-combust mobs with a forcefulness that's as stunning as it is violent. The Cobra show is the second of the band's two appearances today—the first is a matinee at a DIY venue that shall remain nameless—and I'll bet good money that the late crowd will include a lot of the folks from the early gig. But when the feedback for the gruff and chugging anthem "Fagget
" kicks in, I figure everybody's gonna get a second wind. —Kevin Warwick Negative Approach headlines; Hoax, Kontaminant, and Violent End open.