There's an art to making sloppy, off-the-rails hardcore punk that doesn't sound like a pile of hot garbage, and it's not a subtle one. Greg Ginn maybe knew it best, and the diminutive dreadlocked front man of tonight's headliner, Off!, kinda gets it too—you've got to throw down fried 'n' frazzled guitar licks that yank at the threads of a song's fabric but never totally unravel it. That willingness to tear up what you've written makes it sound so much harder and, well, more punk. Raleigh four-piece Double Negative
follow in the footsteps of their visionary predecessors, playing so fast and rough that it's a shock every time they end a song deliberately instead of just revving it up till it disintegrates. These dudes have been in about 4,000 bands, and in Double Negative their catalog includes the crucial 13-song, 25-minute LP Daydreamnation
(Sorry State) and a four-volume seven-inch series called Hardcore Confusion, whose last two installments feature new vocalist Cameron Craig. —Kevin Warwick Off! headlines; the Spits and Double Negative open.