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Photos and Text: Colton Bills

Being a South Bay Area transplant I was more than happy to hear that Negative Standards were coming to Vancouver. Getting to photograph them was the fun part. There were 10 or 15 people inside. I bought a beer to have something to do. The first band was Alethia, bringing some evil fucking black metal to showcase.

More and more people trickled in during their set. After Tempest had set up, their singer was handing out earplugs to a few of us in the crowd. I got a pair and thought, “I don’t really need these” – right after they started I had to put them in. Their crushing hardcore actually made my eardrums feel like they were going to rattle out of my head. I’m not normally a huge fan of hardcore, but they tore that shit up and now it has a special place in my heart.

Negative Standards was intense. The atmosphere of the room, brewing with each note and whirr and buzz of noise, fading in one song to the next. Combining factory farm footage and harsh blackened doom-crust gave me a much needed reminder of this fucked dystopian world we live in. The guttural growls and meaty bass steaks and slabs of guitar, along with the horrid backdrop made every eye in the room lock on them.

Hoopsnake plays doom metal and they play it with it a 70’s Black Sabbath gusto of balls to the wall riffage. I had no idea what was going to happen, but this was the most punk doom band I’ve seen. The mike stands were broken and kept moving away from the bassist’s mouth, so instead of skipping a verse he would just yell as loudly as he could straight into the air. As the last verse of the last song started, the bass cabs’ power went out and without missing a beat he threw his bass off stage and chugged a tall can. Pretty rock ‘n roll way to end a show.



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