Forever Unclean

support Rebuke + Stars Burn Stripes + Megafonzie + Kill The Rooster
author PP date 10/02/18 venue Underwerket, Copenhagen, DEN

This is how legends are made in small punk rock communities. In ten, twenty years from now, future generations of punk rock fans in Denmark will look back at some of the early bands that stirred the pot way back when, and somewhere along the line they'll find a tall tale about Leo Wallin performing five sets in a row for his own birthday as a part of Leo's Lortefest (Leo's Shitfest, directly translated). And not just because it's an impressive feat completing five sets during a single night, but also because of the sheer quality of the bands on the lineup tonight, all units that count Leo as a member during his decade+ long punk rock career. The whole evening is a novel idea and kind of ridiculous on paper, which is probably why it turns out to be so much fun with a packed UnderWerket audience that primarily consists of the Danish punk scene in attendance, or what's left of it anyway. Coupled with a cheap bar, the evening serves as a great reminder of how solid punk rock bands Denmark has produced over the last few years, which is also evident in the dedicated and passionate sing-alongs that come to characterize the night throughout.

Kill The Rooster

Arguably one of the most underappreciated bands in Denmark during their existence, Kill The Rooster open the night with a rare performance of a band that has been dearly missed in the Danish punk scene for a while now. Back in 2013 they released a fantastic debut album that with the right marketing could've made waves internationally given the strength of tracks like "Fear" and "Medication" among others, both of which are aired tonight, giving us a fresh reminder of the quality of craftsmanship behind these songs despite the issues with vocals only coming off the monitors for the first couple of songs at least. With a unique combination of Green Day style pop punk mixed with unconventional elements from System of A Down and alternative rock, the band's musical delivery has always been spot on as it is tonight as well. Vocalist Carsten Hansen's piercing gaze penetrates the audience and gets us singing along early, but unfortunately as a whole, the long break from playing live shows through silences in between songs breaking the flow and an overall unrehearsed vibe to the set. Therefore, it speaks volumes about how good the songs actually are that even after just a couple of practices the band look and sound this good when they get it together towards the end of their set. Here's to hoping for more shows in the near future.

7

Megafonzie

For his second set of the night, Leo now sports a funky party hat behind the drum kit. Much like Kill The Rooster, Megafonzie has been an absolute rarity within the Danish punk rock scene over their entire existence, having played only a handful of shows in total, an absolutely regrettable fact considering how ridiculously good their brand of ska-punk Less Than Jake style is both live and on record. This band, if any, could break through to international fame if they started touring properly. Tonight, they also appear unrehearsed, where especially the horns department is awkwardly off-tune at times compared to their debut album "Drink Up". But with tracks like "Generalize", "Drink Up", "Hot Dogs" and not least "Westend Asshole", the band's repertoire speaks for itself. The crowd is skanking like there's no end and providing surprisingly loud sing-alongs to the songs, far defying the 300 or so followers the band has on Facebook. Let's just all agree that Megafonzie needs to become a full-time band and record more songs because the talent is clearly there - they could be the next big thing from Danish Music Export if they got their act together. It says a lot that even at such an unrehearsed constellation the band still pull of an excellent show with a memorable impression. "Weren't Kill The Rooster really great?", singer Mark Bryld asks at one point, "except for their drummer. But they were good despite him", he continues, adding a splice of humor to the set. Solid performance.

Stars Burn Stripes

It's been a while since Stars Burn Stripes were a band. They were arguably the most active punk band in Denmark for a long while, playing more or less every show in the genre they could get their hands on, often for little pay or even for free. Hence, they were such a frequent sight in the Danish underground scene that they ended up being underappreciated as a result. Both 2010's "Buy Now, Pay Later" EP and 2014's debut album "Songs About Escapism" should today read among Danish punk rock classics, and re-listening to them several years later just reminds us how many great songs were actually on those records. The aggressive guitars of "I Lost The Point", the catchy lyrics of "Rot Away", or the passionate sing-alongs to "Moments" remind us what basement skate punk is all about, and the crowd response exactly how you should to a local reunion band: by screaming along all of their best choruses from the top of their lungs and moshing along throughout the show. What a treat to catch these guys again. Oh, and Leo is now wearing a hat made out of drinks, during his third set of the night.

Rebuke

The only international band on the bill tonight is Rebuke from Sweden, who against all odds also read Leo Wallin as their drummer. In terms of energy, they are probably the group with the most energy out of any band tonight. It doesn't take long before two Rebuke members are in the crowd with their instruments, a pattern that repeats itself throughout the night. Plenty of jumps and tight skate punk riffs is what their set is all about, and given that they're also the fastest and more technical band on the bill tonight, Leo is starting to look exhausted. Unfortunately for Rebuke, they have way less crowd support than the rest of the bands, probably because the audience doesn't seem like they know them and the sound does them no favours tonight. They do pretty much everything right but since nobody knows them, the crowd thins out and gathers outside to smoke or by the bar to buy more beers. It's a shame, but tonight's just not cutting it.

6

Forever Unclean

Forever Unclean is essentially a slightly more melodic version of Stars Burn Stripes. They're also the version that has matured in songwriting quite significantly since the raw melodic hardcore origins of SBS, as is evident in songs like "Dinosaur" and "Worthless", where the latter in particular features a fantastic sing-along that echoes The Menzingers and others like them. It's the last set of the night and both the crowd and Leo are starting to run on the last bits of their engine, yet the smoke effects and small sing-alongs contribute to an awesome party atmosphere despite a number of new, unreleased songs being performed tonight. Still, a song like "Waves" suggests Forever Unclean know how to write great sing-along anthems so let's see how the new album turns out. A few small jumps and an energetic set later, the crowd keeps asking for more, so the band return for one more song in the form of "43210-1" by The Vandals. A great end to a great evening of local punk rock bands that have shaped the Copenhagen scene for the past decade or so.

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