Stöj Snak

support R.C. Sullivan + Them Bailers + Rebel Radio
author PP date 09/11/18 venue Huset, Copenhagen, DEN

Punks Undead is a monthly DIY punk rock club that usually takes place at Huset, Copenhagen, and has reached an impressive 79th installment tonight. The concept is usually always the same: a few bands on the first Friday of each month at a dirt cheap price of 40 DKK at the cozy interiors of Musikcaféen. As a result, the quality of talent on display is not always worthy of coverage but every now and then they book a band that wakes our interest. Tonight is one of those nights where semi-acoustic folk punkers Stöj Snak are bringing their dearly missed screamer-songwriter style back to Copenhagen for the headliner slot.

Rebel Radio

But first, let's discuss the support. Tonight's opening act is a Dutch grunge/alternative rock band who run into tech issues with the guitars straight away that is fortunately rescued by some awkwardly funny stage banter. Occasionally, the band raises eyebrows with slick alternative rock riffs that echo early Foo Fighters songs back when they were recording in a garage, and elsewhere, they rely on groove and distorted guitars for their expression. It's not terrible, but it is awfully anonymous where the band basically stand still and play through their songs without any charisma or noteworthy moments to mention. At almost 45 minutes, their set feels painfully long and if it wasn't for the last song where the band is jumping around and wake up the crowd, we'd probably be half asleep. Needs: better songs, more charisma, more movement on stage before this will ever work.

5

Them Bailers

Copenhagen based Them Bailers ooze of old-school hardcore spirit and energy straight away. A couple of years back they were a familiar force within the Copenhagen hardcore scene, and now they're back, however with a renewed style as they all but drop the piercing screams that dominated their original output. Instead, they now channel their hardcore energy through clean vocals that echo OFF! with a mix of Champion and maybe even H2O thrown in for good measure. They're still frenetic as if their vocalist had a rush to deliver as many words per second as humanly possible, but it leaves behind a fantastic breakneck speed, high-energy atmosphere. The guys on instruments are shredding old-school style, and everything about their set feels like an authentic throwback to the original rebellious spirit of punk rock. Add to the fact that the guys play super tight and even have a few examples of basic crowd control mixed in, such as teaching us the chorus to "Conventions Of Clean Killing" or "Cock" as they say, and their set feels infectious and like a huge surprise at least in my books. There's even a clever intermezzo whilst they spend some time fixing a broken bass string, which helps make the whole ordeal rather humorous. With this kind of energy, no wonder people are talking about these guys.

R.C. Sullivan

Tonight's second Dutch band, R.C. Sullivan, unfortunately, don't do much better than their peers who kicked off tonight's show. Their clean vocals-driven punk rock is best comparable to bands like Antillectual or The Shell Corporation, which also means the expression is by definition more depth-laden and thus virtually impossible to absorb on first listen. That perhaps explains why they are basically playing for an empty venue while people are busy drinking at the bar or by the tables. What's worse, they choose to cover "Bullion" by Millencolin. While their execution of the cover is excellent, it puts their own material in a rather unfortunate contrast as "Bullion" is just about ten times better than anything else we hear tonight. So even though their vocalist spends the entire show in front of the stage, he's not much help when their soundscape is as anonymous and forgettable as this one.

5

Stöj Snak

The atmosphere is much more alive as soon as Stöj Snak start their performance. They have actual fans present, plus Niels Højgaard Sørensen's honest, sociopolitical screamer-songwriter style is ideal for drawing your attention even on first listen because of how unique it is. Today, he starts the set by himself on stage, equipped only with an acoustic guitar and the usual whistle and harmonica, starting with a casual "Na na naa na, nana naaa na" sing along before launching into his raw acoustic folk punk with formidable energy during "Fuck". Little by little, other members of the band start coming on stage and not much later they're complete with a drummer, an upright bass and a guy that wears a strange, ouija-like instrument around his neck. But that's not enough instruments, as later on the band deal out various percussion instruments ranging from tambourines and maracas to drumsticks that we can rhythmically clap together. It's a moment of punk community where the border between the band and the audience blurs to an extent where we all feel like we're part of the song and the band. And then, to wrap it all up, the band finishes with the same "na-na naa-na" as they started out with. Great stuff, but that's of course just an encore before they return for a final song, which sees a rather aggressive wall-of-death where it feels like the entire venue is torn down to pieces. A solid show that acts as a great reminder of how good of a band Stöj Snak is. Go see them if you have the chance!

8

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