Norwegian hardcore


Awesome things come from Scandinavia. Seriously, think about it. It's the birthplace of the sauna, they've got some sweet mythology, they make durable and efficient automobiles, Black Metal reigns supreme--oh, and they use this thing: Ø. Yeah, that O with a slash through it thing rules. And don't even get me started on the Vikings--none cooler, my friend--they make pirates look like small-time crooks. Soon enough we will have some rocking denizens from the Scandinavian land of Norway coming to show us how they rock it in the land of the fjords.

I have to admit I don't know a lot about the hardcore band Kaospilot that'll be at JD & Friends on Tuesday, June 22. I know that they are not, in fact, Vikings--which is a strike against them, I guess--but they are five dudes who intend to rock your face off. I've heard their self-titled LP, and it surely slays, but info on them is scant at best. I can tell you for a fact that they are as heavy as granite, and energetic as all get out. Think of gnarly drumming, brutal guitars and distressed vocals. Granted, that terse synopsis could very well describe most hardcore bands out there these days, but give me a break--words are fallible, music is elemental. It's my opinion that these days, the music world is rapidly becoming overpopulated with post-hardcore/metal/punk bands (and feel free to insert as many slashes and dashes along with any other musical genre you can possibly think of). I hope I'm not the only one that's sick of hearing bands described as, "They're a, like, kind of a straight-edge, hardcore/grind meets euro-pop band." Bullshit like that is getting really old. Call me old-timish, but I like bands that just rock, or don't rock--can't it be as simple as that again, please? Anyway, Kaospilot rocks, that's what I am trying to get at. Sorry for the tangent, folks.

Lyrically speaking, their songs touch thematically on the political (or apathy toward such), the personal, and, of course, the sexual. Bear in mind that these are Norwegian dudes singing in English, and they like screaming. Point being, it isn't easy to tell what these fellas are singing about. Thankfully they included the lyrics on the insert to the record, or I'd be lost. (Of course, you could include the whole screaming/sung lyrics standard into my tangent on things quickly becoming a sad and annoying cliché, but I don't want to digress again.) I have to admit I like songs that have cool titles like "Robots Took on the Outside of Dogs" and "Eleventh Hour Tactics." Musically, think of the Locust, though not as spastic, and with actual complete thoughts. They rock hard, fast and crazy--dare I say kaotic? [I could write something now like: "they pilot the listener through some sort of kaotic soundscape," but I think I may have exceeded my lame critic-speak clichés for one article, and that would be really lame (but I did it anyways, huh?)]. The album is out on Philadelphia's Level-Plane Records ( label, by the way. The band's limited Web site is

Opening the show is Canadian hardcore outfit Van Johnson, and Boise's own The Knifeswitch. I can't say enough good things about The Knifeswitch. They've got a 7-inch out on Boise's own Dying is Deadly Records, and put on an intense show every single time. Check them out and try to tell me that incredible, innovative music isn't being made in Boise. Now, I could be biased, because I've known these wonderful gentlemen for years. The first time I saw them play, I was floored. Their Judas Priest-on-Meth dueling solos are worth the price of admission alone. Their drummer rules, and is in another awesome band called Manville (yes, this is a totally shameless plug for my own band, but that's not going to stop me from telling you about the band).

Manville is a new Boise band that is destined for greatness ... or something like that. We play punk rock music that is reminiscent of back in the day when punk rock was fun and not so damn serious. A good old-fashioned kick-in-the-butt, if you will. We aren't re-inventing the wheel; we're greasing that bad boy up and making it roll good again. The dynamic lineup we've put together makes for an entertaining evening any time we play. You'll have a good time; that I can almost guarantee. Alrighty then, I'm done stroking the old ego ... The Kaospilot show, that's what I was talking about. It should be a rockin' good time. I'll be there, and you can throw things at me. That's always fun.

Kaospilot with Van Johnson and The Knifeswitch, June 22, 9 p.m., $3, JD & Friends, 1519 W Main, 336-3982.