No Cause for Concern? Issue #7 | March 1983 | Page 6 | Santa's Hardcore Christmas Party

Youth Culture Promotions

Santa's Hardcore Christmas Party


Youth Youth Youth
Expressions of Anger
Civil Terror
Porcelain Forehead
Raw Sewage
Last Prayer

Another Y.C.P. event, this one their biggest venture yet. A nine-band extravaganza, big enough to have everyone sufficiently overdosed on punk/hardcore music to last quite a while. And it was quite a show at that. The only problem as the rather poor turnout and it was only six bucks! Those who missed it were the losers because almost all the bands were excellent despite whatever effect a small audience has on a band (only about 125 people). So even though it was a financial let down and Y.C.P. people worked their asses off, we all had a good time. Now for a band by band account of the show:

Although it was scheduled to start at 4:00, the first band, Ottawa's LAST PRAYER, didn't hit the stage until 5:30 due to various "technical difficulties". But it really didn't seem to matter though because there was still only a small number of people in the audience. They played a really original set but the sound did them no justice. There had been no sounds checks so Last Prayer were the guinea pigs with the sound man fiddling with the board for most of their set. On top of that problem their stage presence was practically non existent. Melanie just stood there without moving the whole time but despite all that, with Julia's excellent guitar playing aided by some good original music, they managed to carry through alright. They played a continuous set with ten songs in 25 minutes and at least their sound had been straightened out by the end of their performance. (since this show, Eliza has quit the band to take up as bassist for a yet un-named band with old Attention Span cohort Dave Whalen. In her place ex-Angry Raisins' David McCaig is now drumming.)

After a short break, on came the next band: PORCELAIN FOREHEAD, also from Ottawa. Porcelain Forehead is a unique band with such a varied style their music defies a simple description. They were in good form for this show even though the sound wasn't quite as good as it could have been and Mike kept apologizing for his voice claiming he'd wrecked it the day before at practice. Any problems with his voice certainly weren't noticeable though as they went through their set with lots of energy topped with Mike's frantic dancing. (The guy is amazing!) About their music, it was fast and energetic and about 40 minutes worth but as high quality as it was, there was still very little audience response, probably due to the early hour.

After a slightly longer break this time, CIVIL TERROR came on, broke into their high-energy thrash music, and managed to get a pretty good response from the crowd (quite a feat considering the ho-hum attitude most people were carrying around all evening). Their sound was great, their music was great, the only thing that detracted from their show was that they'd requested dim white lighting only and they got it. Lead singer Dave Champion was just a dark shadow except when he stood back towards the guitarist or the bassist (who didn't move around much at all). But that's a minor point, as the first public performance with their new bassist, Russell Joyce, they did a damn fine job. The four new songs that they played for us for the first time (including "My Turn" and "Why Remember") were up to their usual standard of good fast hardcore. And by the time these guys were on more people had shown up so things were looking better.

EXPRESSIONS OF ANGER, an ex-Hamilton band now based in Ottawa, played after Civil Terror. They had a fairly short set and were plagued by technical difficulties. Marty's guitar kept feeding back and there was no bass guitar in the mix at all. They weren't very tight as their drummer had only practiced with them once before this show. It was rather hard to distinguish their type of sound as the sound was so bad but their music is vaguely reminiscent of Crass and Flux of Pink Indians. Hopefully next time we see E.O.A., better luck and better practicing will be with them.

OUTBREAK was the only band to play the Christmas Party from Quebec City. Quebec City has lots of good up-and-coming bands (like TURBINE DEPRESS) but Outbreak has been in existence the longest and is being heavily supported by the Quebec City youth group "Productions sans nom".

Outbreak's sound was poorly mixed for the first 1/3 to 1/2 of their set. The sound is typically "punk" (excuse me) but they have a very enthusiastic audience outreach. It was very sincere and energetic. Outbreak, like the other Quebec City bands, is very young and with more experience I'm sure they'll develop more and more of their own uniqueness. I look forward to seeing Outbreak again.


Next on were the DISCORDS, a Montreal band made up of four skinheads who can look pretty mean when they want to. They went right into a mixture of hardcore/oi covers and originals. Doing a good job of it they finally got the audience to show some life. Later in the set they even let some of the audience join them at the mikes for a rousing version of "R.C.M.P." off their e.p. The band was great, putting a lot into it and the singer looked about ready to pound the mike stand through the stage floor at times. They had good stage presence, put on a good show and it's too bad they've split up since this show. At least you can still get their 4-song e.p. at Wheels.

Then came RAW SEWAGE, a band that has disbanded and reformed for years. As of this writing the band is defunct but at Santa's Hardcore Christmas Party, Raw Sewage gave one of the best performances it ever had. Angela sang with more assurance and had more stage presence than ever before. Her unpretentious, matter-of-fact delivery and feminine voice gave this reincarnation of Raw Sewage one of its better moments. Drew's fast drumming gives second meaning to the wall-of-noise effect. His style pushes the whole band and makes them that much more exciting. Brian played well as usual but his guitar sound was not only up-front but also too loud and mushy. Brian's stage presence is more dynamic when he fronts a band as he has often done in the past. But he's still "good" just playing while not screaming. Mark played bass well -- with the same uncompromising determination as Drew and Brian but he did a lot of double picking. Don't believe otherwise! And I feel it is my journalistic duty to inform N.C.F.C. readers that Mark Struzina has sworn a solemn oath (on more than one occasion I may add) that he would never, never, NEVER double pick. So I'll let it go at that and let you, the reader, come to any conclusion you may on the subject.

Next was ZEROPTION from Toronto. This was the third time I've seen them and they sounded the best out of all those times. They were really tight and really energetic. Their music sounds sort of like hardcore, it's that fast but not quite as heavy sounding. Their stage presence was really good and their set was a fairly good length. They were definitely worth seeing.


YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH was the last band of the evening. In my humble opinion, Youth Youth Youth is the best hardcore band in Toronto right now. They were the tightest band at Santa's Hardcore Christmas Party and played one of the best sets I've ever heard. Big Brian's stage presence is frantic. He runs around looking feverishly from side to side. He sings with a lot of intensity and conviction. The group as a whole is VERY energetic and performs with the accuracy of clockwork. This made the few mistakes they made quite obvious. At those times. Rob snickered and Brian Rubbish looked disgusted and apologized.

A great performance, a great band. Get their tape!

reviewd by:
Colleen Howe: E.O.A., Zeroption
Vig: Outbreak, Raw Sewage, Youth Youth Youth
Janine: Last Prayer, Porcelain Forehead, Civil Terror, Discords.

Band members:

Melanie Kaye - vocals
Julia P - guitar
Colleen Howe - bass
Eliza Cochrane - Drums

Mike Hillis - vocals
Chris McLellan - guitar
Bruce Stevenson - bass
Ian Seabrook - Drums

Dave Champion - vocals
Tim Mech - guitar
Russell Taylor - drums
Russell Joyce - bass

Timmy - vocals
Dave - guitar
Terry - bass
Frank - drums

John - vocals
Bronwyn - vocals
Marty - guitar
Jim - bass
Dave - drums

Louis - vocals
Guy - guitar
Michael - bass
Martin - drums

Angela Awful - vocals
Brian Bunt - guitar
Mark Struzina - bass
Drew Headrick - drums

Gord - bass and vocals
Stewart - guitar
Kealan - drums

[I can't believe we didn't include the members of Youth Youth Youth! My appologies. Anyone know them?]

some stuff I like and support:

logo of Ottawa Rock Camp for Girlslogo of PunkOttawa.comlogo for Capital Rehearsal Studios logo for Dave's Drum ShopNCFC facebook logologo for Birdman Soundlogo of Spectrasonic

ncfc logo