The imminently splitting Teen Crud Combo will be sorely missed on the local scene, but it's comforting to know that there are co-ed knuckleheads like Rammer ready to pick up the spiked gauntlet and carry on thrashing.
Judging by the way the stiff quintet were looking at their hands instead of the crowd, Rammer are still working on the transition from rehearsal space to stage. However, they deliver a decent thud, and High Park hooligan Dave Kristiansen has a promising growl. He just needs to work on his audience rapport in order to alleviate those annoying between-song lulls and build some momentum.
No such problem for the Hacksaw grubs, who seem to have picked up a more menacing edge lately. A little roadwork does wonders for attitude adjustment. In honour of well-bearded guests Alabama Thunder Pussy, they didn't shave and ripped through their set with matching roughness.
The Pussy posse raised their tattooed limbs and shook their balled-up fists in approval before nearly bringing down the walls with a pulverizing bash of their own.
Even a good 10 metres from the stage-front epicentre, my bottle of brew was being turned into cottage cheese by the sonic shock waves these hardcore-schooled Virginia hillbillies were whipping up.
They might come off all Skynyrd-fancy on disc, but put these fools on the highway for a week, make them take in nothing but nicotine, caffeine and diesel smoke, and damn if they don't sound like a double-dirty Laughing Hyenas. Nasty but nice.
ALABAMA THUNDER PUSSY, with RAMMER and HACKSAW, at the El Mocambo, September 3. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 175. Rating: NNN