From either end of the Pacific Ocean, Nacho Corrupted is known as a punk icon, flying the flag of East Los all the way to the far east by bringing Japan’s wildest punk bands to Los Angeles for this year’s C.Y. Fest. Catching The Erections and Hat Trickers at the Moroccan Lounge is a rare treat, so street punk faithful dug through their crates to excavate that precious punk rock imported vinyl to offer up to the bands like sacrifices to be signed for the 2nd to last C.Y. Fest side show of 2023
The last time Hat Trickers came to Los Angeles was for a one-off side show after Manic Relapse 2019. A whole pandemic later and that band returned to even more fanfare and excitement than the previous show. The air was buzzing with punks awaiting this set, making everyone anticipate a show that would imprint itself on your memory, for better or for worse, but unquestionably for good.
It was a night jam packed with punk rock and mine began seeing local punks, The Rails, wreck the stage with blasting, unhinged guitars and true to street percussive rhythms, boots on concrete, bullets in the riffs.
Next, all the way from the Big Apple, was a band of merry skinheads with sensibilities just as connected to glam rock as the working class bops their blasting rock and roll jams harkened back to. Just as much Thin Lizzy as they were Blitz, Loosey was one of the most impressive young, opening bands I’ve seen all year. They were put on the bill last minute as a replacement, here in Los Angeles to play the Slaughter and the Dogs shows a few days later. They put on such a riveting performance, covered in sweat and ink, banging out songs that were just as fist-bumping as they were hip gyrating, everyone left Moroccan Lounge that night with Loosey on their lips.
Hat Trickers always amaze me with how their sound, aura and image all surpass your expectations. You see the attached to these street punk lineups and expect to hear that ol’ D-beat sound but instead you’re blessed with this sort of perversion of pop and anthemic rock perfect for whatever futuristic hellscape A Clockwork Orange may play out in next time. The music is celebratory and lethal, inspiring freakish joy and oddball jubilation. Like the sort of music you might play while in the act of murder, trying to enhance your violence and the smile that dons your face after the blood splatters upon it. Hat Trickers are a truly unhinged band, something out of a forgotten circle of hell. Seeing them perform, totally expands your horizons as to what you think is possible with punk as an artform.
Aside from some early issues with the guitars being tuned in different keys, The Erections were the purest punk I had seen in a long time. Granted I haven’t been frequenting shows as much as I used to, the sort of rhythm and pounding guitars being invoked is the kind moshing was made for. With a little assist from Hat Trickers, the correct tuning was achieved and away we went. Simple and freeing, helping Los Angeles get back in touch with their own savagery, we need more punk shows like this to help us see ourselves better. Whatever bad impression people might have about Los Angeles, they just need to flip the punk rock switch and see us with an Erections to know we’re complete animals when given the right soundtrack.
Nacho Corrupted and Nothing Less Bookings are Los Angeles; trusted source for experimental and unique punk rock concert experiences. Every year, C.Y. Fest brings out the best street denizens from around the world to entertain us, it would be a shame if you didn’t get in on the action.
Words: Rob Shepyer
Photos: Corina Cline