As far as I’m concerned, the best place in Jersey to have a show is in Asbury Park, considering all the historic venues off of Kingsley St., like The Stone Pony and Asbury Park Convention Hall. That being said, hanging out at The Fast Lane right on the shore in the dead of winter with the arctic spray coming off the Atlantic is not a great way to spend a Sunday night, show or no show.
The Fast Lane was host to headliners Pellinore and This Is Hell for a punk/hardcore mixer that was a bit unexpected.
The first band was terribly over-rehearsed and it pained me to sit on those freezing faux leather bar stools, watching the drummer mouth the timing of his drum pattern. It was more than I could handle.
Cigarette break number one.
The second band was totally forgettable as well. From what I remember, there was some banging on the drums and about 15 minutes too many of a pure cacophony of sound.
Cigarette break number two.
Finally, the band that I was convinced into traveling the better part of two hours to see, Pellinore, took the stage. I was expecting a hardcore or at least screamo-esque sound—boy was I wrong. It was straight Oi punk, a little cleaned up, but it was Oi. The drummer had my heart though—he played in a Darth Vader mask. After the second stage dive courtesy of the wiry singer, it was time for a break.
Cigarette break number three.
Walking back in, I saw “This Is Hell” spray-painted on the side of the amps so I knew it was finally time to see if This Is Hell were really as rave worthy as all the MySpace bulletins were making them seem.
The first few songs were pretty good—slight suggestions of what a good hardcore song should sound like, but no matter how hard I tried to convince myself they were anything but a punk band, song after song was a reminder that I was only fooling myself.
This Is Hell were by far the best band of the night and if you are into punk at all, I definitely recommend checking out Pellinore and This Is Hell when they come to your area.