IMPACT / AR / JINXT Portland Arms, July 20th

Another packed R*E*P*E*A*T night, this time which ALL of our local scenesters missed out on. Jinxt aspire to be Pennywise and The Dead Kennedys and stufflike that, and sometimes they carry it off. Their contribution to The Wild Skies compilation, "In Memoria" mixes righteous indignation about the
way the world is with some creditable melodic punk-pop hooks (but ignore the cringesome dedication in the middle!!). Tonight nothing seems to go right for the band as Alex curses the large crowd sitting in the bar and mistakenly blames the wrong scenester, which at least made me giggle.
Personally I think Jinxt need more direction: more direction musically so that they are less like musical magpies, more direction for their anger (how can the "crime" of September 11th compare with that of Hiroshima, Vietnam or Bush's war on Afghanistan?) and more direction for the band
so that they are clearer where they want to go and how to get there. Onlymy opinion; tonight their tight, energetic, humorous performance made
them some new friends.

A~R on the other hand already have lots of friends and it's easy to see why. They are an interesting mix of hard core assault and incredible
musicianship, an unlikely mix of Napalm Death and Level 42 (put that on your posters if you dare!). At least this means that if you don't want to
mosh you can always admire the way the bass player flits between slapping his 5 and 6 string instruments. Yes A~R have power, they have
musicianship, they have songs, but I want to know WHY they are in a band, they need some self belief and stage presence and urgency so that
while they are on stage we really feel that they are the only thing that matters in the whole fucking world.

Enter Impact, who give both Jinxt and A~R a salutary lesson in how this hard core thing is done properly. Not just cos they're tighter and louder and more aggressive but because you can tell they really mean it man, they are 100% 4 - Real. They shout and scream and leap and holler and encourage the audience to do the same. Yes Impact are mighty pissed off about something and they want us to know it. What it is exactly I don't know, but it was there simmering under
all night, occasionally bubbling over into the audience in violent moshing and then in a very bloody fist fight which needed the aid of all the Portland staff to break up. Now I'm not condoning this sort of violence, I just found such working class honesty and anger and yes aggression refreshing after too many gigs where the indie scenesters clap politely before e-mailing their bitchy comments to message boards from the cushy anonymity of office jobs. Impact may not be my perfect cup of tea, but I booked them then and will do so again cos they are genuine, raucous, dangerous, pissed off, without pretension or scene
mongering, and brimming over with inarticulate rage.