The Porn Hall played host to Spanish punkers La URSS and local junkers Dumspell, Nap and Baghead on April 13. The event lasted from 7:30 p.m. to whenever and saw a turnout of at least 50 patrons.
Well, the Europeans came to town and suddenly everyone wanted in on this business. Just kidding. La URSS deserved every pair of eyes and ears that could be squeezed into the Porn Hall stomping space. The venue found itself jammed with more people than usual, which was welcome and wonderful as we could share our little celebration with people who’d never come out. The Porn Hall is a one-of-a-kind deal. Everyone deserves to be there at least once.
Dumspell exploded into their set as I fished a PBR out of the fridge. There’s not a lot I can say about this band I haven’t already, other than prepare yourself for a butt- whooping. I still listen to their self- titled demo that I bought from them way back, and I still find myself singing along to their tunes at every show. The boys at the front of the crowd slammed the crap out of each other during each song’s breakdown. I stood next to a couple of the La URSS guys and gladly saw they were enjoying themselves — so there’s your endorsement by European punk veterans if you needed a weirdly specific reason to listen to them.
If you’re a Thirsty Hippo regular and want more punk in your life, you’re in luck. Dumspell will blow the place’s doors off their hinges May 18.
Then came Nap, formerly known as Nap and the Secret Wands. The last time we saw Nap was our first stint at the Porn Hall, and their set this time was just as memorable as it was then. Frontman Dylan Kern is a double threat, simply put. His vocals really shone, and he tore through the numbers with maniac guitar solos that make my own skills look elementary. Needless to say, Nap was a pleasure.
They’ll be performing alongside Dumspell at the May 18 show.
Afterward, it was finally time for La URSS to bang out some Spain-brewed tunes. This was who everyone had come to see. The boys fired up their first number and had me on my knees in moments.
As one could imagine, the punk climate in Europe is likely different from the one here in the South of America. Their sound aesthetic reflected that with bright but aggressive numbers that had everyone grooving. The guitar work felt like a heavy rain, good and wet, while the vocals were smooth and accessible. To boot, the vocalist broke out some moves — some sweet dance moves.
“If you super like us,” vocalist Africo said after the set, “you can buy a T-shirt or a tape.”
We bought a tape.
Just as everyone had expected, La URSS became an instant highlight. Their set was not one to forget.
Baghead closed out the night with a few rowdy numbers that made everyone get along nicely. Crunchy guitars and a bang-up rhythm section complimented Hampton Martin’s gruff and powerful vocals. There is nothing quite like a nice Baghead set in the same way there is nothing quite like a good Big Bleach set. Both of these bands are drastically different — Big Bleach a bright and confident-sounding foil to the former — but Baghead touts a realistic pessimism toward local politics and acts as a voice for our little music community. Listening feels amazing. You can never go wrong with a Baghead set.
Music and more information about these bands can be found on their respective Bandcamp profiles. Information on the Porn Hall and Spice World can be found pretty much nowhere, as it is only distributed on a need-to-know basis.