Friday’s FUCS show was not your typical indie rock FUCS show. Rather than the usual indie rock, Harvey Milk — who earned a coveted Best New Music seal of approval from tastemaking website Pitchfork back in 2008 for their album Life… The Best Game in Town — was louder and far more aggressive than almost anybody else who has appeared in the series.
The band’s Wikipedia entry variously describes their music as “noise rock,” “sludge metal,” “stoner rock” and “experimental rock.” Whatever, they did it loud. Very loud. My friend and I initially spent a few minutes standing in front of a speaker, but our bones rattled so much we had to relocate. The trio is made up of three large, intimidating men with long and tangled coiffures, who are somewhat Nordic in aspect (though they hail from Athens, Georgia). One of them was alternating between shouting, singing, shredding and sweating. One was drumming furiously. And the other was playing bass with arm-wrenching, vibratory intensity.
I would be lying if I said I ever managed to make it through a full private listen to Life… The Best Game in Town. For some reason I can’t sit in my room alone and listen to metal; it just feels wrong. Yet I found myself enjoying the show. I kept thinking, “I totally get why people are into this stuff.” After all, Harvey Milk is not the kind of metal band that make constant off-putting references to corpses and putrefaction; they’re more into being loud and pissed-off, and playing their instruments. And I’ll take that over chillwave any day.