HArdcore supergroup!

Hardcore supergroup members of Dillinger Escape, Every Time I Die and Fit For an Autopsy with a rager at the Rickshaw.

I love hardcore.  There is such a rawness to this music.  The lyrical value to me is real life and the vocals are seething in your face.   The music side of it  (for example, guitars) is not overly complex for the most part and usually the songs are within 3-4 minutes or shorter.  Tonight we get a good dose of hardcore with Greyhaven, Foreign Hands, SeeYouSpaceCowboy and headliner Better Lovers.

Greg Puciato

Better Lovers is a 5 member band with Greg Puciato (vocals, Dillinger Escape Plan), Jordan Buckley (guitar, Every Time I die), Steve Micciche (bas, Every Time I Die), Clayton Holyoak (drums, Every Time I Die) and Will Putney (guitar, Fit for An Autopsy).   They have just one EP at this time with God Made Me an Animal that was released in 2023, and it is an impressive piece of hardcore.

Will Putney

Prior to the first song, they play a neat montage (off tape) with just about every song that has the word “love” in it. As you can imagine, most of the songs are kinda mushy and yes, next we get the harsh dichotomy as Better Lovers begin with attacking the audience with ferocity, with the first song with “Become So Small”.    We had a great warmup from SeeYouSpaceCowboy, and they keep it up with that sonic vehemence at the front of the stage, along with the crowd surfing.   Believe me, if it was allowed, it would’ve been a nonstop flurry of stage diving as they continue with “Sacrificial Participant”.  That’s what I felt like after getting a boot to the head and my camera kicked, as bodies were flying into the front pit.  They had the 2 bouncers working hard this night.

Jordan Buckley

So how does a band plan to headline a show with just an EP with 4 songs on it, and a couple of singles?  Easy, they came armed with a bunch of new ones that will likely be on a future album later this year.   No worries, they all slap just as hard with the same viciousness and speed as what we saw on the EP, with “Edward”, “Two Amongst the Dead”, “Croc”, “Slay” and “Hey Chef”.

The band is just 100% full on, the whole night, with all the guys on guitars flailing and whipping them around, amazing no one on stage looses a tooth.  Although we know Puciato has had the experience in his lifetime…

Clayton Holyoak

At song 8, I got real skeptical of how Puciato would do this cover song from Soundgarden called “Rusty Cage”.  However,  I was blown away by this one!  Puciato can pull off Chris Cornell vocals rather well I might add, as he said himself that this might of been the best he has sang that song in sometime.  Will we hear some clean vocals on a future Better Lovers album? I was surprised, as well as much of the Rickshaw crowd, after that one.

The last 2 songs of the night were the last half of the EP with “God Made Me and Animal” as well as “30 Under 13”.   On 30 Under 13, Puciato climbed about 12 feet up the side of the Rickshaw stage and took a dive on to the audience.   I don’t recall seeing such a stunt for a long time (if ever), but he certainly had the balls to do it.

Steve Micciche

Sure we only got 11 songs from the headliner, but the entertainment value was high watching them violently rip through these songs.  Puciato is just an amazing frontman for hardcore.  His voice just oozes spite and danger, as it cuts though the mix of guitars.   Hopefully we can give them a better crowd for the next time, as the Rickshaw was about at 70% capacity.   Likely because the band isn’t quite well known yet, but I suspect after their first full length release that will change.  If you want to see a killer hardcore show, go see Better Lovers!


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