Category Archives: Gig reports

(gig report) Lagwagon/Satanic Surfers/Alo Stari/Fair Do´s-Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, Slovenia-16.11.2019.

I love melodic punk and this zine is practically full of such music that I love and cherish above all. When I heard about this gig a while ago, it was a must go, because this package is indeed Punk Rock Holiday mini fest hehe, almost like winter edition. The three of us traveled from Zagreb in Irina˙s car, because we went there a day earlier on Friday evening to check out Inteliber in Zagreb, the biggest book fair in these parts.

We arrived in lovely Ljubljana around 5 pm and the gig was not scheduled to start until 7 30 pm, so we had time to eat something, so we found great little Mexican food restaurant and ate some delicious spicy food there.

When I entered Kino Šiška I was amazed with this gig space, it is a former cinema with a lot of space, what is more important, there is no smoking inside, so you don˙t feel like smoked salmon after gig and it is spacious, vast and totally great sounding venue. We greeted friends from Slovenia and Croatia and it was about time to enter because the first band was about to start. FAIR DO´S from UK are no strangers to the pages of this zine, because we reviewed their excellent record out with Lockjaw records some time ago and I was eager to hear the guys play live. Despite going on early they delivered fantastic half an hour set of neckbreaking fast and musically skilled modern melodic hardcore punk with some modern metalcore touches in one new song they presented to us. They reminded me of a mixture between Propagandhi and The Human Project, but they are deliciously fast and I saw such strength emanating from them while playing. Definitely fantastic band to check out live.

ALO STARI from Maribor, Slovenia were on next representing the local scene and I must admit that I am amazed by melodic, energetic pop punk they played with super frontman and lyrics in their own Slovenian language. I was later told that three of the guys played in Trash Candy, so they are no strangers to the scene although this band is relatively new, on scene since April this year with no album released yet. But they definitely showed why are they on tonight`s bill, because I am eager to see them play live again.

I saw SATANIC SURFERS play live a little more than year ago, when we witnessed their great set at Punk Rock Holiday and interviewed them there. It was cool to meet familiar faces again and talk to the bass player Andy and guitarist Magnus again, those guys are so friendly, down to earth and full of positive force. As for their set, the Swedes delivered 45 minutes of energetic fast hardcore punk with Rodrigo doing the drums again as well singing like in old times. The set was made of hits from their still latest album Back from Hell, like Catch my breath, Usurper and couple more, also old hits were in the set although some of the gems were missing due to limited time on stage. The communication with the full house was super, all of us really enjoyed their energy and music. They triumphantly ended their set with Head under water.

It was my third LAGWAGON gig in three years, so I knew that I was in for something great. The new record Railer is for sure one of the best releases this year. They opened their set with one of my favorites from that record being The Suffering. Joey Cape was singing okay, what he couldn`t manage, bass player Joe Raposo covered with fantastic backing vocals added by Chris Rest and Chris Big Bitch Flippin. It was nice to see the band smiling and enjoying their set of oldies Sick, Sleep, Coffee and Cigarettes, but also fantastic new songs like Surviving California, Bubble and Parable. The hits like May 16 and After you my friend were sung by all of us louder than band. This evening was special because it was Joey Cape´s birthday, also Andy from Satanic Surfers too, so they received two fantastic cakes on stage after regular part of the show finished with Razor Burn. Joey tasted cake, took guitar so we knew what was next. The evergreen anthem Alien 8 which we sang like there is no tomorrow and I wanted this show never to end. Such amount of love, good energy, great music, friendship and vibe bands returning to us fans and vice versa. Lagwagon ended their set with Making friends and Stokin the neighbours and I was smiling the whole time with joy after being there, witnessing the gig I will remember as long as I live. There is only one question remaining, why there is no such gigs in Croatia? But maybe it is better that way. I love Slovenia. I love gigs there.

 

(gig report) We Salute You VII: Mašinko(Zg) Tahijevi Kmetovi(Ka) BKD(Vž)-01.11.2019.-Prostor Čakovec

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Every year at the end of October or early November, there is an annual in memoriam gig in Prostor Čakovec for all our fallen brothers and sisters that we have lost through the years. This year was no exception. The line-up this year was made of punkrock bands and when we arrived to Prostor just around 10 pm when the gig should start according to the schedule, there was enough people in front of the club and inside waiting for the gig to start. The first band of the evening were TAHIJEVI KMETOVI from Karlovac. These veterans are playing for four decades and with some lineup changes they endured until today. I saw them about a little more than year ago in Varaždin and they were not my cup of tea there. Now, I changed my mind when I was able to hear their set on good pa system, so the guys and girl delivered about half an hour of nice punkrock mixed with, that is only my opinion, some garage punk and hardcore influences. Their singer has great voice and sounds original, different than many of her peers in the world punkrock scene and that is great. They played mostly songs from their debut album, but I think there were four new unreleased songs in their set, and I love the new material, in my opinion much, much better than older stuff. They finished their set with Kud Idijoti cover Jebem ti rat.

BKD from Varaždin played our hometown not long ago, also here in the Croatian and Slovenian area a lot, but it is nice to see the trio expanding in the region having recently played great gigs in Serbia and Macedonia. Who heard this band and saw them play live knows what to expect from them. Jokes on stage, then punk oi songs about friendship, drinking, more drinking and then some drinking, a bit more jokes. I love this band and I know most of their lyrics so I sang along and had fun listening and watching them play. The finished their set with Kud Idijoti cover too, hehe.

I last saw MAŠINKO from Zagreb play live on Zmajevo fest in Zagreb last year, I think that they didn˙t play much gigs and paused afterwards because singer Šulc went to China or something similar. Now, they are back and they sounded better than ever. Their gigs are a challenge for every soundman because they have five men singing and they do it divinely. Vocalist sings his parts, the three guitarists and bassist sing different harmonies, every men something else and I loved every minute of their hour long set of street melodic punkrock and we all sang every chorus and every verse with them. Their set was made of the hits from all of their releases plus couple of covers by Mikrofonija and KBO! at the very end of two encores they triumphantly ended their set and party continued with hardcore and punk hits deeply in the night.

What to say? Another nice memory, another nice tribute to our brothers and sisters who are no longer with us. If they watched, they would be proud.

(photo gig report) Celtic punks The Rumjacks visited Zagreb Vintage Industrial Bar!

Australian celtic punks The Rumjacks visited our country again as a part of their current European tour. They played Vintage Industrial Bar in Zagreb again and our Irina was there to witness the mighty gig. The Rumjacks delivered killer party set made of older and newer hits from their albums and all the fans that were at the gig were having good times, that is really what matters most. Here are couple of photos from the last night:

 

(gig report) Core System/Pale Origins-20.09.2019.-Metalac Industrial Bar Čakovec

Core System from our hometown had a record release party yesterday, celebrating the release of their second full length album called Contrast. As it slowly becomes annual tradition, the guys chose Metalac Industrial Bar as a place to do it. Also, they invited Pale Origins from Zagreb to support them for this occasion.

Upon arriving to the venue, which is in my opinion the most beautiful club in our hometown, we saw that there were not many people preparing for the gig. The guys from the bands were finishing last checks for the start of the concert and the people were relaxing with beer, soda and talking to each other, while the dj played a bit weird set. There is only one thing I can´t understand in Metalac club. There is a secluded smoking area for the cigarette smoking people and it is okay that way. But, why do they let smoking in front of the stage and everywhere in the club when the gig starts? What is the purpose of secluded smoking area when we non smokers all stink like hell from the cigarettes after the gig?!

Back to the music. Around ten pm Pale Origins from Zagreb started their set. I never listened to this band live, but I heard only praise for their music, so I was eager to check them out. I was not wrong. I am not an avid fan of this modern metalcore/hardcore, but these guys deserve all the praise. The music is brutal metalcore turning into atmospheric beautiful parts with both the singer and guitarist combining awesome clean vocals and the interplay of their voices is fantastic. Add to that some electronic loops and samples to enrich the whole song structures, you get the superb band. I am sorry that for the first two or three songs there was some trouble with adjusting the sound, but no matter. The interaction with the not so numerable audience was also on high level so that is another plus for this band. I loved their circa 45 minutes set and I recommend this band to all the fans of such music.

The headliners, Core System were next to enter stage. This was my fourth time to see them play live, and I love how they managed to upgrade their set each time I see them with something new. The music of their progressive metalised hardcore is the story for itself, with so many, atmosphere changes, the fantastic two singers, one singing brutal parts and the other having beautiful voice for clean, dramatic vocals. There was some trouble with the sound again during the first songs, because I just couldn´t hear well the brutal singer harsh vocals and there was also something wrong with clean vocals, but no matter, the problems were erased and their set continued with as expected, the songs from their new studio effort which represents fine progression from already cool first full length album. After their official set, they played Limp Bizkit and one more song from their first album as encore and left all the people there happy until next time. This is a band which gives much effort and input to their music and image, so they deserve more attention, so go check them out and show some support, I am sure the guys will appreciate it very much.

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(great festival report) Brutal Assault 2019: What I did (or what I remember) from 5th of August to 11th of August.

I started writing this report in my darkened room, surrounded with black candles and blood red vintage wine in my hands. First thing that was going through my head, while I was sipping my first glass of my blood wine was SATAN.

A little bit of humour is always good. Actually my thoughts were what kind of music to listen to while writing this report or “What I did (or what I remember) from 5th of August to 11th of August”. So, as any 666trv666 metalhead knows the decision is not that simple, but I managed to make a music compilation based on Brutal Assault :D.

As my playlist was set, I was thinking how to summarize a festival as Brutal Assault. So, to cite Wikipedia:“Brutal Assault is an open-air extreme metal festival that takes place in the 18th-century army fortress Josefov, located in Jaroměř, Czech Republic. It is held each August early in the month from Wednesday until Saturday. The festival started in 1996, originally focused on grindcore. For many years, it was a small event with mainly Czech and Slovak bands performing. It changed location several times and grew into a large event by 2006, when over 7,000 people attended the festival in Svojšice. After moving to Josefov, attendances grew further to 15,000 in 2012 and the festival has operated two alternating main stages since with addition of 2 smaller stages. Currently, Brutal Assault features artists that perform all forms of extreme metal, including some of the genre’s most prominent figures, as well as artists with dark and intense styles from genres outside of heavy metal such as punk, experimental and electronic.” The festival motto is: “Against violence and intolerance”.

Why Brutal Assault?

It was 2012, when my good and big friend Pajdo the Dominator said to me –Do not be a pussy, let’s go to Czech Republic and go to Brutal Assault. Immediately I said, Let’s go! We took a car, drove almost 1000 km, after getting lost a few times, problems with tickets, we arrived in the night, set our tents and the rest is history. I fell in love immediately. The setup of the festival, the people, the music, the food, the beer and general feeling of belonging. First time I saw the entrance I said to my self – This is my beautiful hell!

So, each year I still go to this beautiful hell, now 8 years in a row. Each year the festival grows, not in number of people but in better organisation, improving in every aspect, from bracelets needed for entrance and payment for drinks/food/merchandise (Festival is for the past 3 years no cash festival), more food options (from meat to vegan), more beer and other drinks,

more music, more chillout zones

and other commodities such as old school gaming zone, mad max wasteland  and lot of quality merchandise.

This year me and three of my good friends and brothers in metal wet to 24th Brutal Assault.

After a long drive we arrived in our apartment (yeah I know, we are old fucks and we need our peace and quiet after all day filled with metal, beer, grilovana kita, Chinese nudlinz, langoshes and kurecky) and Shagec started making beans with sausages, while the rest of us started to relax and drink. This was our day zero, and nothing important happened that day 😀

DAY 1 (Wednesday)

The day started with healthy breakfast of Czech beer, Czech salami, cheese and bread, and important discussion about the bands we would like to see. So, we went to the festival (we parked at the same old spot as every year). As we received our entrance bracelets via mail, the entrance procedure was quick and very efficient. First person we met was our good friend and brother in metal (we actually met 8 years ago at Brutal Assault and have been friends ever since- so Brutal Assault connects people and brings love) Human Barrel or Matija Lackovic, Legend from Zagreb, 100 kg of pure love and sex. After a few drinks with him we went to see our firs band for the day.

And the first band we saw was legendary SLAPSHOT.

As always, their performance was brutal, old school hardcore. Lots of energy was there and in one point the vocalist was in such a state of adrenaline rush taht he split his head open with a microphone and continued to sing. As I said this was something unique to see and to be a part of it. Also this set the ambience for the whole day and I knew it was going to be extraordinary.

As any regular visitor this festival knows, there are always a lot of colourful people you can meet and talk to. This is one of the things I like at Brutal Assault. Not only the bands and organisation, but the variety of hominids you can encounter there.

After Slapshot, I went to see THE ARSON PROJECT at Obscure stage. Their raw, grind, powerviolence was ideal for a bit of adrenaline rush. They played for about half hour, but it was enough. After their performance I went back to meet with my friends and we went so see VOIVOD. What say about this band, personally I do not get their music. It is not my cup of tea. But lot of people like them and enjoy in their progressive sound. I respect them as they are legends and they have been playing for a lot of years.

As we found an ideal spot (close to toilets and bars), we stayed close to main stages. So next on the list was ENSIFERUM, Viking folk metal and their melodic death metal sound. As always folk/Viking metal is fun, and it is good to get Odin’s blessing as early as possible 😀 so you could have energy to fight Ice giants if necessary and to be worthy to enter Valhalla.

One of the interesting things this year that festival had to offer was Apocalypse warrior Mad max corner where you could experience the whole world of possible future. The offered various selection of interesting food, innovative artwork and very interesting people. It was great for relaxation with combined Brutal Assault gaming zone where you could play old school video games and test your skills against other players.

After Ensiferum, I listened to SOILWORK, alternative melodic death metal. To be honest, I only listened to a few songs and went for a beer and a meet-up with EYEHATEGOD, with whom I did a short interview. Soilwork is a band that has been around for 20 years or something, fans have mixed feelings about them regarding what is their best work, but the always create something new and their music evolves.

Right after the interview I practically ran to main stage to see a rising Ukraine star in metal, a band that has sold out almost half of their concerts in upcoming European tour, with one of the most versatile vocal performers, the one and only JINJER. One must see them live to experience what this band has to offer. Their vigorous performance, their live energy and their music is something everyone has to see. They are touring through Europe and I recommend you see them. 45 minutes of groove, death and progressive metal, left everyone speechless especially when their vocal Tatiana started to growl. In October they have a new album “Macro” coming out.

So EYEHATEGOD. What to say about New Orleans sludge legends? They formed in 1988 by Jimmy Bower, are a part of the NOLA metal scene, the play harsh misanthropic music. Their sound is heavy, detuned with blues riffs and punk attitude, which can be experienced in tortured vocals by Mike Williams. All band members, during the band existence, had some kind of problems with law and drugs, and they use this experience as inspiration for their music. Mike Williams was struggling with heroin addiction, but he overcame this evil with help of his friends, bandmates and with great help from Phil Anselmo. I had the privilege to talk to them at Brutal Assault. The interview was kept short as they had to prepare for their performance. We talked about being in a band such as Eyehategod, and they told me that music inspires them and gives them energy to go on. Performing is not easy but it is a job, it is a lot of sacrifice, and it can take a toll on your personal life, can push you to the dark side with drugs, alcohol and bad living but they do not regret a thing, the still play shows and have fun. They told me that they take inspiration from everyday life and from their surroundings so you have to make people think and say fuck it from time to time and live.

Also, I talked with the singer Mike about his new life. He suffered from alcohol addiction, drug abuse, partying and living the rockstar life, but in 2016 he almost died because of this. His way of life destroyed his liver. When he found out he just said “Ok, it figures but I do not regret anything. I’m glad I’ve lived the way I did. I still live hard “. And that was the same thing that he said to me, Fuck it I do not regret it. I have been sober for almost 2 years now, I am recovering, and starting a new life. As he stated out in an interview for Decibel magazine (https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2017/05/26/eyehategod-s-mike-williams-on-liver-transplant-recovery-and-addiction-i-will-never-regret-anything/): “Anybody getting sober after a lifetime of drinking is going to tell you it’s not easy, “You just have to fight through it. You come out the other side happier because you know you beat something you struggled with. I feel stronger for it. I think addiction is a disease, heroin or alcohol; it’s there and who knows why people do it, but when it gets into your bones, you’re screwed, but you fight through it. It’s all about the willpower, man, and how strong your mind can be.” Talking to him gave me something to think about. He said he didn’t expect to live this long, but he is over 50 years old, still performing, with second chance in life, and life is good. He was smiling the whole time and was generally happy to talk about life.

During the writing of this report I have read the news that Jim Bower has left Eyehategod. Statement from the band says: “In accordance with the chaotic lifestyle that is everyday reality, EHG will continue to tour the USA while Jimmy Bower seeks help for visions unknown”. EHG are still touring regardless.

And now a little about their performance. Their show as on Obscure stage. First day of Brutal Assault was hot, humid, with lots of smoke in the air and had proper New Orleans vibe. They started aggressive, fast and loud. There was a lot of energy in the air, people were headbanging and feeling the harsh, negative, sludge music. Their 45 minutes performance was over in an instant almost like a meditation. For me, it was one of the few that was really great.

After Eyehategod, I had to take a break and have a few drinks with my friends, and also to eat something, so we saw half of the performance of THERION, legendary symphonic metal from Sweden and their opera like performance. They are a good band to see for a little bit of leisure and just to be immersed in their performance.

Next on the list was PRONG, alternative trash metal. They have been playing for almost 30 years and their age does not stop them to be energetic in their live performances. Lots of jumping and frolicking with fast music. Then it was turn to see PARKWAY DRIVE, very popular metalcore from Australia, especially among the younger generations. Performance was great, with a fire show, flamers and explosions (sincerely I did not expect that). I was generally astonished.

The highlight of the first day to me was CULT OF LUNA, one of my favourite metal bands. I was really really thrilled to see them live. Cult of Luna are Swedish metal band, with post-metal, progressive, doom and sludge influence founded in 1998. The played a few times at Brutal Assault, and always gave a great live performance with their long, slow, heavy sections of distorted guitars and crushing aggressive sound. They played a few songs form their upcoming album “A dawn to Fear” that will be out in September. Their music is about anger with modern society, negativity of politics, propaganda and governmental control of people, problems with self-perception and individual freedom with spiritual themes. During their performance there was a lot of headbanging, general immersion in their music and feeling of something wonderful. Their played for about 1 hour and for me it was too short. Cult of Luna is one of the bands I would like to see more live more often and I hope I will soon, since they are on European tour this winter.

And with Cult of Luna, the first day of Brutal assault has finished. It was a long day filled with great music, good friends and beer. We returned to our place to relax and gain energy for rest of the festival.

DAY 2 (Thursday)

Second day of the festival started with a slight hangover and general pain in my whole body, which was expected after a great first day. After input of some nutrients to sustain me during the day, we went to local Vietnamese shop for some beers and to discuss our plan for the Second day. We decided on DECAPITATED. Polish brutal death metal, ideal for getting some adrenaline rush for the start of the second day. Their performance was angry, loud, with a lot of energy. People moshing, screaming and enjoying themselves. Very “calming” experience and great intro for WALLS OF JERICHO. USA hardcore, trash metal legends with powerful female vocals, the one and only Candace Kucsulain. She trained boxing, she lifts weights (Raw: Squat 270lbs, Bench 203lbs, Deadlift 335lbs. In Gear: Squat 420lbs, Bench 280lbs, Deadlift 440lbs), and she can kick some ass. As always Walls of Jericho is a great band to see and through the years they have not lost their energy, they just keep going harder. It is important to mention at this point that we lost our friend Human Barrel 😀 but found him later a bit drunk and he paid a round of beers, and everything was ok.

Next on the metal menu was a hard choice. Either to see LIONHEART or SODOM. So we decided to split up. Pajdo the Dominator and Shagec went to see Lionheart (they said that they were great and that their performance was superb –I have to believe them on that), so me and Peter went to see German trash metal pioneers SODOM. They have been playing their crushing metal since 1981! Almost my whole life. I saw them a few times already, and they never let down. Soul crushing, loud, trash metal. What else to expect from legends.

After crushing trash metal, some hardcore was on the menu with NY based SICK OF IT ALL. This band was first hardcore band I have ever heard, somewhere in the middle of 90ties. Songs “Step down” and “Scratch the surface” are always on my playlist. I saw them a couple of times, from big open air festivals to small venues. They have been playing since 1986, and still they have energy that never goes out and are an inspiration to a lot of bands. Their live performance was as always energetic with lots of jumping, moshing, circle pits and wall of death. During the performance they they had some trouble with sound but that did not spoil the experience.. And as they always say “Hardcore still lives”!

TESTAMENT was the next show I attended. Trash metal from USA, the do not need a lot of introduction as they are well known to any metal head. They have been active for over 30 years, and still haven’t lost their trash metal sound. They were big influence to many other bands and are credited as trash legends alongside Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Exodus and Metallica. They did a great show but sadly I had other plans so I only stayed for a little bit.

The day passed quickly, it was evening already, and I needed a break from trash metal. I went to Obscure stage to attend DAUGHTERS show. This band was something different from the rest of the bands I saw that day. Daughters are USA based mathcore, noise rock band with a mixture of other sub-genres such as electronic music with a dash of grind (they started off as a grind-core band but changes their music during time). I discovered them by recommendation and was impressed from the start. Their last album “You won’t get what you want” has a different sound from their other albums and with the name they send a message to their fans. Latest album was greatly approved from reviewers/critics and fans alike. The band practically reinvented themselves with their latest album. It is not for everyone (as the say – “There is a name for people like you”), but I highly recommend them to anyone. Their performance is something out of this world. The whole crowd was surprised and after the initial shock, everybody was dancing and jumping. Frontman’s energetic performance contributed greatly to the whole ambiance, as he was jumping around on the stage and singing almost half of the songs with a crowd.  Their live sound is different in comparison to album, more energetic, more metal and vocals are harsher (maybe because the frontman chugged like half of bottle of votka before he started to sing). In general, their live performance is perfect 10 for me. I enjoyed every second of it, it was like seeing metal version of early Depeche mode. After seeing them live I am a bigger fan now :D. I would like to finish report on their performance with their lyrics: “Don’t tell me how to do my job. You carry on like a son of a bitch. They got a name for people like you. But I didn’t take the time to write it down, though “

Best way to finish your second day is with some complicated, complex, extreme, progressive, avant-garde, trash, death metal, The fathers of Djent? MESHUGGAH. Meshuggah are known for their ground-breaking musical style, complex, polymetric song structures and polyrhythms. And their performance always delivers. It is something one must experience, in full immersion, surrounded with thousands of people, transfixed in rhythms and headbanging. As day was cumming to an end, we stopped for around half of ANTHRAX show. This band does not need any special descriptions, they are trash legends that are playing for almost 30 years, they never stopped thrashing. And that was it for second day.

DAY 3 (Friday)

On day 3 we arrived a bit later. We took a lazy afternoon, did some merchandise shopping, hanged out with fiends and friends, and enhanced our culinary experience with different foods that were available. Theme of the day was Black metal and wizards as Emperor was the headliner. Lots of people were wearing corpse paint, showing their inner demons and futility of life, screaming Satin, sinners everywhere worshiping false gods, people offering a sacrifice in shape of fire burned shredded, chopped, crushed and minced dead flesh of innumerable animals, devoured in voraciousness and gluttony, never satisfying the burning hole in their guts, never satisfying the endless thirst for beer, you get the picture. So, after a few beers and some sustenance for our decaying, deteriorating living corpses we went to see ABORTED. Death metal from Belgium. Their raw, serious and savage performance was ideal for an afternoon. They have been playing for 20 years or something, and always offer something wicked and brutal. Next was WOLFBRIGADE, hardcore punk/crust from Sweden. To surprise my ears and to experience something completely different, I went to see ANATHEMA. As this was my first time, it was quite special, filled with love and it made me feel delicate and adored afterwards. Anathema are emotional, depressive, alternative rock with a lot of artistic expression (sincerely I do not know what this means, this is a description from “the mighty internet”). It was ideal time for a bit relaxation, hanging around, and preparing for 4 hours for three bands of black metal.

Black metal number 1: AU- DEUSS. Lithuanian black metal band, they released a full-length album in 2017, did a tour across Europe, even played in my hometown Čakovec. They put Lithuanian metal scene on the map. Incorporation of sludge and post hard core in their sound augments the overall experience. Their stage performance is interesting and has a lot of spirituality. Mythology is the main theme in their album, they said in a recent interview : The idea (for the album cover) deals with mythology: in order to reach afterlife, one had to cross the Styx river on Charon’s boat and had to pay for this service with the coins left on his/her eyes. The full artwork depicts this story in three images: life/death/the river. It has a symbolic meaning for the band – a chapter of youthful innocence comes to an end and a more mature one begins. I recommend seeing them perform live and give them a listen.

Black metal number 2: ZURIAAKE, or “Lake of buried corpses” in Chinese or as the band said the name Zuriaake is a distorted portmanteau of three words: Zu (the Sumerian god of wind and clouds), bury, and lake, thus roughly encompassing the meaning of the Chinese name. I discovered them by accident, researching Chinese metal scene for my friend. I didn’t know that black metal even exist in China and was quite surprised. After first listen of their latest album I felt in love. Integration of Chinese mythology, ethnology, and traditional music with raw black metal gives a unique sound of atmospheric, epic black metal about autumn, sadness, desolation and nature. They envisioned their music through their own history and culture and that gives beautifully dark melancholy to the sound. Also, they perform in medieval traditional outfits that you can see in old Chinese martial arts movies, and this with the unique stage decor gives them a distinctive layer of mysticism in their performance.

I managed to see last part of HEILUNG show. They play spiritual music inspired from northern European iron age and Viking period, with very interesting stage performance that incorporates running water, human bones, swords and shields, ancient drums, mystical invocations and chants that were taken from ancient runes and scrolls. Their music is meant to heal people’s spirit and body, thus the name. Everything looks as some dark age shaman healing ritual. Nice intro for Emperor.

Black metal number 3: EMPEROR. The one and only. Band that incorporates arsonists, murderers, hatred toward churches and Satanists is great example or TRV raw original Norwegian black metal. They are so black metal that they abandoned corpse paint because it is too mainstream and TRV evil black metal does not need visual interpretation that they are truly TRV black metal. They were and still are great influence to many emerging bands that want to be evil incarnated. Lots of famous black metal musicians played in Emperor and had their own (mostly successful) careers after that. Because why not, SATAN means freedom (you have to say this while sipping red wine). Their performance was eagerly expected by most of the Brutal Assault visitors. Crowd was in element, weather was ideal for this kind of music, people were under influence of various mind enhancing substances. And then they started to play. Everybody was screaming, selling their souls to evil and enjoying themselves. Delightful way to spend around 1 hour of your life.

But this was not the end of the day. There was still time to see some entertainers that love drugs and murder, in fact their moto is: “Legalize drugs and murder”. Lovely doom, stoner, sludge, occult band from England ELECTRIC WIZARD. Many people think their musical themes are Tolkien books, spells, magic, dragons and such. but no. They sing charming 10-minute songs about occult, drugs, horror, murders, cannabis, smoke and fun stuff you can do under influence of various mind enhancing chemical compounds. Nice change in thematic after 4 hours of black metal. They have fat sludgy riffs, slow, teeth clattering, head banging evil music. And this shows in their performance. The stage was a little bit hard to see from all the “smoke” in the air so I did not take any pictures. Listening to Electric wizard was a pleasant way to end day 3 of the Brutal Assault.

DAY 4 (Saturday)

The last day of the festival started with rain. A lot of rain, mud and a smidgen of cold weather. So we put on our raincoats,

boots and went to relish the day. After arrival we attended ANIMALS AS LEADERS. Instrumental progressive metal from Washington USA. They are prominent in the djent scene. Complicated rhythms by solo fingering from famous Tosin Abasi is interesting experience. As rain persisted to pour down, we went in a covered bar that is incorporated in walls of the festival venue. There we took a little break, drank some quality beers and had a few laughs. Then the time arrived to go and see VED BUENS ENDE, Norwegian true avant-garde metal (I sincerely do not know what this means), with diverse instrumental sound, that has slow pace and with jazz influence that is intersected with aggressive black metal elements and vocals. Ved Buens Ende means “By the end of the bow” referring to the mythological rainbow Bifröst. Do not be confused by the name, they do not sing about rainbows, that is for sure.

After seeing a band that does not sing about mystical Nordic rainbows, we went to main stage and saw ROTTING CHRIST.

Greek trash, black metal from 1987. They essentially made Greek underground metal scene. As their name indicates, they mostly have religious, spiritual themes with clean melodic baritone vocals, doom, gothic metal and industrial music traits, and male/female Benedictine chants. They say for themselves: “I think everyone should have the right to call religions as he/she wants. We in fact simply believe they are “rotting”! We are not a “satanic-crusader” type of band but rather one of the many bands that represent the dark side in nowadays Metal music”.

After Rotting Christ to kill some time, , we wandered around, bought some merchandise, chillaxed. Suddenly realisation came over us that soon everything will be over, that life has no meaning, death and decay is inevitable, we are all walking, breathing, pieces of flesh. So, to repel this sobering thoughts we ate some food, drank some beers, wine and absinth and life had meaning again. We were in the mood for some NAPALM DEATH. Extreme metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981, pioneers of the grindcore genre. They incorporate elements of punk and death metal, noise-filled sound with distortions, down-tuned guitars, grinding bass, high speed tempo, blast beats and incomprehensible growls or high-pitched shrieks.

Songs are short and have socio-political lyrics. I saw them quite a few times, and I am always amazed by their performance. Loud, raw, brutal, violent metal with a message. As Napalm Death ended their performance, we started to drink some water, coffee and hot herbal tea to sober up, and warm ourselves because our friend Pajdo the Dominator, although he has a lot of love to offer didn’t want to give us nothing. But we still love him very much. Filled with hot beverages, we gained some energy to see our last band for today, black metal from Poland MGLA. Band has a lot of controversy regarding their “right” affiliation. They published a new album this year and are on tour through Europe. Majority of their concerts are sold out, and reports of their performance are greatly positive. At the festival they played great music, dark atmospheric black metal, perfect for concluding our BRUTAL ASSAULT experience. And that was it. We slowly walked towards the exit, above us there were big letters SEE YOU IN HELL. Tired and exhausted I dragged my feet through mud-covered pathway, I contemplated  return to reality, everyday life, but I was smiling, my heart full of joy and metal and beers and wine and beautiful people.

See you in Hell my beautiful Brutal Assault, see you in hell some other day.

(the great festival report) PUNKROCK HOLIDAY 1.9-Return to punk paradise once again!

PRELUDE

Some people say that year lasts from one Punk Rock Holiday to the other. So from August to August each year, thousands of smiling faces and minds wait for another year to turn around and take you to that dreamy musical place between the mountains under the sunny Slovenian sky. I personally think that this is the festival, the best one, period, no further explanation needed.

Friday finally arrived and I finished my work, got home under awful rain shower, changed my clothes, picked my bag and went to meet with Allegra. Together we got on bus to Zagreb where our Irina patiently waited for us at the bus station to pick us up with her car. Our ten day tour started when we started eating highway kilometers towards Jadranovo, a little place on the Adriatic coast near Rijeka, where we were scheduled to spend a lovely weekend in Irina´s little house. As night fell, the scenery around us driving on the highway was apocalyptic. Lightnings creased the sky, rain fell hard and we arrived at circa ten in the evening, took our things from the car and drank a bottle of wine for the start of our adventure.

Saturday was sunny and warm when we woke up, had a bit of cheese and bread for breakfast and went to the beach. Gosh, the water was so warm I loved it! I don´t like cold water, prefer it lukewarm so I enjoyed the swimming in the sea so much. The day drew on having fun, so in the evening we grabbed some beer in the store and went to the beach to drink a couple. It was one of the evenings I will remember for as long as I live. The starry sky, beer, talking and dreaming, so cool! On Sunday afternoon we went to the nearby Crikvenica to go sightseeing, eat something and have a beer and ice cream hehe. When we got back to Jadranovo, we went to sleep rather early because our trip to Tolmin was planned early in the morning.

DAY ZERO-PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY

When we woke up, had something to eat, the time came to drive towards Rijeka and then Slovenia. According to our gps, Tolmin is 188 kilometers from Jadranovo, so Irina drove, I was a copilot with gps in my hand checking the road. The road through Idrija was closed because of roadwork like almost every year, so we traveled the highway towards Sežana and then Gorica. The road went well, all three of us being excited about coming to paradise again. When we got to Gorica and we needed to cross the last 40 or 50 kilometers, seeing river Soča and the mountains my skin just crawled with goosebumps and I was almost speechless, this fantastic surroundings, this green waters of the mountain river, the Alps, this place of so much spilled blood and suffering in WWI. Just leaves me everytime in awe. This is it! We have arrived in Tolmin! We had two hours to kill before rest of the crew arrives so the first thing we did is go get some coffee in lovely Kavana Kasarna. There we met our friend Kika so we chatted and drank coffee just happy to be there again. Afterwards we did some shopping in the store getting ourselves the things we needed for our week long stay in Tolmin. When Igor and Marina arrived, we entered the lovely house we rented and drank some medica for our traditional toast hehe. Had some shower, drank some beer and wine, got ourselves ready and the time came to go to the show. Upon arriving to the venue we greeted some of our old friends there. drank one or two drinks and MULTIBALL, first band that opened this year´s festival already were in the middle of their set. First three bands were from Slovenia to support the local scene, because there is no global scene without the local. Multiball play their vision of melodic punkrock and this is I think their first gig after some pause as their guitar player told me later. They warmed up the crowd really good. BACKSTAGE is another band from Slovenia, which I already saw in 2016., so I knew what to expect. That being melodic punkrock/skatepunk with a lot of funny talk between the songs, so I loved their show. I am ashamed but I never checked GOLLIWOG live all these years, so this year I corrected that mistake. They play very fast hardcore punk with a lot of socially and politically engaged lyrics and dual vocals, all that sounds really powerful live. They also played couple of old school Nofx covers, but in my opinion they didn´t need to do that because their material speaks enough for the band, and they could have easily squeeze two or three their songs in the set instead covers, but it went well with the crowd, so what? The first international band took fun to the next level, that being TEMPLETON PEK. The music of this band can be described as mid tempo emotional punkrock sometimes reminding me of The Menzingers and similar bands and tonight they were just not my cup of tea, so I found my friend Mike and four of us went to get a couple of drinks and prepare ourselves for the next one, fellows from Pula, Croatia FAKOFBOLAN. They celebrate their 25th anniversary, I saw them in March on headlining gig in Slovenia and knew that I am in for a treat. Saw them live a lot of times in last 20 plus years but I can safely say that this was one of their best shows I ever witnessed. All the hits were there like Da li znaš, Ulica, Ostali smo, Imamo Hrvatsku, Ropstvo je sloboda, Lovci na vjetrenjače…Fakofbolan´s lyrics are all in Croatian language so I was interested to see how the people who don´t speak our language will react to the songs, but the music is universal language and Fakofbolan´s set went fantastic. One more band that I burned to see live is NOT ON TOUR from Israel, who were next to play. I saw a part of their set in 2017.at the Beach stage and immediately knew they were just to big and outgrew the Beach stage, so when they started their set, the crowd just went crazy in non stop pogo, moshing and stage diving frenzy, singing along with NOT´s singer Sima Brami literally every word in every song. The band plays fast, catchy and melodic hardcore with songs lasting no more than a minute and a half. This band has a steady and ever growing fan base, me being one of them. All the hits were there, like Therapy and Daddy from the superb new album, to older Rumours, Maybe One Day and Flip. Sima Brami talked about things she thought are important between the songs, so that is another plus for her, because I still think that hardcore bands should talk about meaning of the songs between singing and deliver a message. This set was for me one of the absolute highlights of the festival. Monday was headlined by PULLEY one of the cult melodic punk bands from the nineties led by Ten Foot Pole´s former singer Scott. I had no expectations from them, since I am not a fan of the band, but the emotions were divided after their set. Scott was visibly drunk and that kinda ruined the set and the experience for many fans, because the band didn´t sound so convincing. Musically they were still okay, but I think all the members of the band were a bit embarrased how Scott tumbled back and front on stage and in couple of moments I was sure he was going to fall off and crash in front. It doesn´t matter, party mode was one. After the gig we went to the Beach stage because our buddies Dirty Skunks had their dj set there and boy, how much I love when they play all the hits, punk, hardcore, skatepunk, ska and we had a wonderful time dancing, drinking and singing along until the very early morning hours when we finally went home to have a couple of hours of well earned sleep.

DAY ONE-PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY

Aach! Tuesdays on Punk Rock Holiday are one of the best days of the festival. Why? I wake up and realize that this is first real day of the festival, whole four days of fun, friends and great music ahead of you and also there is, at least for me, no hangover at PRH. Ever! I don´t know why, but that is the fact. When we woke up and drank some coffee, we went for a walk in lovely Tolmin and to drink a beer in one fantastic place where the terrace is all made of wood and punks occupy it during the festival. The weather was kinda murky, but still Sun was the order of the day. We baked lovely meat and non meat home made pizza for lunch and in the afternoon hours went to the festival area. On Tuesday bands start to play at the Beach stage already around noon, but we missed most of them because we had some press work scheduled doing some interviews with the bands, so the only band we checked out at the Beach stage were superb Slovenians THE MOR(R)ONS  who delivered crushing half an hour set of speed, melody, cool choruses and great musicianship. I listened to their record, but never saw them play live, now I am a total fan of their music and would love to check them out again soon somewhere. The day drew on, so we went home to have a shower, drink something and get ready for the evening party on the Main stage, so we missed the first band THE BENNIES. I am sorry, but we will do our best to catch them somewhere when we can. USELESS ID was a band that I burned to see live, having missed them when they played last in 2016. I am a great fan of their music, so it was cool to see Yotam Ben Horin, Ishay Berger and rest of the crew play their hearts out on the stage. What is fascinating for me while listening and watching this band, how easy they transform in their music from pure hardcore to emotional melodic pop punk and then back again from indie parts to fast forward hardcore, not losing the energy, melody and not being boring for one second. They played all their hits from State is Burning and older albums, like Night shift, Generic, How to dismantle an atom bomb and all the others. The set list was great, the talk between the songs cool, the only song I lacked is We don´t want the airwaves, guess they didn´t feel like playing it. GOOD RIDDANCE were next. I was kinda disappointed when they headlined one day in 2017.with their set and this was my second time seeing them live. They blew me away. They played four new songs from the fantastic new record Thoughts and Prayers and the rest of their setlist was made of old classics and we all sang along, danced and stagedived to Mother superior, Salt, Jeannie, A Credit To His Gender and all the rest. Russ Rankin was in a very good mood and he almost smiled a couple of times hehe! This band is for me one of the musically tightest hardcore punk bands from California, being kinda atypical from the rest of the scene there. Rankin was one of my kidhood role models, so it is always a pleasure to see and hear him perform live along with the others. Good Riddance ended their set with Weight Of The World as the rain started pouring down. The rain fell for almost whole evening more or less, but this time it really started to pour seriously. Luckily, for FRANK TURNER and his set I couldn´t care less so I went to grab a couple of drinks with my friends and chat a bit since we didn´t see each other for a year and missed Turner´s set. It is my opinion that bands or performers like this have no place at the festival as Punk Rock Holiday. His place is in mainstream pop festivals, like he played on In Music Festival in Zagreb, Croatia this year. This music is no punk by any means, so I don´t see the purpose of booking him at this festival. But, that just made me rest for the headliners-legendary DESCENDENTS. The last time they played PRH was in 2016.and the rain and thunder just shook the ground during their set. Guess they bring rain with them haha. This time was similar. Thunder in the sky, rain pouring and Milo, Stephen, Karl and Bill playing their hearts out with their set made of all the important songs that touch heart so much. The guys in the band were in good mood, the crowd too and no rain stopped us from rocking and singing along to Clean Sheets, Without Love, I´m the One, When I Get Old, Get The Time, Thank You, Hope and all the other songs we love so much. I was alone out there, closed my eyes, my heart, voice, every fiber in my body was happy and singing along with Descendents just feeling happy and feeling alive and enjoying this moment that I will remember as long as I live, kinda catharsis of everything bad that happened to me in the year between PRH´s. This was one of the best sets and best performances I have ever witnessed at Punk Rock Holiday and it will be burned into my memory forever. When the show ended, we were too wet to go to the Beach stage and party, so we went to the house to dry ourselves and drink a beer or two prior falling to well earned sleep.

DAY TWO-PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY

Wednesday morning came in all its glory and the enthusiasm grew even bigger because the line-up today is one of the strongest on this year´s festival. We ate delicious risotto that we cooked ourselves for lunch and went to the festival area to do some press work there so we unfortunately missed all the Beach stage bands on that day. But, evening brought the strong line-up on the Main stage starting with BUSTER SHUFFLE. The Britts were scheduled to play last year but cancelled the show and tour due to some problems, so this year was just fine for them to visit Tolmin for the first time. Their unusual combination of ska, punkrock and vocalist playing piano at the same time worked fine with me. They sounded to me like a combination between Madness and Toy Dolls haha, maybe that is just me. MASKED INTRUDER is definitely for us one of the best performances on this festival. Their studio albums are okay for me, but too pop punk, somehow they lack the power and force, but live this band just destroyed playing their melodic punkrock anthems having their colour masks on and no one knows their faces hahah since they met in prison and formed the band there haha. The guy dressed as policeman just adds to the show and keeps the energy on high level. It was nice to see how they called all the girls in the crowd on stage to sing an entire song with them. This was definitely a set to remember! I saw PENNYWISE two years ago when they played for the first time here and Fletcher Dragge pretty much ruined the show back them for me being to drunk and too redneck. This year they were a lot better, though the set list was not much different from the one two years ago, only this time they played less covers thank god. It was nice to see Nofx´s Fat Mike singing along Bad Religion cover on stage and playing bass to epic ending with Bro Hymn. Too bad they played only Live While You Can from the new album Never Gonna Die, because they have such a strong album and it would be nice if they played more songs from the new record and less covers in their set. I was interested how SICK OF IT ALL were going to play after mayhem and chaos of Pennywise set, but NYHC legends only picked up the party even more. This was my third time watching this band and I should say they were the best this time. The set was made from all the jewels from their 30+ years lifetime like Injustice System, My Life, Scratch the Surface with obligatory wall of death, Us Vs Them, Good Looking Out, Sanctuary, Take the Night Off…plus couple of songs from their actual brand new album which is fantastic. Of course, SOIA finished their set with Step Down having a stage full of smiling kids, singing along, moshing and pogoing. Total triumph! The last band of the night were LESS THAN JAKE. I missed them when they played in 2017.so this time it was a pleasure for me to party to their melodic ska punk songs with horn section, confetti, dual vocals of Chris and Roger and smiling faces all around. It was nice to see Fat Mike sitting at the side of the stage and trying to juggle with some balls smiling all the time. This set reminded me what Punk Rock Holiday is all about, meaning love, brother/sisterhood, smiles, great music, fun, dancing and party. I love this festival so, so much. After the gig, we went to house to have a couple of beers and then went so sleep.

DAY THREE-PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY

Thursday morning shines  in all its glory as the protagonists of this story brave on, going to store to fetch some things and also have a beer or two. Irina cooked some really delicious pasta with tuna, salad style for lunch as we agreed to go to the festival area pretty early do some interviews for our zine and then stay there the whole rest of the afternoon and the evening. There was a brief thunder rain storm in the afternoon hours just as CF98 from Poland were playing Beach stage, but no matter, tons of people were singing along and dancing and rain only put some well deserved cold freshness on the hot heads there hahaha. The band braved on with their cool melodic hardcore and I tell you this they are a force to be recognized in the scene. STRAIGHTLINE delivered their best of set to the punters at Beach stage with melodic hardcore punk with a lot of metal influences. Frontman/guitarist Bart was in a good mood, also the rest of the band, so it was fun to hear all the hits and the band couldn´t avoid Vengaboys cover, since what happens at Punk Rock Holiday, stays at Punk Rock Holiday, right? Then, one of the bands I was so happy to see playing again and headlining Beach stage took their place with their superb set. Yes, MUCH THE SAME are back with a blast, having an excellent new record and the band took the stage with energetic storm which brought tears of joy to my eyes, seeing how much fun guitarist Dan O´Gorman had playing after fighting the wicked health problems, his smile didn´t come off his face for the duration of their set. They played the mix of older goodies and new stuff with You Used To Have A Garden being a highlight of the set with Karolina from CF98 providing guest backing vocals. Shit, that song reminds me so much of Tony Sly that it always brings goosebumps on my skin and tears to my eyes. After the events on the Beach stage finished, my girls went to the house to have a snack, I braved on with a beer in my hand talking to some old and new friends and strolling around until the events on Main stage for the evening started. Like Frank Turner the other day, I think DAVE HAUSE has nothing to do with this festival and this pop disguised in quasi punkrock is no material for Punk Rock Holiday. To my wonder, there was a lot of people checking the show, but to anyone I know and I talked to, this music is just not for PRH. I was eager to see how BOOZE & GLORY will sound like after recent line up changes, turmoils in the band and changing their style of newer songs to more melodic approach and leaving old streetpunk skinhead music style behind. Frontman Mark, bassist Chema, drummer Frank and others were in a good mood and delivered a fine set of mixed older favorites and some new songs and the crowd enjoyed it. I watched the set from the higher top, drinking some beer along with my buddies from Serbia and what can I say? Their set was good, but it didn´t wake up no emotions in me, like listening to the record at home. I saw half of the IRON REAGAN set and what I saw I liked, there was fast,  thrash metal/crossover/hardcore similar to the singer´s main band Municipal Waste, yet a bit different in some parts. My friends teased me that I was the only one of our crew who actually liked this band, because the others just felt they were too metal for them. I liked it, but went to grab a couple of cold ones prior to IGNITE. What to say about Zoli and company? This was my fourth Ignite gig in last four years, so I knew what to expect. Like in January when they played in Zagreb, this time they also brought second guitarist who adds a lot to the richness of the band providing fantastic harmonic backing vocals. The setlist was fine, all the hits were there, no surprises, including Bad Religion cover and Sunday Bloody Sunday cover. Fortunately, Zoli didn´t blabber this time his usual stuff fighting his demons hahah. Good one, but not as good as that set they played two years ago. NOFX headlined Thursday this year. Everyone who saw them at least once, knows what to expect. Plenty of funny talk, songs, then talking, again some songs and then the show ends. Somehow, they never disappoint me with their set. They played all the important songs in their set and I am not sure, but I think they smuggled one brand new song that night hehe. For me, the highlight of the set was I´m so sorry Tony which I sang with all my lungs because I had our recently fallen brother Ivek in my mind and tears just flew down my cheeks during that song. Fat Mike was pretty in a good mood and he told us that Punk Rock Holiday is for sure the best punkrock festival in Europe and coming from his mouth, that is really a great thing. It was also Hefe´s birthday that night so the guys in the band wished him all the best on stage in a bit different Nofx way hehe. In all, a great way to end the events on Main stage on Thursday night. I was just to smashed tired after the gig to go partying on, so I went straight to sleep.

DAY FOUR-PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY

Friday is always special for me at PRH, because I am kind of sad inside knowing that the show is about to be over for this year and the counting until next one starts all over again. Okay, not that my life revolves around that festival, but  it is for sure the highlight of every Summer for me. With that in mind we decided to have a nice lunch and then go to the festival area, try to do some more press work and check out couple of Beach stage bands we were interested in. So, we baked in an oven a delicious chicken along with mlinci(kind of pasta) and afterwards went to the festival area. At the Beach my friend Dalin and his 69ENFERMOS were about to play so we went there. There was more than enough people there and only when Dalin addressed the crowd between the songs I realized that most of the crowd are people from South America and that is great, this festival is for sure spreading the good word worldwide. 69Enfermos played here in 2017.and were unfortunate when the storm ruined their set on Thursday, so they played Friday again. This time there was no storm and the new and old favorites went well with the crowd until technical problems that Dalin had with his strings and tuner which made the guys shorten their set. Too bad, but that´s life! ANTI-LAM FRONT played next and I was awed with their wild and active frontman delivering screams and singing melodic clean voice. These Norwegians are definitely original and a bit different band from the most on this festival, playing a mixture of more raw hardcore punk with some melodic punches thrown in the song structures for good measure. Great set, great band! We finished this year´s collection of Beach stage bands with KRANG from Czech Republic whom I wanted to see play live very much. Wow! Their set was fantastic with a mix of hardcore punk and skatepunk, triple vocal harmonies, fast and energetic songs. What I also love it that they talked about some serious issues between the songs along with joke stuff, the way real hardcore punk band should, especially when they mentioned the scam thief from Bird Attack Records who ripped off so many people and like they said, we are all family, closer or wider and you do not steal from your family. Way to go, Krang! So, we went to grab some drinks, hung around and talked to each other, cherished the moments, and the final day on the Main stage started. This was going to be non sponsored show due to Propagandhi headlining, so the promoters took off all the sponsor logos from the stage and around. Prior to the shows we went so see skate contest and enjoyed the skaters doing their tricks and stuff on the ramp. Nice times! The first band that played Main stage were CIGAR. This is another band that recently reformed and they have a cult following, now I know why they have so much fans. They play very fast and melodic hardcore with guitarist and the drummer singing and they reminded me a bit of technically poorer version of Mute so I love them. The drummer is probably one of the best drummers out there, the guy killed it on the drum set. PEARS from New Orleans were next. I saw them for the first time in 2017.and was awed with the energy of their performance and their music. They play an original mixture of melodic hardcore with old school Cali hardcore and some of their hometown sludge thrown in here and there. Frontman Zach is a real beast being more in the air than on stage and he looks really intimidating while performing, but we had a chance to meet him and do an interview with him two years ago and I can safely say that he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. PUP is one of the bands on this festival that we were not interested to see much, due to their music which is really not our cup of tea, so we watched only a couple of songs and then we left to grab a couple of drinks at the bar to prepare ourselves for TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET the band which was for us the highlight of this evening. Punk Rock Holiday is one of those festivals where you can meet members of your favorite bands walking around in the crowd so it was a pleasure to see Ray Carlisle playing with a baseball with his kid in the afternoon. He introduced us to his son Milo hehe. We also met Kody again after interviewing him last year when his other band The Lillingtons played here. So, Teenage Bottlerocket have a great new album out, and they played a couple of songs off that record in their set. Ray´s son Milo played drum solo as a kind of intro to their set and later on crowd surfed and dressed as a bear for Why The Big Pause song. The setlist was fantastic, their Ramones core is really great choice for party and Ray´s and Kody´s vocals were just interplaying better than ever. The crowd just ate from their hands, so to say hehe. Fantastic band, fantastic set, fantastic show! PROPAGANDHI is just not one of those bands to mosh, singalong and stage dive and party, so I don´t think that they should headline and close off the year at the festival. Much respect to the band, their playing abilities are probably the best in the scene, but Dream Theater also plays fantastic, but they are boring and that is just what Propagandhi were this evening for me. I love the first three albums, also some songs from the last one Victory Lap, but their set was just too complicated and too boring for me, only to stand and watch. Also, I love how they hang onto their ideals, okay the promoters take off the sponsor logos, but the band does get paid, doesn´t it? Do they take unmarked money? How do they know that the money they get paid is not coming from the sponsors of the festival? Does it say so on the bills? I love the politics in hardcore and it should be there, but I just don´t like the guys who take themselves too seriously. No matter, this is only my opinion, the fact is that Propagandhi held a quality gig and many people there enjoyed it very much. That is what´s important. After the gig we went to the Beach stage for annual punk karaoke party with Pigs Parlament and partied until the official end of the festival. Thus, another curtain fell on Punk Rock Holiday 1.9

THE AFTERMATH

This year we chose to rent the house a day more than festival, so we stayed in Tolmin the whole Saturday and when we woke up, we went to check out the festival area how it looks kinda sad when most of the people are gone or nearly gone, so it is kinda depressive to see that, but it is a kind of closure for this year. Punk Rock Holiday brings out the best in us, brings out special feelings that one does not know they exist in your persona. So, we will see all our family next year. Thanks again to Andrej, Klara, Niko, all the workers, sound guys, bouncers and all other people who made this heaven possible for nine years now and I know how much hard work an nerves you put into making all this possible.

On Sunday we went back to Zagreb and stayed an afternoon and evening at Irina´s place. We went out to eat delicious food in one restaurant near river Sava in Zagreb, watched a movie, drank some red wine and slept. Monday was the day when our little trip tour officially ended when we got back to our hometown, a little tired but proud of everything we saw and did.