Concert Review: The Gashers

Double Down Saloon, Jan. 25

It was an outrageous punk-rock birthday bash as SquidHat Records celebrated its one-year anniversary with an extravaganza headlined by the Gashers. The latest incarnation of local legends the Peccadilloes, the Gashers took the stage at 2 a.m. and attempted to whip up the crowd after a series of kick-ass preceding acts (Surrounded by Thieves, Guilty by Association, Candy Warpop and Pet Tigers). They were only moderately successful, however; you know the crowd is waning when the bouncer has to instigate the mosh pit. At one point, guitarist/vocalist Jason Hansen asked something to the effect of, “Hey where’s the coke?”

Enthusiasm levels aside, they went about their business with a focused and frantic barrage of old-school punk rock that sounded as authentic as it did reverent to past masters. Song topics, ranging from the Occupy movement to meth monsters, were relevant and engaging. I’m not sure at this point what is most desired in a punk-rock vocalist, but Hansen succeeded admirably. The rhythm work of James Messina and Sandy Moreno was slightly imbalanced; while he kept the lines rolling along effectively, she at times appeared to be barely hanging on with what was basically the same 4/4 thrash song over and over. No out-and-out fuckups, however, and the vocal doubling between Hansen and Moreno, who are husband and wife, was a good indication of what it might sound like at home when there are disagreements. That really worked in this case. ★★★☆☆