At a VFW hall on the Northeast side of Portland, Against the Grain Productions had planned another stacked lineup of bands as Axis, Gouge Away, and Seizures were getting to the end of their brief West Coast run together along with local band, Year of the Coyote.
On that note, Year of the Coyote started the show in loud and abrupt fashion. From what I can tell through their Bandcamp page, it seems they've been active for a few years now and just recently released an LP called Siege. I'd personally say they're more along the lines of grindcore, but there is definitely modern hardcore, and even thrash influences to be found.
I was extremely excited to see Seizures again. I first saw them four years ago with Oathbreaker and Cult Leader when I had just moved to San Francisco, and in some ways, the start of their set almost felt like being sent back in time; hearing Seizures mix of controlled chaos, experimentation, and even some calm transitions along the way. The privilege of being able to rediscover a band is one that I've hardly found in the last few years, especially live, but Seizures reminded me clearly as to why I had been anxious to see them. They just released two new songs as part of a split with the band, Arms.
The other main reason I was anxious for the show was to see the return of Gouge Away. After having seen for the first time with Touché Amoré in October, and seeing the various posts about their recently recorded new record for Deathwish Inc, I appreciated that they were taking the time of playing shows while they were on the West Coast immediately after finishing the record. While they'd certainly have every right to "phone in" the set, it's clear that the collective members of Gouge Away love what they're doing.
The final band for the night was Axis. I can't say I was familiar with their music at all, but I'm definitely curious to check out more of their material. I know I heard the split they did with Self Defense Family at some point in the past, but the first thing to catch my eye was that drummer Tom Cantwell and bassist Tyler Forsythe of Gouge Away were pulling double duty on this tour. From the first time you listen to Axis, you know it's not music you can play if you're lazy; they definitely put more than 100% both sets, and that is no small feat. Axis, again, would be a band that I'd say fits into the modern world of hardcore fairly well and I could easily see them playing alongside bands like Harm's Way and Jesus Piece.