Published on February 9th, 2013 | by Prisha Verrier0
Review: Antagonizers ATL and the Harlem Downtrodders Punk Out
The Harlem Downtrotters, Antagonizers ATL
The Mill, Feb. 7
Bondage pants, platform Vans, and a swath of Manic Panic came out in full force on Thursday night, supporting a punk-fueled, rain-soaked evening at the Mill. Keeping up with their weekly live music showcase of local and regional talent, the Park Circle staple played host to Columbia’s Harlem Downtrotters and Antagonizers ATL (from, you guessed it, Atlanta), while rumors swirled that Charleston’s own Hobo Ground Suckers might throw in an appearance.
First up was the Columbia four-piece, touring in support of their recently released three-song EP, 8-Bit Spaceship, released via Death to False Hope Records in January. With a light, pop-punk sound, the Harlem Downtrotters ripped through their two-minute songs with the melodic sensibilities of Jersey ska boys Catch 22, but with the young, raw honesty of Nirvana’s Bleach (and coming from a decades-long Nirvana fan, I understand that’s saying a mouthful). Employing a quintessentially snotty faux-Brit accent, the band’s three singers made nice use of their garage harmonies. “Beatty Downs,” one of the band’s longer songs at just under 2:30, was the stand-out single of the set, the end of which was met with affable applause.
After a not-so-brief gear swap and sound check, Antagonizers ATL took to the floor, and it wasn’t long before t-shirts emblazoned with Destroy! and The Casualties were shed, as several guys started to careen, shuffle and slam around the modest, smoke-filled space. Playing songs like “Rock and Roll Rebel” and “Salvation Street,” the Antagonizers had a solid, bottom-heavy feel with a warm, fat guitar sound led by the veteran vocals of Bohdan Zacharyj, who has paid his dues over the years playing in bands from New York and New Jersey, to North Carolina, and now A-Town.
“Believe” pounded out like a power-punk anthem to the Dirty South that these fellas are proud to call home, while “This Song’s For You”, the band’s closing tune, was a hard hitting, straightforward, Oi-laced battle cry. After professing their Atlanta loyalty all throughout the evening, a revved-up handful of Antagonizer supporters started grabbing the microphone mid-song to chant “ATL!” They had to be removed from the bar, effectually ending the show and neutering any appearance by Hobo Ground Suckers (featuring members of the 33s and Full Metal Jacket), but cementing the Mill’s penchant for a damn good, down ‘n’ dirty time.
Top photo by Jon Santiago.
Prisha Verrier is a Charleston-based freelance writer, journalist, and music lover. She runs the music blog Rock n Rock Feedback.
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