Punk's Not Dead: Glass Heroes and Lower Class Brats at the Brickhouse

Glass Heros lead singer Keith Jackson

By Niki D'Andrea

Better than: Picking at a scab.

The all-ages crowd kicked up quite a mosh pit at the Brickhouse on Thursday for a handful of blisteringly fast and loud punk bands. The hot pink mohawks and raised fists were flying as Domestic Combat, Rotten Youth, Glass Heroes, and Lower Class Brats rattled the roof of the downtown venue.

Back-to-back strings during Domestic Combat

Domestic Combat opened the show with a lot of thrash-punk riffs and pummeling beats, inspiring a pretty vicious mini-pit. The young, 5-piece band from Phoenix was very bouncy, and the guitarist kept jumping up and kicking the wall (later, he climbed on the PA). Their sound overall reminded me of a cross between Poison Idea and Minor Threat. In fact, the last song of their set was a cover of Minor Threat’s “Seeing Red.”

Rotten Youth's lead singer Jordan gets heavy on the mic.

The next band was Mesa’s Rotten Youth, and they tore it up with a hard ‘n’ heavy gutterpunk sound. The singer’s voice was very high and screechy, and reminded me of old early ‘90s punk band Filth. They had a fierce pit of about 60 punks singing along and slamming into each other. Most rockin’ of all was the band’s incorporation of cowbell into one of its anarchistic onslaughts.

Phoenix mainstay Glass Heroes hit the stage around 10 p.m., a little later than scheduled, and suffered through some sound problems throughout their set. They put their usual heart and soul into their brand of melodic garage punk, but the guitars kept cutting out. Finally, frontman Keith Jackson said, “This is a lot of fun. What are ya doing, blowing a breaker? Well, we’re doing two more songs and then we’ll bring out Lower Class Brats.”

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Stevie D, Keith Jackson and Steve Shelton (left to right)

The Heroes did play some material off their upcoming CD (produced by Rat Scabies of the Damned), showcasing some Ramones-ish riffs and Jackson’s deep, defiant voice, reminiscent of Iggy Pop. Even though the band cut its set short, they had the crowd grooving to the old school vibe.

The audience still had plenty of energy by the time Lower Class Brats took the stage, and they exploded into a bouncing, slamming sea of bodies when the band ripped into its first song. There was some crowd surfing, and somebody got kicked. “That was a big boot to the head,” the singer commented afterward, before the band launched into “A Sing-Along,” and the crowd complied, roaring out “whoa-oh’s” and pumping their fists.

By the time I left the venue, my ears were ringing from all the rickety tenor and I smelled like somebody else’s spilled beer. But I knew I’d gotten a full night’s worth of inspired punk rock.

Random detail: At least a dozen people were wearing T-shirts bearing logos of punk band The Adicts.

Personal bias: I was hopped up on energy drinks and Girl Scout cookies.

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