The Casualties and Negative Approach Are Vintage Hardcore That's Still Vital

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By Tom Reardon

What would the Valley do without Tyler King and Kim Larowe? For those of you who aren't in the know, the two of them have been bringing excellent punk and metal shows to the Phoenix area since the '90s and on Thursday, November 7, not only have they teamed up, but they've gone and outdone themselves.

Tempe's Club Red is the venue in question and the lineup is pure hardcore punk rock bliss. NYC's The Casualties co-headline with Detroit's Negative Approach on what they are deeming their "Destruction Campaign Tour."

Regardless of which "hardcore" school you belong, there is something for everyone on this show. Formed in 1990, The Casualties were direct descendants of first wave British street punk bands like the Exploited and GBH, bringing the "Leather, Bristles, and (perhaps in the early years) Acne" back to not only the New York scene, but the international scene as well. Tyler King's ties to the band go all the way back to booking them in the "CBGB matinee days," and now, nine albums and three EPs later, they are still going strong.

The Casualties have been through the Valley quite a few times over the years and are known for an energetic, if not frenetic live show. They will have their hands full following Negative Approach, though, but are definitely up for the challenge.

Pre-dating their tour mates by almost a decade, Negative Approach lasted only for about three years before initially imploding, but luckily for us, they decided to give it another go in 2006. OG Negative Approach alums John Brannon (vocals) and Opie Moore (drums) got together with Brannon's Easy Action bandmates Harold Richardson (guitar) and Ron Sakowski (bass) to do a number of interesting gigs between 2006 and 2009 before cranking things up on a regular basis.

Though they have only released one studio album, 1983's highly influential Tied Down, their impact on American punk and hardcore music has not waned to this day.

For those of you may have missed Negative Approach open for OFF! last year in Scottsdale -- and if you did, well, shame on you -- here's another chance to be pummeled by the voice of the amazing John Brannon.

During the 20-plus years that Negative Approach was on hiatus, Brannon fronted the often overlooked but equally brilliant Laughing Hyenas as well as the aforementioned Easy Action, which played a very memorable show at Hollywood Alley back in the '90s. As soft-spoken as Brannon can be in person, he is 10 times as loud on stage. Local lead singers should pay close attention to how he delivers the goods.

Rounding out this stellar bill is Bricktop (Tucson Oi boys), Nomads (L.A. metal punk), Common Tongue, and Warhead (both from Phoenix.) Should be an interesting night in ol' Club Red, with its "No Moshing" policy and pricey beverages, but after paying a very reasonable cover charge you'll be left with enough dough to pay for said beverages and/or buy some cool merch so you can impress your friends with your excellent taste.

The show starts at 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) and is all-ages, so those you of you who were old enough to see N.A. back in the day can bring your grandkids. Enjoy!

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