Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Quieter, Not Mellower
Next story: Polish Film Showcase

For the Sake of Decency

(photo by Candace Camuglia)
Poster by Ian Wiedrick

The Fourth Annual Buffalo Decency Rally

The Polish Library (612 Fillmore Ave) 5:30pm Saturday, November 16th 2013. $5.

Featuring performances by Buffalo’s most decent:

SPERM: 6pm (Upstairs)

REAL PEOPLE: 6:30pm (Downstairs)


CAGES: 7:30pm (Down)

V.O.C: 8pm (Up)

ACHILLEA: 8:30pm (Down)


MALLWALKERS: 9:30pm (Down)

UTAH JAZZ: 10pm (Up)

JOHNS: 10:30pm (Down)

ABLE DANGER: 11pm (Up)

MAYDAY!: 11:30pm (Down)


SUN BLACK SMOKE: 12:30am (Down)


ANCIENTS OF EARTH: 1:30am (Down)

Fourth annual Decency Rally features Mallwalkers and a host of other local punk acts

Decency can mean politeness or purity, but for the bands on the fourth annual Buffalo Decency Rally, it means something more like legitimacy. Legitimacy in the sense that they put in hard work writing songs and practicing and have earned a spot on this showcase of Buffalo’s hardcore and punk scene. With a name like the Buffalo Decency Rally there’s also the potential to draw people expecting something completely different.

That is what promoter Aaron Weese told me about his one of a kind underground music festival, which he’s chosen to hold once again at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, this Saturday, November 16.

You might not know it by the sound of the name but the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle is a great spot for a local punk show. It’s a little bit dingy but there’s a big stage, though many bands choose to play right on the floor surrounded by the crowd. It’s intimate yet still maintains enough room— with two floors for music—for an unrestrained punk band to spread their wings. And there is a ton of Polish beer too. “I’ve been doing shows there for a while, it’s kind of like a hidden gem,” says Weese.

Local garage-punk band the Mallwalkers are quite familiar with this 118-year-old gem hidden on Buffalo’s East Side. The Mallwalkers played a CD release show there in August in celebration of their new record, Shake the Rust Off. “It’s a great resource,” says Dan Carosa, one of the band’s two vocalists. “It feels like the type of place a big Buffalo punk show should be right now, especially with the closing of a lot of big venues in the last few years.” They’ll be returning to the library for the Decency Rally, which has quickly become a recognized showcase of local, independent music.

At the Mallwalkers’ CD release show in August, the crowd wore costumes and held fake protest signs that read “Hippo Cratic Sex Pot,” “Leather Face Versace,” and “Geriatric Taco” which were created by the band’s guitarist Steve Schmitt. It was a busy scene but then again, the Mallwalkers’ music is also quite busy. A mix of punk, funk, jazz and surf rock, the band blends together blaring trombones and catchy vocals that range from Carosa’s scratchy hardcore shouting to singer Jamie Rowitsch’s peachy, Motown-influenced doo-wopping. It’s quite a one-two punch when combined with overdriven basslines, hooky rock guitar riffs, and raw drum beats.

Shake the Rust Off is a step forward for the band. Where their last record, 2011’s Out of the Malls and Into the Streets, had more of a shaky lo-fi sound, Shake The Rust Off comes with more polished production that simultaneously manages to channel the SoCal skate-punk ethos of bands like Suicidal Tendencies and the low-down UK post-punk sounds of bands like Bauhaus; opposite sides of the punk rock spectrum. “We’re gonna break it all down! We’re gonna turn it around!” the band’s dueling vocalists sing on “Future Shock,” the intro track and their lead single. Break it down they do, especially in the video for the song which features an epic battle between characters dressed as an ice cream cone and an ice cream sandwich.

The Mallwalkers formed about three years ago: “We wanted to start a band that was rooted in punk rock intensity but also have it be really weird and out-there,” says Carosa, the band’s punk rock frontman by night and a UB law student by day. They somehow straddle the line between serious weirdness and far-out humor without falling off into the deep end of parody: the perfect centerpiece for a Buffalo underground punk festival.

Aside from the Mallwalkers, Weese says he’s eager to catch sets by hardcore band Resist Control, Cages—who land more on the experimental side—and Able Danger who is making a return for this show. For the full line-up see our side bar or find the Buffalo Decency Rally on Facebook.

blog comments powered by Disqus