with Shyster

Will’s Pub, Winter Park, FL • 5.13.98

If you like bands in your face, then Will’s is perhaps the best place in town to see them, especially on a night when the music is fast, ferocious and freakily funny. Maitland punkers Shyster opened the night with a blistering crackle of noise and fury. Frontman Mike Levin cranked out a sonic Yin and Yang of guitar ‘tudes, ranging from pop to puddle-stomping ‘core. Geoff Lackey kept rhythms tight and explosive with no two fills the same — guitarist Brian Ledford stood in the shadows off to stage right, difficult to see but impossible not to hear. Bassist Wes Snowden laid down the bottom with confidence, and stepped to the mic while Levin tuned between songs. Red-hot fire and passion with a melody — dat’s the way I like dat punk.

Gargamel! is completely at home playing Will’s, which results in a wildly different show with familiar elements each time you see them here. The band donned their trademark masks and took to the stage with a quiet hum that quickly turned into some kind of sonic violence. The amazing creature that is Mandaddy’s voice was in fine form on songs like the guttural “Karate Summer” and the full-force storm of

“Booee Machine.” With a new guitarist on-hand (his name is still El Diablo Guapo — you’ll have to read the interviews or go to a show to learn his true identity) the band’s sound is still Theater Of It All, jumping eagerly from metal-core to the Spice Girls with enthusiasm and technical prowess. But the Bizarre Ones are widening the scope of The Joke to include more ambient styles of music, as evidenced in the new songs “Revulva” and “Perfect Idiot.” Webb (drums) and Crazy Hector (bass) remain one of the tighter rhythm sections in town, providing security during the countless changes of “Lick The Flesh.” Tight and out of sight, another Gargamel! “gotcha” night.

Will’s on Mills. If you haven’t done it, do it.

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