Punk bands take over Bottom of the Hill for Sunday BBQ – CBS San Francisco
By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two high-octane punk bands share the stage for an afternoon of loud guitars and a free barbecue at the bottom of the hill on Sunday.
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The Subliminal Sunday Afternoon BBQ Show (sponsored by Subliminal SF, rsw and Sierra Nevada) brings together an entertaining lineup of NorCal and SoCal acts. An all-star proto-punk venture, Bay Area band Very Paranoia features Hot Lunch drummer Rob Alper on guitar (he also played in SLA, the Fells, and the Sermon) as well as members of the late, late punk /metal Annihilation Time (bassist Chris Grande and the recent addition of Jamie Sanitate on guitar), Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (drummer Jefferson Marshall) and Dragon Rojo/Salem Lights (vocalist Cory Linstrum).
After reuniting in 2018, Very Paranoia released their first 7-inch single on German psych/punk imprint Who Can You Trust Records. In 2021, the band followed up with their self-titled debut feature which features lean two-minute blasts of primal ferocity kneeling at the altar or MC5 and Australian punk pioneers the Saints.
While Alper hasn’t been able to do any local gigs lately, a spot opening for psychedelic power trio Earthless in Berkeley last month proved that Very Paranoia can still deliver the goods as a quartet. For this afternoon show at the Bottom of the Hill, the band will be joined by LA punk crew The Birth Defects.
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Directed by SF expat Jason Finazzo, The Birth Defects have released their fierce debut produced by Ty Segall first 8 errors on Ghost Ramp Records in 2015 to rave reviews. Blast from loudspeakers at breakneck speed, chaotic anthems like album opener “The Walls” and self-destructing celebration “Party Suicide” captured the frenetic spirit of Zeke’s early efforts, the Dwarves and REO Speedealer mixed with elements of 90s noise-rock reminiscent of Unsane and the Jesus Lizard (especially on “Bricks”).
Finazzo would eventually put together a completely different trio with drummer Anthony Drinkwater (who also plays in psychobilly band LA Rocketz) and crazy Danish bassist Philip Nielsen – whose resume includes stints in proto-punk band Swarming Orchids, Southern rock trio Grit and synth-pop group Tic Tic Boom, among other projects – touring the United States extensively with the Coathangers. Legend of the Seagullmen guitarist Tim Dawson joined the Birth Defects in 2017, completing the line-up that recorded the band’s second effort for Ghost Ramp, Everything is finewhich was released in January 2018.
While still showcasing some of the hectic punk mayhem that has become the band’s trademark (“YOLF” and “Lost Control”), the new recording explores decidedly weirder sounds ranging from heavily processed guitar on “Endless Pain” and the dramatic change of tempo on the muddy, vocally chanting “Dyelisiem” over the swirling psychedelic chant “Sunday Morning Mantra” that closes the album.
The band went on a long hiatus after touring behind this record, but have since reformed as a trio with Nielsen and Drinkwater remaining in the line-up. While the Birth Defects have finished writing new material for their third album, the band has yet to begin creating tracks.
With Nielsen touring with the band Dopesick, journeyman bassist Pancho Tomaselli – who’s played with everyone from War, Tower of Power, Eric Burdon and the Animals and monster metal drummer Dave Lombardo’s band Philm, a band with whom Tomaselli has continued since the departure of Lombardo, currently with Drinkwater on drums – filling in for this gig at Finazzo’s former home base in the Bay Area. Blues-influenced hard-rock SF trio Bad Lemon open the show with local DJ Sasquatch Borracho playing records before and between the bands. A free barbecue provided by Sierra Nevada will be available while supplies last.
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Very paranoid with the birth defects and Bad Lemon
Sunday, March 13, 3 p.m. $12-$15
bottom of the hill