By Meghan Herring
“You guys should’ve came with me to the show I went to last night,” I chuckled. “There was this crazy-cool band that had two saxophone players, and another was this band with just three guys doing, like, a mix of thrash-punk-ska.”
“Where did you go?” asked one of my friends.
“The Trunk Space.”
A collective “Ooooooooh” and sounded throughout my group of fellow musicians. Point is: The Trunk Space is recognized throughout the Arizona music scene for having a strange mix of bands with each gig. So arriving at The Trunk Space on July 10th, I was fairly confident that I was going to receive a jumble of energetic and curious performances. That’s just what I got.
The night commenced with the first band: Drunk and Horny. Consisting of Andrew Jemsek on acoustic guitar and back-up vocals and Ryan Avery on bullhorn-amplified lead vocals, this band kept the crowd laughing throughout the entire set. Not only were we all laughing at them (which is clearly what they were aiming for), we were laughing at ourselves as they laughed at us. The songs have giggle-worthy titles to start with; “Fart Relief”, “Poopin’ Safari”, “Cocaine”, and even a cover called “So Sick of Feminists” by Charles Bronson. Each song bared uplifting tones and tempos. Drunk and Horny ended their set by leaving the venue singing, taking a lap around the block, and coming back singing the same song.
Following Drunk and Horny was the female-fronted Downtown Boys straight from Rhode Island. The overall feel to the naked ear of the set as a whole was extremely fast-paced, angry ska with old school punk overtones (including two sax players!). But if you can decipher lead singer Victoria Ruiz’s raging shouts through the PA, you will then find you can add “highly political” to your mental description. Ruiz spoke of her opinion on topics all the way from feminism to Arizona politicians before every song. Members Emmett Fitzgerald, Joey DeFrancesco, Norlan Olivo, Dan Schleifer, and Will Cioffi prepared for blast off as Victoria expressed her words. As soon as she was done, they excitedly got right to jamming. They classify themselves as ‘latino-punk.’ There were mixes of Spanish in a few songs. A floor tom was destroyed as it was thrown onto the floor at the end of the set.
Adding even more to the electric energy was Gilbert’s The Linecutters. These three boys turned The Trunk Space into an underground heavy punk haven. Let me tell ya’, I didn’t want their show to stop. I was already familiar with their EP Pirates of Suburbia before I saw them so it only made the experience more pleasurable for me. Their music showed complete understanding of everything that punk stands for, and not only do they play punk, they play it really damn well. Not to mention these guys are still in high school, wowie. The Linecutters definitely know their stuff. Just take a look at the amount of band patches they have on their denim vests! Shockingly, they only have just one guitar player, Marceliano Festa (who also sings lead for the band). Songs like “Built On Blood” and “Pirates of Suburbia” sound like there’s at least two or more. Extremely pissed off, The Linecutters boast a drummer, Jon Heiligenthal (whose way ahead of the drumming game and has only been playing for two years), and a bassist, Jett Smith, with fast fingers and a powerful scream. Overall, a very energetic and entertaining rock show.
Lastly, local band The Cons took to the stage. By the end of the night, the crowd had dwindled and most were just drowsy, but The Cons woke us the hell up. Automatically, there was a very loose and carefree vibe emanating from their sound. Especially from their bassist Benny, who gave the crowd friendly, warm, hilarious and light-hearted intros to what was left of us. Their love for their music showed vibrantly through their stage presence. Their songs were lyrically creative and well written in that sense, specifically in their song “Nobody”. This four-piece band (Spencer on guitar, Gumer on drums, Benny on bass, and A. Ray on leads) kept me jamming along with them the entire set.
For more information on the bands that performed at The Trunk Space, check out their links here: The Downtown Boys, Drunk & Horny, The Linecutters, & The Cons. For more upcoming shows at The Trunk Space, head to their website here and peruse the calendar!