DDT Gets Down!

Getting Down with the Locals

with Muscle Bitches and Hip Hop Mechanics
The Town Pump
Vancouver, B.C.
March 30, 1996

Review by Daniel Ewacha
Photography by Suzanne Goodwin

I'll be honest. When it comes to Vancouver's music scene, I am not the most knowledgeable person and, in fact, my past interest in the local scene has been quite minimal. You see, I've always thought of Vancouver as a place with a huge amount of musical potential which never quite takes full advantage of its own resources, the strongest of which is the diversity of music coming out of this city. My belief in this strength was confirmed when DDT headlined a nearly packed show of Vancouver bands at the Town Pump recently.

The Hip Hop Mechanics That a hip-hop style trio such as the Mechanics were able to turn a somewhat hard-rockish audience into a sea of heads bobbing in time to the steady and sometimes off-beat rhythms left me more than impressed. It also reminded me that music crosses all borders and that good music of any kind is much appreciated, and in this instance there was plenty.

Accompanied by a DJ (whose afro swayed to the rhythms he was spinning and scratching, making him look like a tree in a windstorm), the remaining two members pounded out the rhymes in sheer fashion, at the same time hyping up the crowd for the rest of the night.

Up next were the Muscle Bitches, whose name alone had piqued my curiousity. I had the opportunity to see the Muscle Bitches last year at Music West and laughed them off, convinced that they were nothing more than a novelty act. But, I never forgot them and that, I'm sure, is a power every band in the world would A couple Muscle Bitches like to have: to be seen once and never forgotten. How could you forget a band where one of the two lead singers warms up before the show by doing stretching exercises in a green and beige one-piece track suit? Or that he then proceeds to go absolutely ape-shit once the music starts, while the other singer literally bombards the audience with her sexuality and sensuality?

Someone told me beforehand that you have to get past the shtick to really appreciate this band. Easier said than done, my friend. Musically speaking, it's hard to describe their music -- try and imagine Tony Bennett on a cacophony of speed, L.S.D. and steroids -- and, frankly, I wasn't too impressed musically by the Muscle Bitches. However, they receive the highest possible marks for showmanship and entertainment value. For my money, they are one of the most entertaining groups of psychos I've ever seen!

Last up on the bill were the headliners, DDT. I'd heard the name numerous times over the past couple of years, but had failed to see or hear them, so I was really looking forward to finally getting to see them play. And, I wasn't disappointed.

DDT Mixing the likes of heavy metal, punk, ska, and rap, DDT went off like their name suggests, producing the first and only mosh pit of the evening. Full of energy, DDT played a tight, powerful set through and through. The only problem I had with the band was that, after a while, the songs all started to sound the same, and the once pogo-crazy mosh pit turned into a solemn proceeding, with only a few of the faithful carrying on.

Nevertheless, the night as a whole proved to be quite enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing and hearing more of these three bands in the future. The show also gave me a small dose of what I've been missing over the last three years. Vancouver has the (ugh) potential to be bigger than Seattle ever was, now more than ever. It just needs the support of its locals. And me, I've got some lost time to make up for...

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 11, 1996

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