Last Night: Whole Wheat Bread at Churchill's


Whole Wheat Bread

June 22, 2007

Churchill's Pub

Better Than: Being hit in the face with brass knuckles. Barely.

With too few good punk bands to cleave to, I hoped this show would provide a miracle.

Beginning with Ft. Lauderdale natives Skuff'd Shoes, a ska-reggae-punk hybrid, the night opened to a sparse crowd that continued to shuffle in as the band played. The audience was met with a seemingly prepubescent front man with an abrasive voice that detracted from the band's pinnacle: straight- forward catchy music. The set's highlight boasted a cover of Snoop Dogg's “Gin and Juice” which gave life to a lackluster audience who previously declined a sing along the band desperately tried to coax out of them.

The end of one pedestrian band brought the beginning of another one, Pitch Black Radio. The band struggles to find a unique sound unique and often falls short, sounding more like a Strung Out cover band than one out to establish a name for themselves.

Opening their set with a new song, Five Across the Eyes also known as F.A.T.E., delivered their intense brand of street punk and Chuck Berryesque guitar solos to an attentive crowd. While showcasing three new songs, the band also appeased old fans by playing classic F.A.T.E. songs with quintessential sing a longs.

The next band was Howitzer. If your neighborhood punk band would like to know what they would look like in 25 years, look no further. Howitzer makes use of their experience to compose songs that would easily satisfy both the punk and hardcore crowd.

Sadly, Whole Wheat Bread doesn't live up to their hype. Their label markets them as an anomaly in the punk world – a pop punk band with a thug aesthetic. The image is just that, an image. Taking the stage after Howitzer, lead singer Aaron Abraham commanded the audience the way a pimp runs his bitches but that is where the legitimacy of those claims ends. Although they sing of a Dionysian lifestyle replete with drinking and girls as well as street life, Abraham lacks the resonating sincerity and lyrical prowess of Alex Fernandez, lead singer of Five Across the Eyes.

Whole Wheat Bread opened with what they are known for, aggressive guitars and catchy hooks before later digressing into more hip hop influenced rock that brought the unfortunate late 90s phase of rap rock to mind.

Like moths to light, the audience swarmed in front of the stage, meandering in every direction. It was blatantly clear that these fans were not punk show veterans. Instead of the oddly graceful and self assured movements exhibited by pit dwellers, these WWB enthusiasts writhed and flung their limbs spasmodically.

The set ended to the crowd's dismay and my relief as well as that of a fellow dissenter who proclaimed, “This was whack.” Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt that way… -- Ashley Rousseau

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I like good music.

Random Detail: A random local playing outside Churchill's stole some of the crowd with his soon to be classic songs about getting laid.

By the way: Whole Wheat Bread has collaborated with Lil Jon. Yeeeaaah!

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Tovin Lapan