Thrash Hits

August 30th, 2012

Top 6: Punk Rock Reunions of 2012

FYF Fest 2012 logo thrash hits los angeles quicksand

We went in-depth with reasons as to why 2011’s American Nightmare reunion was an excellent occurrence but there’s been a spate of reunions in the punk & hardcore scene. Whether it’s about the money or the acknowledgment of a great band, some have gone down wonderfully. Others… less so. This weekend in Downtown LA there’s another festival going in. It’s called Fyf Fest and it features a number of these reunited bands.

1) QuicksandJune 2012
They’ve only played three shows and it’s rumoured that there’s no band that Walter Schreifels won’t reunite. In all fairness, he’s been in a shitload of great ones (Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, CIV) but this is the one everyone’s been waiting for. Having played a surprise reunion show in LA in June, they sold out a couple of hometown shows in New York last week. As with all reunited band, Quicksand are suffering a surge of posthumous, exhumed popularity. It’s good, because Quicksand are fucking great.

2) DesaparecidosApril 2012
Having played half a dozen shows in unconventional locations (two in their hometown of Omaha then Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and San Francisco), it’s clear that Bright Eyes Conor Oberst’s hardcore side project hasn’t re-banded for the megabucks. The most obtuse of indie characters, Oberst wrote one of the great hardcore albums of the modern era with 2002’s Read Music/Speak Spanish but that was it. With the burgeoning success of Bright Eyes, he didn’t have time for Desaparecidos. He does now so hooray! Hopefully, after they’ve done Fyf they’ll make it over to the UK.

3) RefusedFebruary 2012
This is how to do it. It’s still totally weird that they’re doing exactly what they said they would never do but with over 50 new shows under their belt since their hometown reunion show in Umeå this seminal band have taken New Noise back out of local rock clubs and onto the biggest stages of the world – something they (criminally) never got to do the first time round. They’ve played Download, Hellfest and Coachella festivals as well as a selection of headline shows. The important thing is that while they’ve been paid handsomely for the pleasure, they’ve done it all with smiles on their faces and backstage lurkers have come back extolling the exuberance and joy with which the Swedes greet each other behind the scenes. Refused found a fucking defibrillator. Hopefully they’ve got another few gigs in them. Nobody’s leaving disappointed.

Refused @ Download Festival - 10 June 2012 (c/o Ben Gibson)

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4) Texas Is The ReasonOctober 2012
This hasn’t even happened yet but it’s one of the most anticipated by those in the know. Similar to Desaparecidos (and Refused, to some extent) TITR only released one cult album that was so massively influential that if you’re a fan of mainstream emo-influenced rock then your favourite bands (Hundred Reasons, for example) have probably mentioned this band as one of their favourites. Musos, eh?

5) The Promise RingMay 2012
They’ve played a dozen gigs since reuniting earlier this year but they’re just not in the same league as the rest on this list. They actually had a very decent career the first time round but that was a long time ago. A lot of people who loved their first couple of albums are pretty excited as a result.

6) At The Drive-InApril 2012
Along with Refused, At The Drive-In was the big reunion of 2012. Unlike Refused, however, ATD-I did not set an example. In all fairness, Refused had more to prove having split up with such acrimony and finality – they had to work harder to win their fans over again – but ATD-I have appeared to have done this for the money and little else. The fervour that has surrounded their appearances in the UK (Reading, Leeds and London) comes from many people not having seen the Texans the first time round. A lot of checklists have received another tick this week but it’s clear that the band either can’t or won’t do it any more. Incidentally, live the band sounds just like they do on CD, which is great or pointless depending on what you want and while Cedric’s voice is more finely tuned to the tones of The Mars Volta these days, he put as much as he could into his performances. The opposite could be said for Omar. Oh, Omar. What a disappointment. Turn your back on us if you want, bro, but your shirt’s gonna be covered in spit. These big shows mean that the band probably got paid enough to sully their reputation forever. Hopefully, this is the actual end of At The Drive-In.

What other bands would you like to see reformed?

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