Columbus Live! & Nuclear Moms
“When punk rock came along, the one thing you were not supposed to be was musical” - Nick Lowe
Don't get me wrong; the lasting impression that punk has left on rock 'n' roll is the furthest thing from the toneless, indecipherable noise to which previous generations plug their ears and hail their lord and savior (Iggy Pop, anyone?). Instead, it was a sliver of hope amid the chaos that is constraint. The smile encroaching the breakdown. The “f*** you” that was long overdue.
Although I've been an on and off, long-time cohabitant of this growing city, I'm only now revisiting the Columbus music scene, so forgive my naivete on its many hidden musical gems. There's still something surprising about hearing a thrashing lineup of punk bands shred into oblivion, all in this no-longer small town that I'd been itching to leave for years. Joke's on me though, right?
I've enjoyed a handful of locals such as hiphop/funk group MojoFlo and alternative rock groups Kid Runner and Go Analog who have cultivated the ever-evolving musical environment in Columbus. But this weekend I got a taste of Columbus' edgier underground with post/skate-punk band, Nuclear Moms. It's safe to say they set the bar high for those of you looking to satiate your weak spot for that old school, American hardcore atmosphere.
Recently back from their 3-state tour across the USA, the trio that is Nuclear Moms put on one hell of a show at local Summit Street venue, Cafe Bourbon. Frontman, Tyler, dives head first into the rage before the end of the first song, while bassist, Alex, annihilates the stage like a one-man jam session, and drummer, Collin, launches the audience into a seizurific head banging stint with his occasionally nostalgic beat successions resembling the likes of Pete Parada.
They were the epitome of punk's longstanding values – expressive, unstoppable, and unapologetically wild. Nuke Moms were contained by nothing but the spirit in their craft and the passion in their performance, ecstatic that we'd all gathered to share the experience in cohesive efforts. There were no flying punches, but there was a flailing Tyler, rolling on the ground among the audience while belting the first verse to one of their hits. Their musical tone, while unabashedly noise punk, occasionally contains a rhythmic jazz feel with the addition of a saxophone. At the end of their set I encountered a bleeding and shirtless Tyler, a certain fire in his eyes and an overall giddiness to his demeanor. Nuclear Moms left me with an unshakeable buzz as I'd decided right there that soon wouldn't be soon enough before their next show.
Check out their bandcamp page here at https://nuclearmoms.bandcamp.com to listen to the rest of their album released December 2015.