Live Music Review //
Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop
Pain Chain / Detcord Noose
Chuck Steak / L'Eclipse Nue / Burning Books

July 14th, 2023
at Brown Jug Liquor, Meriden CT

Additional photos can be found on Facebook here :::

This was one of those shows that I was really looking forward to going into it because of the lineup.   Yes, Brown Jug Liquor is close to me but I would've traveled a lot more miles to see these artists if I had to.   The combination of locals plus out of state artists just made this feel like such a special show because you should go out of your way to see all of these artists when they play shows so to have them all playing on the same show really put this up there as one of my favorite shows this year.

Burning Books opened up this show and though Quentin and I have both seen Burning Books before, it was not quite like this.   For the Willimantic Records show it felt more like a droning and the sound was just closer to the classical side of things.   But on this night, Burning Books was less of that classical feel and through the various methods of manipulating the strings, the sound coming out very much felt like it was bordering on harsh noise.

It was really great to see not just that string instruments can play these different sounds, but also that different sounds can come from different places as Burning Books fit in on this bill but also was the only one playing a classical-type instrument.  The way that artists can adapt and change up their sound based upon who they're playing with/where they're playing is just so amazing to me because you don't see it a lot but hearing this harsher, louder side of Burning Books, complete with a microphone wrapped around the neck, was an experience I am grateful for being a part of.

Up next was L'Eclipse Nue who we last saw on what we thought would be a chill night but turned out to be rather loud.  To me, music is about how it makes you feel more than the technical aspects of it.  L'Eclipse Nue has this way about playing noise in an electronic sense, which feels like an entirely different genre from this show, but then all of a sudden out of nowhere you hear this wave of distortion just blast over everything and it becomes more like harsh noise.   There are certainly industrial aspects to this sound as well.

It started with one leg, but L'Eclipse Nue eventually was completely up on the noise table and there was this element of suspense added into the sound which made for a visual show as well as the audio.  At times, it felt like the table might collapse as it leaned to one side or just shook.   Adding that suspense to the music itself just made everything feel more intense.  You could've enjoyed this set with your eyes closed but having them open and being really tuned in just made this one of the best live performances I have ever seen.

At the midpoint of the show we found Chuck Steak.  This set was as gripping musically as it was visually.  Before the music really seemed to go into full effect, Chuck Steak walked around to each side of the table and pushed a button.   At the end of the set, this pattern repeated.  I'm not sure if the reason behind this has ever been explained, but I feel as if it was like opening this musical portal to bring in the sound at the start and then closing that portal to take the music to the next destination.

With a face obscured, the overall appearance of Chuck Steak reminded me of a character from a horror film.   Sam from "Trick 'r Treat" came to mind, but I know there are others and it just made me feel like what we were witnessing was akin to a horror movie.  There were times when the sound was harsh noise and times when it was blast beats.  Mostly instrumental, there were times when Chuck Steak would scream or growl, leaning more towards the grindcore/powerviolence sound.

As someone who has possibly seen too much in their lifetime- even more so this past year- I say with the utmost respect because it would have fit in so well artistically that I thought at one point during the set Chuck Steak would definitely pull out a gun and fire it into the air.   It just felt like it would've fit the overall vibe, but for legal purposes was likely left more to my imagination than actually being done.  Still, this set was intense and I cannot recommend people going to witness Chuck Steak in person enough.

Detcord Noose started the second half.  This was my second time seeing them and they have played a few shows in between their first and now.  I was actually interested to see how Quentin would react to Detcord Noose because he's seen bands but he's never really seen a band this heavy before, he's never come this close to metal in person before.  But he didn't cover his ears during the entire show so I felt like he was really listening and into the sounds all night long.

As it had been several months, I was able to take in the sound more this time around as I was better prepared for it.   Last time I feel like I was caught off guard by how good Detcord Noose was for their first show.  This time I knew.   And I think one of the best ways to think of Detcord Noose (which a lot of people might not get) is they remind me of a band like Silent Drive, who just had this way of combining melody with a heavier sound.   

But Silent Drive went from elements of emo to a heavier hardcore sound like Glassjaw.  Detcord Noose just remains in this realm of heavy, even when the songs slow down, and so it feels like they have that range of a band like Silent Drive but the sound itself is set to something heavy like Liturgy or Dead To Fall.   And, as an added bonus, it just feels good to hear some really solid metal again.  

Pain Chain was on next and this set was done in almost complete darkness.  As someone who is attempting to do photos/videos, the darkness doesn't agree with me, but the way Pain Chain had set things up with a light made you feel like your focus should be on that light.   Though the light was adjacent, it still seemed like a spotlight in that sense and that made the emphasis on what Pain Chain was doing feel that much more significant.  

While playing that harsh noise which bordered on hardcore, Pain Chain also had a flag which was very much swung around and stepped on.  One point during the set had that light set up, really bright, next to the flag and it created an image which looked almost like fire.  This was one of those things I was glad I got to see because I really think we should be seeing more rebellious behavior in music right now.

For those who might have a problem with "treading" on the flag or what have you, the fact is simple: This country is fucked and we need to draw attention to it.  Plus, I've never understood why people invested so much more into a piece of fabric than they did human beings.  Also, they sell tank tops at Walmart that look like the flag and that's always felt more offensive (like wearing a rosary, if you're Catholic)

As this show seemed to be a lot about the visual as the audio, Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop was set to close out the show.  The way that the music creates beats but also gets into that grindcore/powerviolence way where it's just fast and hits faster than the beats just gets me every time.  The screaming, the pace of the music, it all happens so fast but you have to enjoy the ride while you're on it.

This was Quentin's first time seeing Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop as well and we had discussed prior to this show about this very thing happening.  Quentin was very much into seeing this show happen and as Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop threw metal down onto the ground, Quentin even ran up and stomped on an upside down bowl.   These are the pieces of the experience you will never forget.

Along with a new song, Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop played a cover of "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" by Das Racist.   Quentin actually knows that song, as do most people who have ever been on the Berlin Turnpike with me simply because that specific place exists there still.   But this just felt like one of the best sets by Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop I've ever seen and to cap off one of my favorite shows of the year also just made this that much more of a special experience all around.  

Brown Jug Liquors can be found on Instagram here:

Burning Books can be found on Bandcamp here:

L'Eclipse Nue can be found on Bandcamp here:

Chuck Steak can be found on Bandcamp here:

Detcord Noose can be found on Bandcamp here:

Pain Chain can be found on Bandcamp here:

Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop can be found on Bandcamp here:


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