Recap: Hellmouth at TownshipPhil Collins - June 10, 2014
Detroit hardcore outfit Hellmouth played a rare show at Township on Friday night. There are rare shows, and then there are shows at this elevated level of infrequency. Hellmouth is the project of Jay Navarro, founded after the breakup of his most well-known band, The Suicide Machines. That band still plays the occasional show and I have managed to see them twice in the last few years. Navarro told the crowd the last time Hellmouth played in Chicago was about four years ago at Beat Kitchen. The band formed in 2008 and the last time they played here was 2010. Now that is a rare show.
The band rampaged through their set. Navarro came out into the crowd many times, where fans screamed out lyrics with him. Hellmouth struts the line between hardcore and metal the way The Suicide Machines blend hardcore and ska. Take some of The Suicide Machines' hardcore songs and shove them over the edge into thrash territory and you have Hellmouth. Their two full-lengths, "Destroy Everything, Worship Nothing" and "Graveyard Skylines" could soundtrack an apocalypse.
Township is an intimate venue, taking on the feeling of a DIY space at times. When the band played a cover of the classic Black Flag song "Gimme Gimme Gimme," it felt like a basement show in the best way. La Armada, Still Alive and Pink Eyes were perfect openers for the show. Still Alive channels the ska hardcore blend done so well by The Suicide Machines. Navarro joined Still Alive on stage for their cover of "Capsule (AKA Requiem for the Stupid Human Race)."