Outside it’s raining brats and dogs.  There is an executive decision made by the staff  to move the outside-patio show to the inside cramped ‘back room’ of The Rocks.  There is no stage, only floor…eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe - giving a more intimate, intense setting.Despite the weather, The Lower Class Brats are glad to be here.  The Richmond scene can be a bit finicky, but tonight, they definitely let it be known with claps and shouts and a warm welcome as the band took stage.  It’s perfect timing with their newly released DVD/CD, ‘’This is Real,’  chock-full of live LCB vid footage and sneak-peak tracks from, ’The New Seditionaries.’  Imprinting tomfoolery, and rowdiness, LCB’s main mission of stirring up shit has certainly earned the hold-steady since 1995. 

Jumping head first, the ‘77 rock ‘n roll track, ’PGL,’ streams in with simplistic guitar as Bones DeLarge spews out sharp and gutteral lyrics beginning the set in animated and commanding stance.   The spotlight here is on the shouts, “boredom,” -- a consistent mid-tempo  piece that has sneery rather than snotty placement right into gang chorus, thumping to the end with cheers.  I knew it was going to be an obnoxiously fun show.The lurky bass intro from Johnny-O [formerly of Cheap Sex], maintains the melody as the guitar remains the spine.  Bones’ vocals are more sharp but still in the monotone as he animates with his hand over his mouth in humorous sarcasm in, ’Go Insane,’  that signatures in punk ’wohs’ and cymbal crashes on the chorus rock out.  With the next song, ‘Psycho,’ the song revs up with guitar twiddles then breaks into grated guitar.  Bones shouting on the top of his lungs, “Fuck You! Fuck Politics!”  he makes his way to the middle of the floor [the heart of the pit], taking the microphone with him.  Marty is banging out machine-gun guitar as beer is thrown in all directions.   At the end of the song, Bones’ impish grin - part teenage-angst, part demon, ignites the crowd with energy, enticing the crowd to shout more with fists up. 

Well the crowd lived up to the song title, if anything else.  The ‘stamp-song’ of the night for me was, ‘Rather Be Hated Than Ignored,’ with a shouted dedication to anyone in the LCB crew.  As the slower-beated energy crawls, the tune crescendos into a catchy tune having the crowd erupt with arms jutting, legs flailing about in the crowd-surf, and bodies are heaved over the sweaty red-faced crowd.  With conflict from start to finish, the kids are reciting in shouts on every word.  The bass purrs underneath the more tuneful guitar track.  Bones is having a blast as he monotones the gravely shouts in the kid’s  faces, closing it out with a maniacal laugh.  ‘Who Writes The Rules,’ is a thumping gritty-guitar intro that hits on beat, and forms into a chunked-up tune.  Despite the fact that you hear the entire audience on the lyrics - even over Bones’ microphone, Marty is mouthing the lyrics, making this song a powerful anthem.  ‘Ultra Violence,’ pulls in a long-note through vocals as the first verse percolates into a bubbling beat.  In the middle of the heavy chords, Bones adds a bit of falsetto verbal commentary.  The scratch-up guitar bangs back to that encouraging gang-chorus in full circle.  A nice mix of old school punk here. 

Honorable mentions:  ‘The New Seditionaries,’ off their new CD makes a nice crossover from street punk and rock ‘n roll.  However, it is amusingly, before this song began, that had my attention.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, Bones has singled out some kid who is wearing a Channel 3 T-shirt, and was shouting repeatedly for him to shut up.  You knew he meant well.  It didn’t matter that I didn’t know what he was telling this idiot-kid off about, just that it seemed to fuel a more feisty sound.  So by the time the song was actually rollin’, it had a bit of a bite to it, and giving it a little more depth.‘See You Go,’ reminds me of that Agent Orange sound, but with snottier lyrics.  As the first verse breaks, Bones instantaneously lets out cackling laughter that kicks up the tempo. 

‘Safety Pinned and Sick,‘  has an awesome verse, ‘Lived my life like a loaded gun,“ that makes a great ending and encourages Bones to immerse himself in the middle of the pit, regurgitating laughs to the end.‘Sex and Violence,’ - the infamous cover is brazen.  The girls are going to have to put their money where their mouths are - with a little wiggle-room left to spare as Bones impatiently begins coaxing and pulling young girls onto the floor.  Dedicating in shouts on the next song to all the ’ladies.’  This is their staple song, and everyone was zipping around the stage.   Their following style in snotty fashion,  gives you the notion that not only do they laugh at you, they laugh at themselves.   Bones barks out tunes that Johnny Rotten would be proud of.

review by Jillian Abbene (20 November 2008)