Material: Hardcore punk, by its very nature, isn’t for everyone. These are the people who looked at what the original punks were doing and said, “No, it needs to be angrier, louder and more aggressive.” The melodies are often hard to come by, and add the fact that the crowds can get incredibly rowdy, and you have the very definition of an acquired taste. That said, in most cases and certainly in the case of SoCal band The Eulogy, the tunes are there––you just have to dig for them. It’s worth the effort––the half-hour set that the band performs is packed with groove-heavy hardcore, and while it’s near- impossible to make out what Chavez is singing, we know that he’s pissed about something.
Musicianship: All of the guys in the band are excellent on their instrument, though this is more a case of the “sum of the parts.” As a unit, the band is extremely tight and clearly well-rehearsed. It’s easy to listen to hardcore and assume that it’s easy to play, that it’s all just chugging power-chords and meat-and-potatoes drumming, but it’s actually incredibly demanding. These guys nail it.
Performance: It’s all about Chavez, really. The musicians in the band take their places at the start of the set, assume classic hardcore battle-pose, and play. But Chavez paces the stage like a caged tiger. Eyes wide, the lyrics are spat with venomous glee and, when he’s not actually singing, the pacing continues. It really does feel like he has something on his mind that he just has to get out. Which, in fact, is the whole point of this genre of music. In-between songs, stage banter is kept to a minimum. Chavez utters the occasional “thanks,” while Norton encourages the crowd to buy merchandise because “we’re all old and have babies to feed.” Fair enough.
Summary: The Eulogy is a fine hardcore band that has been around for a good few years and know their trade. Those who don’t enjoy the genre, in general, will find nothing to enjoy here. But those who like unwinding with a circle pit, arms flailing like a human windmill, then the noise that The Eulogy makes is just about perfect.
The Players: Sergio Chavez, vocals; Matt Henderson, guitar; Pete Reilly, guitar; Marc Jackson, drums; Kevin Norton, bass.