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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fast Forward Grease

Three men came out onstage with their backs to the audience slowly shaking their hips like greasers. A couple moments later Lars Fredreksen burst onto the scene like a pimp. It was hot; smokin’, suit jacket, double-breasted vest, and a white scarf around his neck. Probably the best entrance I’ve seen all year. Lars Fredreksen and the Bastards played Axis Thursday night, it was awesome! It was an intimate setting and a pretty diverse crowd of punk rockers. I think the Dropkick Murphy’s were there, not because I recognized them but because all the bands gave a shout out to them somewhere around the circle pit. Most people know Lars from Rancid and Tim Armstrong (also from Rancid) produced and co-wrote both albums together. Both records are also off of Hellcat and distributed by Epitaph (they also have Bad Religion). Tim is Lars’ best friend and partner in crime. Both record inscriptions are pretty interesting, the first one (self titled) is dedicated to Ben, Lars’ best friend growing up. He said of Ben, “The whole time we were recording I thought about what kind of record Ben and I would want to listen to in my bedroom…well Ben I hope you like it and I’ll make sure I play it loud so you can hear it up in heaven.” The second album titled “Viking” came out this year and is dedicated to Lars’ brother Rob. He introduced listeners to the story by re-telling the bad day. Lars got the news of his brother’s death from his mom at the hospital and gave credit to her for being tough as nails. He talks about what an inspiration his brother was saying, “If you got a big brother then you understand.” I like how he started both the albums with such sincere and real dedications. I think it says a lot. Back to the intimate setting of the Axis; I loved it because Lars liked to come up to the very edge of the stage so that he was only a couple feet away. I liked Craig Leg’s Mohawk, and Gordy (formerly known as the “unknown bastard” now known as “the known bastard” (also in charge of “vocals, booze, and BBQ’s”) snarls and growls. Their style reminds me of the movie Grease hella much…but punk! It’s so much fun! And I think that most of the people there knew all the lyrics. Towards the end of the show, Lars called all the females in the audience out and gave us all a lecture. He said that some people say girls aren’t as good at dancing in the circle pit and gave a little speech on safety and circle pit etiquette. We had an all female circle pit- no dudes allowed, for an entire song. I think I saw a couple females put their arms around each other and honestly, it looked like they were skipping, but other then that I thought it was pretty bad-ass, because a lot of females are scared to get into the circle pit dominated by aggressive males. The songs performed included “Swtichblade”, “Skins, Punx, and Drunx”, and “To Have and Have Not”. Darryl Sterdan from the Winnipeg Sun said this about the reviewed the album and said, “Do a teen near you a favor: Trash his New Found Glory CDs and buy him this mighty sophomore disc from Rancid’s Lars Fredreksen and his magnificent Bastards. Junior should dig the buzz saw guitars, the whiplash beats and the raw guttersnipe passion of these adrenaline-fuelled mosh-pit anthems penned with band mate Tim Armstrong. And we know he’ll like the cheesecake pix in the CD book. But along the way, he’ll learn what real punk rock sounds like and stands for. Just don’t blame us if the kid goes and gets a forehead tattoo.”

Just a heads up, Epitaph Records is going to have a tour and if you buy the tickets for this tour through their website they’re giving out one free CD by any of the bands playing.