Pounding, grinding, thumping. The beats of hardcore relentlessly assault the senses with pulverizing shots of bass, drum and guitar. Musicians stomp in time with the rhythmic chaos, and screams vocalize feelings. This is hardcore. So why are the members of Cabalyst having so darn much fun?
"Because it is fun," the five members of the stellar hardcore outfit yell almost in unison, answering the question.
"We just love to play," says drummer Kevin Wrona. Guitarist Billy Peppes says fans attend Cabalyst shows because "they love to see us have fun." And bassist Gregg Pobanz says the band's positive energy "comes from inside of us. We just click. When we're on stage, we say, 'Yeah, dude, this is it.' "
"We are the music," vocalist Dave Lindhurst says, drawing an impromptu singing of "We are the world, we are the music" from his bandmates, who then break out in laughter.
That's Cabalyst. Five funny, talented young men who replace all the angst and anger of hardcore with humor, intelligence and savvy. They have a keen understanding for the business side of the industry that translates into important roles for each member. Peppes, for instance, is in charge of promotional fliers; Lindhurst handles the hefty mailing list, and Wrona is the band contact.
"We not only get along as a band and as a business, but also as friends," Lindhurst says. "If one person doesn't do their job, it affects our personal relationship, and that can't happen. Every one of us wants (Cabalyst) to happen more than anything."
And making Cabalyst work isn't an easy job by genre definition. It faces the same challenge of all hardcore and metal bands, including the young Metallica, in getting music out to the people: virtually non-existent radio support. "We can't get radio play with our style of music," says guitarist Jeff Fink. But, Lindhurst adds, "There are ways around radio."
That's the old do-it-yourself ethic popularized by punk rockers. "We just keep talking to people and play trade-off gigs with bands from other cities to pick up new fans, and we keep it going," Pobanz says. "We play as many shows as we can stand."
For information: Call 892-3804.
LOCAL RECORD PICK
Erin Roberts, "Pity Party." Erin Roberts is something of a rarity these days: a solo female acoustic performer who doesn't burden her music with the angry weight of all womanhood. This record is anything but a pity party. Sure, her songs often deal with relationships, and faltering ones at that. But she takes responsibility for the good and the bad with sensitivity and youthful vigor. "I don't need you to feel sorry for me," she sings on "Again." Roberts holds on to painful lessons on "Better." "Fogged Mirrors" is a view of people creating their own catastrophes, and Roberts displays a lyrical, Jewel-like style on "Elmwood."
-- Toni Ruberto