The skate punk brats of the ’90s are back to ruin our lives again

“These randy chain-wallet kids completely voided punk of its nihilism and blood-letting and replaced it with bad fart jokes and cookie-cutter arrangements. I am beside myself with rage that these guys are still jumping around in 2022.”

I can’t lie to you people because I love you too much, but if there is one genre of music that has always chafed my taint since it first reared its baggy shorts and oversized T’s, it’s “skate punk.” Just when I thought I have run these pesky punks out of my yard for good, they come back like a bad case of hives. In the late ’90s, these randy chain-wallet kids just completely voided punk of its nihilism and blood-letting and replaced it with bad fart jokes and predictable cookie cutter arrangements while providing the nursery-rhyme soundtracks to sell cell phones and shoes. Basically, skate rock is the piano keyboard tie of punk. I know, I know I’m old and jaded AF, but I am beside myself with rage over the fact that these guys are still jumping around in 2022. Also, almost all of them are guilty of ripping off the mighty pop punk beats of the forever rad Descendents! So get out of my yard!!!

For whatever reason, though, there are a ton of mall punk bands that are ending their hiatus from the Warped Tour from decades ago and are now packing into cramped vans to squeeze the last drop out of “the kids.” There are a couple of Fat Wreck show mentions this week, but the fattest of ‘em all (and arguably the crappiest) will be calling it a day next week so keep yer eye peeled here so I can hip you to a band I greatly dislike — just like the curmudgeony old punk record-collector type I am. 

Friday: Although Against Me! were sprung from the vibrant Florida punk scene, they often got lumped in with the Warped Tour crew due to bad timing. It’s really sad, as chief songwriter Laura Jane Grace was able to distill the best moments of Jawbreaker and Hot Water Music and deliver them in a unique signature style — something the Pennywise imitators couldn’t come close to. Grace has aged with, uh, grace and can still attack the heartstrings with precision and intent. Grace will reduce the size of le National to an intimate room with opener Lande Hekt Mobina. This is what punk should actually sound like. 1220 Ste-Catherine E., 6:30 p.m., $31.74

As I mentioned last week, there has been a great trend to counter the rising cost of ticket prices, with the odd free show dotting concert calendars, and tonight lets the cheap times roll with another free gigger. At Lopez, you can catch Twenty 2, who launch their new jammer Dismissed with the high-octane rock of the Lookout. Lookout singer Martha Rockhard has promised high kicks, so don’t get too close to the stage. 6725 St-Hubert, 7 p.m., free

Saturday: It’s an oddly quiet week for the metal scene but there are two gigs that you’ll want to strap on yer blinding white Reebok trainers for. The first gig for you riff-loving beasts would be Revocation with the solidly heavy support of Krisium and Alluvial at the place where metal sounds and smells best, Foufs. If you are just skimming this column for the riffs then go ahead and skip right down to Tuesday’s announcement. I won’t hold it against you. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 6 p.m., $34.99

My big pick of the week goes to the locals this week, specifically Montreal superdupergroup Pypy (Red Mass, Duchess Says), coming out of moth balls to turn the dancefloor of l’Esco upside down. If you want the old school party vibes of Montreal shows of yore, try and squeeze into this one. Opening is the awesomely titled rock music project Night Lunch. 4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $20

A perfect event that will go amazing with way too many Laurentides is happening at the very oo-la-la room of Brasserie Beaubien. For some real-deal rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll, head down to the “Taj Mahal of bathrooms” to catch the Howlin’ Hound Dogs with Israel Proulx with DJ Pat White keeping things spinnin’ all night. 73 Beaubien E., 9:30 p.m., $15

I always thought the Replacements were maybe the best damn bar band ever, whether they were playing huge venues or tiny holes in the wall. Using the same measuring stick, I can safely say that Barfly faves Punching Weasel are probably the best damn bar band in our fair burg. If you ever saw Punching Weasel’s previous stint as the Mighty Ffud, you know I am not blowing smoke here, or, as you young people say, being a jive turkey. The Weasels will be laying it down at Turbo Haüs with Death Drive. No one under the age of 40 will be admitted. 2040 St-Denis, 9 p.m., $10

Monday: If you were hoping to see true post-punk and paisley psych legends Echo and the Bunnymen at Théâtre Corona and didn’t grab tix yet, yer fucked without a kiss, Jack cause it’s sold da fuk out. You are probably wondering why, if the show is sold out, am I mentioning it here? Well, the day you come up with a song as well crafted and downright haunting as “The Killing Moon,” let me know and I will write about yer shiddy band every time you water your plants. 

Tuesday: Heshers who were squealing with glee over the mention of the Revocation show will also want to dust off the air guitar for Swedish melodic death metal dudes In Flames with Fit for an Autopsy, Orbit Culture and Vended. This supreme metal fest will all be going down at Théâtre Corona, nestled in the heart of lil’ ol’ Saint-Henri. 2490 Notre-Dame W., 6:30 p.m., $101.15

I really love the fug outta the fine people at Pouzza Fest and know for a fact they are completely doing what they do for the right reasons and work hard AF. Having said that, I am also convinced they are deaf as all of the Fat Wreck bands they seem to love are bands that I hate with all of my blackened-old punker-ouch-my-back-hurts heart. If you’re still sporting a chain wallet and cupping farts, you’ll want to check out Fat Wreck’s Get Dead with the oddly not taken name of support band Lost Love. This is all happening at Da Turb, so instead of starting a pit with your built-up angst, act it out through interpretive dance and street magic. 2040 St-Denis, 8:30 p.m., $25

Wednesday: In more news about bands I can’t stand, that old ’90s mall sensation Lagwagon will return to town to play MTelus with Big Wig (what???) and Grumpster. Will hip hop skate bros Shades of Culture make a surprise appearance? Who knows? Keep your eyes peeled here next week for even more Fat Wreck news in our Lord’s year of 2022 — ya jive turkeys! 59 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m., $50

Current Obsession: Sex Pistols, 76-77 CD box set

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.