Band of the Day

2014.02.16

Mr Miyagi

Live fast, die strong with ferocious karate chops of Portuguese hardcore punk
We have some moments in our lives, insanity takes over, nothing else matters.
lyrics from Nothing Else Matters

When Daniel Larusso arrived to Los Angeles with his mother, he most certainly wasn’t expecting the problems that a west cost gang would bring him - chicks, as usual! Kesuke Miyagi, a martial arts master, saved his ass. He taught Daniel how to practice karate, in order to get rid of the gangsters. This is the storyline of “Karate Kid”, a cult film from the 80s, whose script makes sure no one will ever forget this four-movie trilogy. It’s the same old story of the underdog who gets the happy ending and laughs last. More than 20 years later, dozens of re-makes after and thousands of kilometers apart, four dudes from Northern Portugal – between backflips, ollies and slides – decided to pay tribute to the old sensei. Oh, by the way, have I mentioned Viana do Castelo? It’s the Portuguese city with the highest rate of hardcore bands and babes per capita. The princess of the North has been showcasing some of the most delightful bands of the punk rock tradition. But why and where does the name Mr. Miyagi come from? Maybe because of California - the movie, Bad Religion, skate, hot chicks, Agent Orange, surf... The recipe was a bit odd, but the truth is that it lasts until today. Rollin’ hardcore punk with thrills of adrenaline and alienation, worn by kimonos and four black belts. Live fast, die strong. Add some (lots of) kegs of beer, stage dives, mosh pits and a trashy crossover. They say it’s karate, but I think it’s wrestling. And I can tell because I’ve been there, in the middle of that hormonal chaos they call a concert. Kids, don’t try this at home. It’s fast and it’s furious - not like in the movie, more like in Kurt Brecht’s band logo. The violence is powerful, but not like Steven Seagal destroying the extras with a nail clipper. Imagine it more like Rollins, waving the black flag among clenched fists. Skating runs through their veins, like scraped knees dripping to the ground. The art of partying gets out of control under the hands of Municipal Waste, who invite Gamma Bomb to down a few beers at this chaotic yet fun thrash crossover club. Again, the story of the underground who laughs last. So, after being the opening act for giants like Suicidal Tendencies, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles or Fucked Up, these guys from Viana come up with what could have been João Gordo’s favorite Portuguese album. The result is like having all the aforementioned bands and others I haven’t mentioned united at the same big table. “There’s No Destiny... Enjoy the Ride” adds the taste of guitar riffs recalling rock’n’roll dinosaurs like Kansas, MC5 and the Amboy Dukes, as well as thick southern steel flavor of a strong bourbon. Does the name Fu Machu ring a bell? Have you ever heard of Nashville Pussy? Get some chairs for your guests. I almost feel like saying that the only rule is there are no rules. Even when “Maria” has nothing in common with “200% M.F.”, or when you realize that the guys who play “Make It Crime Again” are the same who recorded “Go By The Endless Roads”. Say what?! Care to tell Ciso that he can’t sing? Guys, this is not Eurovision song contest. Here, heads will roll and mikes will fly. Fill in your gas tanks, put on your seatbelts, buy more beers, make yourselves at home and enjoy the ride. See you in a while, no matter where.