$30.00 Tickets
Best Life and Mantooth Presents
Fri, Nov 24 7:00 pm (Doors: 6:00 pm )
Crescent Ballroom
16 and up
Best Life and Mantooth Presents

with special guests

Friday, November 24th 2023
Doors at 6:00 / Show at 7:00


Advance Price: $24 + fees
Day of Show Price: $30 + fees


Angel Du$t

For nearly two decades, Justice Tripp has consistently been ahead of the curve: first with Trapped Under Ice, where he led the way for a new wave of heavy hardcore, and then as the mastermind behind Angel Du$t, where he blazed the trail for the current generation of aggressive musicians to branch out into unabashedly melodic territory. Tripp’s work is marked by an ever-evolving creativity that’s made him highly influential, but which has often put him a number of steps ahead of the very trends that he’s helped to inspire. Now Angel Du$t are back with their new album, Brand New Soul: a fearless and open-hearted tribute to all things rock, offering listeners a chance to be right there with them on the cutting edge. Tripp might forever be keeping an eye on the future, but Angel Du$t’s time is now. 

“People can be afraid to grow, afraid to change,” Tripp explains. “But I want to be an artist, I want to change and I want to evolve. I love punk and hardcore, and that’s always going to have a place in my heart, but I want to challenge things.” Enter: Brand New Soul, a record that manages to bridge Angel Du$t’s past, present, and future into a 13 song, 29-minute, one-of-a-kind rock and roll joyride. Recorded by Paul Mercer, mixed by Rob Schnapf and Steve Wright, and produced by Tripp himself, Brand New Soul feels like the most potent encapsulation of Tripp’s vision to date. 

The album’s opening title track lays out a collision of punk speed and R&B swagger, all careening into a quasi-breakdown that somehow combines hardcore stomp with a hip-shaking bass line that can’t be ignored. “Brand New Soul” is immediately followed by “Love Slam,” which serves as a pulse-pounding reminder that no matter what sound or style Tripp is playing, hardcore will be part of the DNA. Elsewhere tracks like the furious “Space Jam” or “Sippin Lysol” will inspire those unhinged good times at Angel Du$t shows, and it’s a testament to the success of Tripp’s try-anything approach that those songs flow seamlessly on Brand New Soul alongside songs like the lushly arranged “I’m Not Ready” or the Paul Simon-influenced “Don’t Stop.” Throughout Brand New Soul, Tripp steps out on the line lyrically as well, opening himself up more than ever and imbuing every musical left turn with real pathos. 

It’s this combination of heart and inventiveness that makes Brand New Soul such an endearing listen, and the record almost feels like a proof-of-concept for the daring spirit that’s led Tripp his entire life. His story is far from fully written, but ten years into Angel Du$t, it’s finally starting to seem clear that the songwriter’s many creative risks have paid off. The band’s influence is palpable, and Brand New Soul is poised with open arms to bring even more people into the unique world Tripp has created–one where stage dives and sweetness fit perfectly together, and everyone is welcome to get in on the fun. “The music bringing people together is the most important thing,” he says. “I would hope that the biggest impact we’ve had is just encouraging people to express themselves.”

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Candy – The band that holds it all in to best let it all out.

Heaven Is Here is the sort of record that some people may like to describe as groundbreaking or genre bending but this kind of claim comes with a caveat. I’ve got good news for the world: you’re no longer able to redefine hardcore. It was always a figment of someone’s imagination anyway and at this point we’re all trying to guess what it even is, let alone how or why to change it. Breaking ground is no longer about formal innovation but about the desperate and frantic hope that you can make sense of as much information in the world as you possibly can at once. Being human, but pulling the worst of yourself out and putting into your music-making might seem like a reckless way to make a statement but for Candy, it works. Heaven Is Here puts together so many chronologically disparate elements with the confidence and care to graft their relativities together under what basically sounds like extreme duress. Their words and music specifically strive to replicate moments of impact and anxiety, obsessive compulsive thinking, and extreme cynicism so that they might not have to effect how to come down from these types of overwhelming feelings on a day to day basis. Negativity-as-productivity fills the sensational energy that Candy have built into their sound and live shows, and now most specifically their latest LP.

What this record does is help to lengthen the floodplain of what can be considered normal. Heaven Is Here shares so much of what people seek out in fractal, defragmented little blips over a lifetime, and slams them together in some kind of audio ballistics gel of heavy music, electronics, and popular culture. Designing this sort of summary into a piece of work seems simultaneously fearful and egotistical, but is better seen as a reflection of the realistic materials at hand. Speaking directly to their incorporation of electronic elements in Heaven is Here, it’s not so much that Candy insist on progression, but that they will not accept regression. In a day and age in which a primary complaint of alienated, disappointed musicians might be that “you can make music on your phone these days,” Candy in turn feel the same but instead, have rushed to run through what they see as an open door through which to make their music better and more filled with intensified chaos than ever before.
Yet still, they feel there is no line to have stepped across between when they began and where they’ve ended up. Just a fuller realisation of the same intent over the span of multiple recordings and a mass of gigs. There is, however, a line through time for Candy. One which permeates all iterations of “extreme” music – from the most simplistic and un-nuanced, to what we now consider the touchpoints of the cannon.

“I find it funny that we sometimes treat old extreme music like Throbbing Gristle or gabber, or Nitzer Ebb as wildly different than other artists working in similar time-frames, like United Mutation, Crossed Out, or Disclose” says guitarist, Michael Quick, who calmly manages to organise his musical intentions with the experience of having to exist in a long long history of sub-genre habituation.

Lyrically, we see a perfect counterpoint to this process of throwing everything at once into the creative process in order to bring the “rest of the world” with you into the new one you’ve created. The laser focus and short cynical borderline poetics of Zak Quiram specifically set an intention of declarative and pointed thinking. Specifically marking out territory that reminds you that Candy’s world lives elsewhere to the rest of society. In this lies the great connection between the nihilism of their music and the optimism of criticism: “We don’t want to transport the listener from the nightmare of a world we’re living in. We want them to face the harsh and ugly truths in the hopes to spark a thought and use those ideas to disrupt the society we live in.” Facing the worst of things and bringing that into your life as an uncontrollable force is what we have on our hands here, from the moment of its inception, to its capture and completion as an LP.

This is kind of music you think is “normal” after years of abusing your hearing and constantly reassessing what you accept as sounding “good” or “heavy,” learning what sounds bad on purpose, and how to hear what might just be unintentionally genius. Death Metal riffing pressed on a Flexi-disc with flashes of industrial dance dressed up in a low mosh; Raglike bodies clattering around in synch moved by a pummelling din that would extract an instant confession from the most tightlipped spy; A record where the songs feel like a merciful reprieve from the screeching interludes; A masterfully nonsensical almanac of noise welded together by the unpredictable ways that we hear and reproduce the music we love in the era of unending dopamine hits and a virulent technological doom.

Heaven is Here but Hell is on your turntable.

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Restraining Order

On their new album, Locked In Time, Restraining Order is gazing towards the future. Originally formed in January 2017 after the band members made it their New Year's resolution to start a hardcore-punk band, things have been looking ahead for the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts six-piece ever since. After breaking out with a demo that same year, followed by a self-titled EP in 2018, Restraining Order hit their stride with 2019’s This World Is Too Much. Four years later, the band are taking the energy and style that made that debut album an instant classic and bringing in a present-day approach with Locked In Time.

From the opening notes of the record a familiar sound appears as This World Is Too Much album closer “Addicted” plays in reverse in the aptly titled “Addicted (Reprise)”, connecting the cinematic universe Restraining Order has built across both records. As Patrick Cozens shouts “They don’t know what this means, this life it chose me,” it sets the tone that this music isn’t a fad, these lyrics aren’t made up stories, these twelve songs are a documentation of the band members' daily lives.

Expanding on the albums lyrical themes, Cozens’ states:

“Going into this record I decided to take a more present-day approach. It felt like the last record let me get a lot of things off my mind. I feel the band itself has helped me move forward in life and gain confidence in who I am. A lot of the lyrics on this record revolve around what I’ve been thinking about currently in life. The feeling of moving on from the past and looking towards the future. The anxieties of day-to-day life. Realizing what I must do to make myself happy. I wanted to take on the hardships of present-day life but also celebrate it. A lot of things will bring you down in this world, but you can always create your own world and see things the way you want to see them.”

The writing and recording process for Locked In Time was expansive, beginning in fall 2019 and completed in late 2022. With drummer Will Hirst at the helm of recording and production, it allowed the band to focus on the nuances and build upon a diverse sonic palette. At the surface, Locked in Time is very much a hardcore record, but it also dabbles with garage, psychedelia and other classic rock influences.

Melody and hooks lay alongside the speed and chaos. Ambitious song structures are highlighted by seamless transitions. It’s a record meant just as much to connect with as it is for dancing in the pit, which makes sense for a band on tour nearly nonstop. The songs sway between moments of self awareness like on single “Misled” and just having a good time, as with the punchy “On The Run.” “Painted World” ends the record with the band’s longest track yet, harkening in on those more off the cusp influences and putting forth Restraining Order’s full vision.

And in reflection of those final notes, Cozens’ emphasizes:

“I know that I can see the world the way I want to see it. I can make it mine. I can control my life and where I want to be. At first this world was too much but now I’ve learned to create my own.”