Tommy & the Terrors, In Harm’s Way, Suspect Device, Musclecah – The Middle East, Cambridge MA (December 19, 2001)

Musclecah opened this one. Personally, I’m already sick of the so-cheesy-it’s-cool hard rock schtick, but I’ll say this about Musclecah: these guys aren’t being ironic; they really are old long-haired rockers from Worcester. They actually bought their mesh baseball caps in the ’80s at the mall, not yesterday at the Salvation Army. Anyways, some good heavy riffs and an entertaining singer.

Next up was Suspect Device. For an explanation of their anthemic street-punk sound, refer to my gushing review of their CD, also in this issue. And if you have the CD, well, tonight they played several songs from it, such as “Another Day,” “Carry On,” and “Street Rock Soul.” Suspect Device are a non-flashy, inspiring band who rock the house. Even when he’s singing, Jay Bennett does not stop moving and jumping around, throwing his guitar neck up in the air at every hit as the drummer pounds away. The growing crowd perked up immediately.

I was surprised at the next band, In Harm’s Way. These young hardcore kids were not bad at all – I didn’t take too many notes because I was suddenly moved to jump in there and rhythmically punch and kick the air as if it was a real show. So that says something about In Harm’s Way and their good blend of old and new school HC.

Last up was Tommy & the Terrors. Tommy on stage is a well-spoken soccer hooligan. He humbly deflects applause and says what “an honor and a privilege” it is to play with the other bands. Then, suddenly, when a song starts, his face goes red as he furiously barks lyrics, pounding the air and wrapping the mic cable around his arm like a man possessed. The Terrors’ talented new lead guitarist gives them a professional, Skynyrd-esque element in the form of solos and a leopard-print guitar strap. The closer was “I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett (or whoever the hell did that song originally).

By Pat Kennedy

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