Eyegouger, Cardiac Arrest, Johnny Vomit | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Eyegouger, Cardiac Arrest, Johnny Vomit Soundboard Recommended

When: Sun., Jan. 2, 7 p.m. 2011

In the late 80s Chicago's metal and hardcore scenes produced quite a few bands that preferred pulling faces to wearing the usual scowls. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see their goofiness as a liability—though the Internet now immortalizes every idiot who finishes a demo, most of these groups vanished so quickly and completely that not even the universe's largest collection of music trivia reflects their existence. But a few soldier on to this day, playing for their friends in what you might charitably call "the underground," almost completely unacknowledged by the media. Grindcore veterans EYEGOUGER, like fellow Chicagoans Macabre, are bigger overseas than in their own town, though that's not saying much. They call their music "Pornus Grind," and the adolescent gross-out lyrics to songs like "Chocolate Starfish" and "Transtesticle" make me grateful for the genre's short, speedy songs and unintelligible growled vocals—the big sing-along chant in "Ass Attack" goes "Tongue my balls, eat my ass / Come on bitch, you got class." These northwest-siders got started in 1988 and opened for their mentors the Mentors at Club Dreamerz in 1991, when Wicker Park was a bit less gentrified. (Fun fact: Dave Ingram, who played bass with Eyegouger in 1990, later joined Bolt Thrower.) In 1991 the band released the seven-inch EP "Ass Rotor" (Nuclear Blast/Mind Control), and in '93 they started recording for a full-length to be called Ass Attack. The sessions ended when guitarist Nipple Cruncher, who owned most of the band's gear, moved to take a new job so he could support his family, and since then Eyegouger has existed mostly during extremely intermittent reunions. Lately, though, they've put together a respectable string of gigs and returned to recording Ass Attack—which they're still threatening to eventually release.

South-siders JOHNNY VOMIT play relatively straightfoward hardcore and focus on grossness of the projectile kind. Vocalist Johnny Vomit and guitarist Roman Around founded the group while they were in college in DeKalb in 1986, under the influence of Discharge and the Meatmen; they combined the names of their high school bands, John Doe and Vomit. Their lineup hasn't changed in 15 years, and their style hasn't changed in even longer—if you find something you like, you stick with it, I guess. Their most recent full-length is 2006's Extreme Championship Drinking (NGS), and they've since released a 32-song compilation, Vomiting Sessions (Infest Productions), that collects odds and ends from 1989 through 2004.

Eyegouger headlines; local death-metal diehards Cardiac Arrest (who released their third full-length, Haven for the Insane, on Ibex Moon in June) and Johnny Vomit open. —Vera Videnovich

Price: $3

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