Suppression (aka The Fantastic Wonderfuls) is the two-piece, spastic side-project of Richmond native Ryan Parrish (drummer for Darkest Hour) and bassist Jason Hodges (The Amoeba Men). When I asked Ryan what they sounded like, he replied, in so many words, that their sound is a little whacked-out.
I've seen them twice since Ryan has come back from his last tour with Darkest Hour, and it has been, well, interesting. Both shows were in the basement of someone's house, and at first, I didn't know what to expect.
What I got was an in-your-face, speedy, grindy, punk explosion with minimal lyrics, a maximum of inaudible vocal noises and a weird sort of comedy routine in between songs. I honestly couldn't tell you if they were drunk or just pretending. Jason stared at the audience with a psychotic clown-like grin and belted out about seven or eight songs in a half hour. It definitely wasn't what I expected at all, but it was well worth experiencing.
The second basement I saw them in two weeks later started with the duo wearing electrical tape goatees and moustaches (which fell off when they got sweaty) and ended with both band members naked by their last song. How they landed a gig playing at Alleykatz and opening for the Salem, Mass., hardcore band Converge is beyond me. I'm sure it will defy people's expectations, one way or another.
Suppression plays Wednesday, Jan 24th 6-10 p.m. at Alleykatz with Converge, Lord By Fire, and War Graves. $10 in advance and $12 at the door.