Afro Punk/Matrix Show-case
SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., March 14, 2008
Afro Punk/Matrix Show-caseVice, Wednesday, March 12
The 2003 James Spooner documentary Afro-Punk explores race in punk and indie rock, including dozens of interviews with blacks who love the energy and culture of punk rock but struggle with the isolation that stems from often being the only person of color at shows. The film spawned a vibrant community of like-minded Afro-rockers who, like this showcase, prove that no box is big enough to contain the diversity of black music. Brixton, UK, cockney punk rockers the Thirst opened the night and proved the fourpiece's obvious affinity for the Clash, Jimi Hendrix, and Jamaican ska. The stage could barely contain Afrobots, a frenetic Los Angeles electro-rock quartet led by São Paulo-born firecracker Rico Dolce Riot. The keyboard player donned a leopard mask and a man in a chipmunk suit joined the riotous dance party onstage for the final song. Brooklyn, New York, scream-core rap-metal sixpiece Game Rebellion – think Ice-T's Body Count, not Limp Bizkit – nearly incited a mosh-pit riot with consecutive hardcore covers of Jay-Z, Nirvana, and the Geto Boys. You could question their spending a sizable chunk of the set playing other people's music, but then Game Rebellion would punch you in the face.