It's a numbers game. Even though the population of St. John's is only a third of Halifax's, its punk scene is almost like any other. "Everyone is in 10 bands," says Weak Link vocalist Michael Phillips, "and there's always the same old shit talk and shenanigans."
Weak Link brings the bucks with its first seven-inch release, Drop the Dime, at Shake It Dance Studio on Saturday. Four other bands on the bill, including NFLD's Asshole Adult and locals Word On The Street and Mean Mug, cash in at the all-ages venue. If you're among the first 30 there, you can pick up a new issue of Beast of the East hardcore zine or trade a mixtape.
Like its first two tapes, Drop the Dime accounts for why Weak Link started the band in 2008. Different than anything else going on in St. John's at the time, Phillips says, "we wanted to play something fast and stripped down." So the EP offers succinct tracks that are heavy on the bass and simple in the vocals. From home recording to the album art, Weak Link's DIY aesthetic probably has as much to do with punk style as it does the remoteness of Newfoundland.
"Location is a challenge, definitely. And don't ask me how we got more than one good venue" in St. John's, Phillips says. Weak Link's favourite spot: "This kid Derrick's dad's shed. It's more of a garage, actually. It rules hanging out with people who feel alienated and pissed off in a lot of the same ways we do. Needless to say, Derrick's dad is the chillest guy ever.
"We have a lot of friends in Halifax, so it's always a good time," he says. Hopefully no one throws up. "Our guitarist once puked on stage," Phillips remembers, "and I almost puked from the smell of the puke."
The only chance you'll vomit on Saturday is if you get elbowed in the stomach, and either way, it's a good investment. Count on it, Phillips says. "Our Halifax shows are always ragers."
Weak Link w/Word On The Street, Asshole Adult, Mean Mug, Castle Wolfenstein, Saturday, April 21 at Shake It Dance Studio, 5523 Cornwallis Street, 6pm, $5
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