Duane Peters and the Hunns, Bonecrusher, Smogtown: live at The House of Blues, 10/26/01 By Jim

I found out about this show about twenty minutes before it started. Apparently I wasn’t the only one not to know because the show was so badly undersold they moved it from the main stage to the bar upstairs. Even in the more intimate setting, only a handful of people were there. I arrived just in time to see Smogtown and it was one of the more disappointing sets I’ve seen them play. As usual, they totally shredded but they got there late and had to keep their set to five songs. I was eager to hear some of their new material from the domesticviolenceland release but it didn’t happen.

In a perfect world there would be no Bonecrusher. A perfect world it’s not and Bonecrusher reminds us – in more ways than one – what a fucked-up brutal place it can be. They dedicated the song “Problems in the Nation” off the EP of the same name to the victims of the WTC terror attack, a move both appropriate and eerie because the song is extraordinarily prescient. (“Flags are flying at half-mast today/Innocent victims getting blown away/Caught in the trap of a terrorist scheme/Is this what you call the American Dream?”) Heavy shit. Bonecrusher played with a new drummer and even though he acquitted himself admirably it was obvious he was a tad slow at times.

It was starting to look like a down night. Short set. Out of step. Nobody to play for. It was a built-in excuse for the Hunns to blow, but Duane Peters would hear none of it. The Hunns were as good as I’ve ever seen them, even with the lineup changes, proving yet again that Duane is first and foremost a consummate showman. Many bands would have packed it in, but the Hunns, led by the Master of Disaster, soldiered on through an extraordinary set, closing with a ripping version of “Nuke HB.” Maybe they should nuke the House of Blues instead.