Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snappy Crotch Kicks Take On Black Market

There is good music, there is great music, there is bad music, and there is badass music, we are BADASS!!!
Band Interests
Drinkin, Smokin, Fuckin, and being somewhat of a bastard, set to music!!
Artists We Also Like
The Clash, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Rancid, Black Flag, The Descendants, NOFX, Ol' Dirty Bastard

This is what you see when you go to Snappy Crotch Kicks page. I was unsure of what to expect when seeing their show at Black Market, a bar in the Cincinnati area which hosts live music, much of it, local talent. It’s located on a slope across from The Lowbrow Palace, a prominent local live music venue. As you walk inside Black Market, low ceilings give the place a basement like feel. The black walls, well they don’t help, but it supports local art shows and has a large patio that makes up for moments of possible claustrophobia.
Tonight we’re here to see the Snappy Crotch Kicks play. They’re the last show of three bands. It’s 12:00am and everyone has a good buzz going. A tall girl in a short, short, red dress is trying desperately to be looked at. She is pretending to be a lesbian with a more than willing chubby friend in the corner. The chubby friend smiles, rubs red dress’s leg, and looks around hopefully, but no one is looking.
The Snappy Crotch Kicks are setting up as we take our seats right in front of them. Daniel and my two faithful friends Nacho, and Sarah have accompanied me in my journey of writing about the El Paso music scene. Tonight, Nacho and Sarah look at me with a little trepidation because neither of them has an appreciation for rockish music, loud heavy guitar and both tend to get a furrow between their brows and head for the bar. I smile reassuringly, although I’m not sure what to expect.
The Snappy’s are just about done setting up and the lead singer Nathan Zeller introduces the band. He seems brash in the way a punk band leader should be, and later in the week when I meet with the band he is brash, answering my questions with the same stage persona I witnessed at Black Market. When I ask where the name Snappy Crotch Kicks came from he answers, “Basically, it’s me and a friend cutting each other down. He called me a faggot sex priest, and I told him I’d give him a snappy crotch kick. It came out of joke.” The rest of the band, Tony Buonvino, Gabe Escandon and Angel Gonzalez agree laughing. Gonzalez, the drummer and founding member along with Zeller, tells, “Yeah, he came to me and said, ‘I got a name the Snappy Crotch Kicks, you wanna join up?,’ and that’s how we got started.”
The band gets started and their influences are readily apparent. Under genre on their Facebook page they list “Rowdy Rock” and they are true to their genre. Bands that come to mind are NOFX and a lighter version of Black Flag. They interact with the crowd and during one song Zeller falls on the floor bent back from the knees. It makes me uncomfortable knowing the feeling of over-stretching your body as he’s bent at the odd angle, but the crowd cheers and obvious off-duty soldiers jump and bump against each other to the music in a small make-shift mosh pit.
This seems like a long way from how the Snappy’s got started. The band has been together since 2003 and, the start was a meager one, but Zeller and Gonzalez, made the best with what they had, an acoustic guitar, an electric drum set, a computer, and one microphone. Since then, they’ve had members that have come and gone, but now it is the four members with Escandon, and Buonvino, being the newest member, who began his relationship with the Snappy’s as a fan.
When asked what the transition was like, “It was really cool, obviously, one of those things, if you dig a band, especially a local band here in El Paso. It’s hard to find somebody who’s playing some kind of music with real feeling rather than getting up there and they’re like ‘Hey look at us’. It seems like a lot of bands are doing something like that. You know, but these guys have a lot of feeling to it and you can tell they're into it and giving it their all.” Going from a fan who listened to their music to being on stage with them now, is something that is apparent in his playing. Buonvino smiles as he plays and smiles bigger when the military boys in front of him bounce against one another. This is the moment where he is a part of the machine that is Snappy Crotch Kicks.
At any show I can’t help but look around at the crowd and the people here are feeding off the energy that the Snappy’s are providing. Gonzalez is sweaty and drumming as if his life depended on it. Escandon, attentive but quiet during the interview, plays with the same silent intensity. The four together are an addition to the El Paso scene. Their sound is something that has been developed through a process Gonzalez describes when talking about the El Paso music scene, “I respect all the musicians in El Paso, because there was times when I started out, and everything is a process, you know what I mean? You just don’t come out with songs out of nowhere, it takes time, years. It takes looking like fool and going out and putting your whole soul on the line.” This is apparent in how they play and the fans here at Black Market are feeding off it.
They end their set close to 2am. Everyone is more than a little buzzed including the Snappy’s as several fans bought them shots in between songs. As they tear down their gear the people who had been jumping and bumping mull around them and sometimes get in their way as they start to carry their equipment out. But, that’s okay, because they’re the Snappy Crotch Kicks, smoking, drinking, fucking, fucking, bastards.

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