Allura has the Keys to the Club

Hollywood is a place where there is
never a lack of activity. From nightclubs
and bars to fine dining and shopping,
one can almost always find an exciting
way to spend their day or evening in
this unique, world-famous city. Last
Thursday night was no exception,
as a somewhat underground scene
of hardcore punk/ metal music fans
gathered to see some of their favorite
bands play at the Key Club on Sunset

The groups featured on the bill
included several bands that had just
finished touring together on Van's
Warped Tour this summer, such as
Chaser, a melodic hardcore punk band
from Orange County, Black President,
another hardcore punk band from Los
Angeles with psychobilly roots, and
Allura, a hardcore punk/ metal band
from the South Bay of Los Angeles.
The headliner of the show, another
hardcore punk/ metal band coming out
of Fullerton, was Death By Stereo, the
most well known of the performers
that took the stage on Thursday night.
Each band's set was filled with a very
intense energy that is rarely seen outside
of these underground shows, as the
performers on stage were not the only
ones participating in the action.
Sure, you've heard of mosh pits,
but shows like this generate what
lead guitarist of Allura Taylor Killam
call a "mosh pit on steroids." To an
outsider, it might look like some sort
of choreographed fight scene from "The
Matrix," but in actuality it is a form of
dancing. "It's a type of expression, a
release," said Killam about the dancing.
"We write our music to make people

The raw anger and energy that we
and other bands like us pack into our
music and lyrics is meant to encourage
physical contact amongst our fans. And
even though it might not sound like a
good idea to jump into a swirling pool of
bodies trying to beat the snot out of each
other, it really is a blast. A lot of times
when I'm playing it's really difficult
for me to not jump off the stage and be
a part of it."
But it's not just senseless violence and
anger that can be seen at events like this,
as there is a definite fraternity amongst
the strangers exchanging fists. "You're
supposed to get a little beat up, but no
one's really trying to hurt each other,"
said Jon Thomson, bassist of Allura who
also happens to be a psychology major
here at Santa Monica College.

"If someone falls down, everyone
picks him up. If someone's nose gets
broken, we give them some ice. Nothing
is personal, and everyone leaves their
grudges on the floor. It's really cool, you
know? I don't think there's anywhere
else in the world where I can hit a
perfect stranger in the jaw and have
a friendly conversation with him 10
minutes later."

And while the dancing is a big part
of the experience in attending one of
these live shows, it is not what these
bands make their music for, as every
group that played on Thursday night
used a good amount of their time on
stage preaching to the crowd about their
opinion of the passing of Proposition 8
here in California. "It is not my place
to say who you can and cannot love,"
said lead singer/front man of Death By
Stereo Efrem Schulz in a passionate
speech between songs. Schulz even
questioned the presence of his audience
as an enormous protest to the passing of
the proposition raged on a few blocks
away, as he said "what are you doing
here? You should be out there, protesting
Prop. 8!"

Black President, who was named as
such long before the election of Senator
Barack Obama, also spoke their minds
extensively on the subject, calling
Proposition 8 "the worst violation of
human rights in America since the Civil
Rights Movement."

So if you like hardcore punk/ metal,
be sure to check out any or all of these
great bands. Raw, passionate and not
afraid to speak their minds, all four
bands can be found on iTunes, or their
respective myspace pages: myspace.
com/alluraband;;; and