Restraining Order Made Me Piss Blood

Restraining Order Made Me Piss Blood

I went to see Restraining Order, and then I pissed blood. This is not a figure of speech, and it’s not an exaggeration. I got back from the Restraining Order show on Friday night, went to the bathroom, and was like, “Damn, that’s blood.”

It’s my fault. I got myself checked out at the ER the next day, and apparently I was just severely dehydrated. Restraining Order headlined a show in the back of a Mexican restaurant, and it was pretty hot in there. I moshed a little bit — not a full-on pit-warrior throwdown or anything, but enough that I got sweaty. I could’ve drank water, but I drank Pacifico instead. I’m all better now.

Maybe you didn’t want to read about my piss today. This story is pretty embarrassing, and I would’ve rather not spent my Saturday morning in a hospital. But what am I going to do here? Not mention pissing blood after the Restraining Order show? The way this column goes, that’s an endorsement. Go! See Restraining Order! Piss blood!

You really should see Restraining Order, though. That’s a miracle band. Back when I first started this column in 2020, I saw Restraining Order play a Richmond punk house that’s since burned down, and the energy in that living room was absolutely off the meter. I felt like I was there for something legendary. I’ve seen Restraining Order a few more times since then, and it’s always been lit. Friday night’s show was the best I’ve seen them since that punk house. I wish I would’ve had some damn water, but I’m not the least bit sorry I went.

When Restraining Order first arrived, they were playing old-school ’81-style hardcore with verve and commitment. They were fast and simple and energized, but that’s true of a lot of hardcore bands. What set Restraining Order apart — beyond the terrible name, which has prevented me from ever buying their merch because I don’t want to look like a sketchy motherfucker — was the songs. Restraining Order write catchier singalong hooks than almost anyone else on the entire hardcore landscape. You hear “What Will You Do” or “Something For The Youth,” and you want to jump on someone’s shoulders and yell into a mic.

Last year, Restraining Order released their extremely sick sophomore album Locked In Time. It’s got more speed, more simplicity, more great singalong moments, but it’s also got acoustic guitars and tambourines occasionally showing up in the mix. They’re still a hardcore band, but they’re having fun with the format. That’s on record. At the burrito place on Friday, Restraining Order did not bust out any damn acoustic guitars. It wasn’t that kind of night. They were fun and intense and rigorous, and those songs sounded amazing.

This wasn’t a big show, especially a month after the Drain circus rolled through town. Restraining Order played a room that always feels jammed, especially with merch tables at the back, and you pretty much had to either mosh or flatten yourself up against a wall. I moshed for Restraining Order and flattened myself for the other bands, all of whom fit into the same general lane. Restraining Order were doing a weekend trip up the East Coast with Connecticut’s Wreckage, who play stompily sincere singalong music in the Turning Point vein. Restraining Order’s Keith Freeman filled in on bass, and Wreckage sounded awesome. They didn’t get the same huge reaction, but it was their first gig in town. Sometimes, these things take time. Wreckage’s Self In All EP came out last month, and you should really check it out.

The two other bands were locals. Stockpile only just dropped their demo, and they already had people singing along. I’m pretty sure that Wasted Space, who have been playing in town for a while, are actual kids; I’d be surprised if anyone in that band is older than 20. Both are a lot of fun, and both played fast and hard and got out of there quickly. Wasted Space’s set was probably less than 10 minutes, and they stopped playing abruptly when a guitar stopped working. (This was still enough time for someone in the pit to get really bloody.) In any case, it was the kind of show where the first band goes on at 8PM and the second band is done by 8:30. I love that kind of show. You should go to that kind of show. You should also hydrate.

Clockface – “Remembered Voice”

Listen to those fucking drums. Sometimes, you know you’re about to hear something special from the instant that the drums kick in. “Remembered Voice” is a sincere Midwestern stomp, fully orthodox until the cool trippy keyboards come in on the outro. It’s all about the tangible memories you feel for someone who isn’t alive anymore. That’s about the heaviest subject that you can tackle. I don’t know how to handle the feeling in my own life, and I bet the people in Clockface don’t know it any better than I do. The drums help, though. [From Demo 2024 Volume 2, self-released, out now.]

Ends Of Sanity – “Not Alone”

“You’ll never walk alone” is a beautiful sentiment. It’s beautiful in the context of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical or as something that a stadium full of British soccer fans yells together. It’s also beautiful when three different North Carolina hardcore frontmen are shouting it at you all at once. (This song has Magnitude’s Russell Bussey and Advent’s Joe Musten, along with regular Ends Of Sanity yeller James Aloisio.) That’s what we’re doing here, right? Hardcore isn’t isolated-listening headphone music. It’s social. It isn’t really itself until you’re in a crowded room, fighting for your life but also feeling total solidarity with the people who might be backfisting you in the eye. Maybe these things are unspoken, but I like it when a song comes out and says it, especially with full anthemic force. [From “E.O.W.” b/w “Not Alone” single, out now on DAZE.]

Firewalker – “Lit Up With Fire”

You ever think, like, how it would feel to be a cinderblock? Cinderblocks aren’t alive. I know that. But what if they were? You think a cinderblock would be happy just being part of a wall? Or just going through life as the thing that keeps a door open in a garage? That’s not how I’d feel, man. If I was a cinderblock, I don’t think I’d be happy until I crashed through a Tesla windshield. Once that happened, I’d be like, “I have accomplished all my goals.” Food for thought. This song is good. [From Hell Bent out 6/28 on Triple B Records.]

Happy Valley – “Days That End In Why”

If I came up with a phrase as awesomely dumb as “Days That End In Why,” I would take the rest of the day off and just celebrate my own greatness. Happy Valley did not take the rest of the day off. Instead, they used that phrase as the title for a primal, hard-chugging metallic screamo freakout that I like almost as much as its title. Did you know they had screamo in Wellington, New Zealand? I’ll be honest: I did not. Judging by this, though, they’re good at it. They should make more. [From Days That End In Why, self-released, out now.]

High Vis – “Mob DLA”

I’ve come back to High Vis’ 2022 album Blending again and again. It’s such a weird, magnetic record. The swagger, the hooks, and the riffs are all huge. A million hardcore bands love Oasis; High Vis are the only one who really show an Oasis influence and make it work for them. So I was ready for “Mob DLA,” but I wasn’t quite ready for how this song makes me feel. Everything I loved about Blending is still here, but now High Vis sound mechanistic, beaten-down. That’s on purpose. They’ve got an audience now, and they’ve got a point to make. They’re here to let us know that Crass didn’t take their sloganeering far enough: “They owe you more than a fucking living! We owe you more!” The next High Vis record can’t come soon enough. [Stand-alone single, out now on Dais Records.]

Invocation – “Sacrifice”

Krishna hardcore, baby! I’ve never understood it, but I hope it never goes away! We’re decades past Shelter and 108, but there’s still something so energizing about hearing motherfuckers screaming about self-annihilation and Govinda. This is music made by people who feel total clarity about what they’re doing, and you can tell. Must be nice. [From “Sacrifice” b/w “Padma” single, self-released, out now.]

Lucta – “Incubus”

In the Stereogum Slack, Chris wrote something like this: “I’d lucta hear more of this.” That was so good. I was so mad I didn’t come up with it. My response was to be like, “What would that accent be? Scottish?” And then I spent about 10 minutes trying to type phonetically Scottish stuff, to the amusement of absolutely nobody. That’s just a little peak-behind-the-curtain moment for you. Anyway, this comes from Milan, and it fucking rips. It makes me want to stick my face in some lawnmower blades. Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes. [From Eterna Lotta, out 6/28 on Static Shock Records.]

Nails – “Imposing Will”

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new Nails song. Todd Jones has put together a new lineup for his group, but the experience of hearing one of their songs for the first time hasn’t changed. It feels weirdly similar to how Hunter Biden must’ve felt when he was high on crack in a strip club and bumping Fleet Foxes, but it probably also feels like the opposite of that. I don’t know, man. It feels like inner peace, achieved through the most pulverizingly violent sound that this fuckig guy can imagine. It feels like embracing the void. Shit slaps. [From Every Bridge Burning, out 8/30 on Nuclear Blast Records.]

No Future – “Progress”

Discharge’s Reality Of War 7″ came out in 1980, so D-beat has literally existed for 44 years. It’s a codified sound with its own tradition and culture and everything. A big knock against a lot of D-beat bands is that their sounds sound the same; you can’t tell where they begin and end. But really good D-beat, like the kind made by Perth’s No Future, can still feel futuristic — this overwhelming speed-pummel that sounds the way your brain feels after too much doomscrolling. This song makes me feel sick, and I mean that as the highest compliment. [From Mirror, out now on Iron Lung Records.]

Temper Tantrum – “Eyes On Me”

“Walked miles just to stand on trial! That’s right, that’s the Tantrum style!” Hell yeah. Perfect. Perfect lyric, perfect disgusting bass tone, perfect fast riffs, perfect back-and-forth yelling, perfect shred-your-face guitar solo. The breakdown is somehow better than perfect. This is what you need to know about hardcore, if you don’t already know it, which you probably do if you’ve read down this far: You can keep going back to the same ideas over and over again as long as you attack them with verve and passion and (Tantrum) style. [From Baby Time EP, self-released, out 6/28.]

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