These days, finding a sliver of originality in a punk rock or metal band is pretty hard to do. However, finding a band that mixes both genres flawlessly is even harder. But that is exactly what Columbus, Georgia’s Two Thirteen does.
These four chaps from the land of peaches offer up a sound that you aren’t likely to find on your typical punk or metal label, much less on your local rock radio station, and not because it isn’t good enough—but maybe it’s a little too good. Their latest self-released album, “Goregasm,” is the perfect blend of snotty bare bones punk rock, infused with blistering, blackened heavy metal that makes for a truly unique sound and one hell of a listening experience.
Although Columbus is where these bloodthirsty rockers dwell and command a strong following, they are no strangers to Pensacola. Having played here a couple of times before to much fanfare, their reputation helped them score an opening slot at Vinyl Music Hall in December, in which we will also find our heroes sharing the stage with their heroes, The Misfits.
But before that, Two Thirteen will be playing an old school punk rock show at Big Easy Tavern with fellow Georgians No More Analog, as well as Pensacola’s finest, The Spanx and Diversity is an Old Wooden Ship.
“We have always liked stopping in Pensacola for shows,” says guitarist and vocalist Chad Darkwait. “We played there with The Spanx back in July, and that was a great show. We look forward to hooking back up with them. They are amazing.”
Darkwait, who recently welcomed his second child a little over a month ago, is not only excited to reunite with The Spanx again, but the show at Big Easy Tavern on Sept. 18 will also be a reunion of sorts for some old friends that happen to be in the bands on the bill.
You see, growing up in the punk rock scene of Alabama back in the mid- to late-nineties, Chad was introduced to many of Dothan’s premier punk rock enthusiasts (one of them being myself as a much younger man), including a dude by the name of Matt Hardeman, a.k.a. “The Cap’n,” and a fellow from Pensacola named Josh Taylor, who came up on occasion to play shows with legendary pop punkers Hadji and the Turbans in his own group, The Metros.
What makes it so interesting is that, over the years, as the Dothan scene became more and more nonexistent and old bands broke up, each of the aforementioned musicians, except for Taylor, who is from here in Pensacola, departed from the Circle City to pursue a better life and a more vibrant scene.
Now, over 10 years later, each of the three old friends will find themselves back together to play one hell of a show, which is sure to be one hell of a party.
“It’s going to be great,” says Darkwait. “I haven’t seen Matt or Josh in years, so I’m really looking forward to hanging out and playing with those dudes. We have tried to put together some shows with No More Analog up here in Georgia, but nothing ever panned out, so it’s funny that we will both be traveling to Florida to do a show together. The fact that Taylor’s band is playing too just makes it that much sweeter.”
Two Thirteen will definitely be the heaviest band on the bill, which doesn’t bother them at all, considering how many shows they end up playing with hardcore and death metal bands.
“We’re used to being the sore thumb on most gigs,” Darkwait explains. “Our sound is just as much metal as it is punk rock, which makes it pretty difficult to put us with bands that share a similar style. We’re usually too punk rock for metal shows, or too metal for most punk shows. That’s all right by us, though. Whether they like us or not, it makes us hard to forget.”
Having gone through a few lineup changes before settling into the tightly knit group you hear on “Goregasm,” Two Thirteen will be going through what will probably be the most difficult member change yet, but not until they mix it up with The Misfits in December.
“It’s sad to know that our days with drummer Zack Dees are drawing to an end,” Chad says. “He and I started Two Thirteen, and it’s very hard to see him go, but he’s our brother and we understand and support him in his decision. That isn’t to say we aren’t upset about it.
“Zack is my best friend, and I cried when he told me he was going to leave the band, but he’s going to stick with us until January, or until we find another drummer with his kind of skill and passion for this music. Zack’s last show with us will probably be The Misfits show, which will be a great way to send him off, seeing as how opening for that band has always been one of our big goals. This isn’t the end by any means. Two Thirteen will never die!”
WHAT: Two Thirteen with The Spanx, No More Analog and Diversity is an Old Wooden Ship
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
WHERE: Big Easy Tavern, 710 N. Palafox St. (right below The Days Inn)
COST: $3, ages 16 and up
DETAILS: sinistralentertainment.com, or myspace.com/twothirteenmurders