Thursday, November 20, 2014


Fun. The F word in hardcore.

What we decide is fun says a lot about us. Usually the more "fun" a band is, the more they suck. Refer to: Good Clean Fun. In some cases though, bands can pull it off and do well with the fun motif. Take the case of RZL DZL who make it clear that everything they do is ridiculous, but they're high as hell while they do it so you either get it or you don't, but that's your problem. Compare this to Good Clean Fun who play to a crowd like a bad comedian, complete with rim shots, and a "is this thing on?"

Where do the Omegas fit on the fun scale? Recorded, you wouldn't necessarily say they're fun. They're a pretty straight forward mix of NYHC and first wave USHC. The mix makes them fast, mean, and bouncy (a trait that a lot of the first wave USHC bands lacked but NYHC perfected). Hailing from Montreal, Canada (one of the more underrated hardcore strongholds in North America), Omegas was formed in 2007 with Ryan "Hoagie" Hogan, Spoiler (formerly of Belgium's Justice), Yannick Sarrazin, Dan Scheme, and Tony Frenchman.

The Omegas are a tale of two different bands that are also the same. The first band is the recorded Omegas. Pissed off, unrestrained, and all over the place. The recorded output of the Omegas is stellar and their pedigree is well-traveled. Their demo was released on the European-based Powered Records. The Sonic Order EP was released on High Anxiety Records. The Blasts of Lunacy LP was released on acclaimed punk label Parts Unknown Records. Their NY Terminator EP was released on Boston's Painkiller Records. Good hardcore punk labels want to work with good bands. It isn't supernatural. Everybody has wanted a piece of the Omegas.

The second band is the live act. Omegas shows are an experience. The first time I saw them it was at Chaos In Tejas 2011 with Tragedy, Mind Eraser at a day show. Guess who was the best band? Featuring Hoagie in boxers and a duster jacket, the Omegas got the place to explode. There was a 36" pizza that was brought into the pit which led to a foodfight, a giant oversized foam Texas longhorns hat adorned with Omegas related graffiti, and kids losing their minds. A group of Chicago straight edge kids tore the room apart. At one point, they commandeered a riser box from the front of the Emo's Inside stage and started launching themselves into the crowd from every direction. It took three bouncers to physically take down one of the kids who was laughing hysterically while getting choked out.

After that show, I had to know about every Omegas show, even the ones I wasn't at. Every time the Omegas play a big fest, I hit up Spoiler about the details because I know something crazy happened. For last year's Not Dead Yet fest in Toronto, he told me about the Omegas set. The band got a friend to dress up like a bouncer (complete with SECURITY shirt) and have him try to shut down the show. The punk crowd, with a natural contempt for bouncers, was getting anxious and things looked like they were about to go south. Hoagie then grabs the bouncer by the shirt, tearing it off, and revealing under an Omegas shirt. The Omegas swerved the audience. The bouncer was with the Omegas the whole time. The crowd erupted in celebration. The whole thing was a nod to the famous Mike Tyson / Degeneration-X stunt from the WWF in 1998 and a testament to the nuanced sense of humor the band has.

That's the point of the Omegas. It is fun and it is hardcore. Both are nihilistic. That's how Omegas get away with what they do. Regardless of the act, be it a hard song or a pizza food fight... there's no higher meaning to it, it just is. The band has never lost touch with their philosophy. There's no rhyme or reason to any of it really. It just happens. They do them and the crowd follows. The Omegas' idea of fun is not fun for many people. They're a niche within a niche. They've conquered two styles of hardcore that many fail the mastery of one. The Omegas are for people with sensibilities and those without sense. That's the way they've always wanted it.

Included is their demo, all three EPs, and the Blasts of Lunacy LP.

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