Malachi Greene noticed something not long ago at his hardcore band No Greater Fight’s second performance ever—locals were hungry for a good hardcore show. That show at Caffe Pergolesi had kids packing into every corner of the building, and even crowd surfing.
“A lot of people were caught off guard on the energy. Santa Cruz’s hardcore scene used to be pretty big. We didn’t see a lot of bands or people trying to get shows going. We decided we wanted to change that. That show gave us hope,” Greene says.
They’ve since played a handful of shows locally and throughout the region, and they have a five-song EP on Bandcamp, which shows off their pissed-off, beefy riff-driven hardcore sound that recalls L.A. punk from the early ’80s.
The members—Greene on vocals, Jay Morris on guitar, Justin Rhode on bass and Ben Eissmann on drums—met around town at punk shows. Upset that there wasn’t a lot of hardcore in Santa Cruz anymore, they decided to start their own group. Morris came up with the name, which, to the band is about standing up and fighting for what is right. The message is resonant in their tunes, as Greene yells at the top of his lungs about things that frustrate him, and ways he hopes to change it.
“A lot of people say the music sounds really angry or negative. But if you actually listen to the lyrics, it’s more positive than anything you’ll hear on the radio, where you’ll hear ‘be with every girl you can,’” Greene says. “It’s a way to have a controlled outlet. People are releasing energy in a mosh pit through music. It’s telling them that there’s more people feeling the same way, frustrated at whatever life is giving you at the time. That’s what we’re about, being ourselves.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-4135.