Once upon a time, hardcore meant shaved heads, circle pits and violent punk rock instead of coiffed hair, tight pants and melodies. Bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Battalion of Saints brought the kids out from Los Angeles and San Diego, but in Santa Cruz, all that mattered was Bl’ast!
Formed in the early ’80s by Cliff Dinsmore, Mike Neider, Dave Cooper, and Bill Torgerson, Bl’ast! would release three albums with SST Records before separating. Last year, the band reunited with the discovery of alternate recordings to their albums It’s In My Blood and The Power of Expression, and played two sold-out shows with Neurosis in San Francisco. Friday, April 18, marks their first hometown show in more than 13 years. Joined by Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) on bass and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age, Wasted Youth), Bl’ast! will be sharing the stage with local grind-thrashers Fast Asleep, and legendary Santa Cruz punks Swingin’ Utters. With rumors of a couple vinyl-only, single releases in the works, Bl’ast!’s future is uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: “Anyone’s who interested in seeing Bl’ast! should do it now because we never seem to last,” Dinsmore laughs. “It’s now or never.”
INFO: Bl’ast! plays Friday at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, at 9 p.m. $12/$16.