GHOUL Tues 4/15 Branx
OFF! Fri 4/11 Hawthorne Theatre Aaron Farley

Defect Defect w/Smoke Rings, Love and Caring, Cockeye; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th
Defect Defect have been a fixture of Portland's punk scene since before you moved here, having been formed in 2006 by members of local heroes the Observers (who, in turn, formed following the disintegration of an even older band called the Speds). Still, lead singer and man-about-town Colin Grigson seems to be caught in a permanent punk stasis—he still looks like a snot-nosed, disheveled 19-year-old pizza delivery guy even though he's got to be older than that. But who's counting the candles? Sometimes—actually, make that most of the time—the worst thing a band can do is mature, in any sense of the word. Defect Defect's lone, self-titled LP is a terse, blistering affair (it runs at 45 rpm!), and it's one of the best unadorned punk albums this city has produced in years.


Off! w/Cerebral Ballzy, NASA Space Universe, Long Knife; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez
Off! is a supergroup consisting of hardcore veterans Keith Morris of Black Flag and Circle Jerks, Steve McDonald of Redd Kross, Dimitri Coats of Burning Brides, and Mario Rubalcaba of Hot Snakes, which is funny because even the mere concept of a "supergroup"—a product of AOR excess—seems antithetical to punk. But Morris is also an unabashed apologist for Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom Off! have opened for on multiple occasions, further indicating some degree of culpability there. Dwindling cred aside, the group's latest record, Wasted Years, clocks in at 17 tracks in under 25 minutes and kicks several varieties of ass—although we all know there will never be a supergroup that's more hardcore than the Highwaymen. 


Cult Leader w/Yautja, Sloths, Low Sky; Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th
Formed out of the remnants of minor-league hardcore/metal legends Gaza—who formally called it quits last year under nebulous circumstances—Cult Leader is the newest project from that band's instrumental crux. The previous band's unremitting velocity is exchanged for a heightened technicality here, although I'm sure those breakdowns are no less "punishing," or whatever.


Loma Prieta w/Fucking Invincible, U SCO, Carrion Spring; Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th
Putting Loma Prieta's painfully haughty, Hitler Youth haircut, "authentic" punk personae to one side, their latest effort, I.V., is a brutal, chaotic, and cathartic scream-otional chef d'oeuvre. (Sadly, though, opening track "Fly by Night" is not a hardcore interpretation of Rush's perennial classic of the same name.)


Ghoul w/Iron Reagan, Occultist, Moldy Castle; Branx, 320 SE 2nd
Hilarious, half-serious thrash featuring members of Dystopia, Impaled, Wolves in the Throne Room, and more, performed while wearing bloody cloth bags on their heads.