Started in 2009 as a last-minute replacement for the canceled Athens PopFest, SlopFest has become one of the essential items on the Athens music calendar, an always-thrilling mix of punk, metal and heavy rock with a few random flavors thrown in for good measure. In a sense, the event is townie paradise—a delirious, debauched, four-day festival that only costs $8 for the whole shebang. To sweeten the deal, all proceeds benefit Girls Rock Athens.
Thursday through Saturday, the action takes place at Little Kings Shuffle Club downtown; Hi-Lo Lounge in Normaltown hosts Sunday’s finale. Though there will certainly be no shortage of mayhem over the course of this long weekend, we invited organizer Derek Wiggs—also a member of Shehehe, which plays Sunday—to predict SlopFest 2016’s six sloppiest sets. The full lineup can be found in this week’s Calendar.
Linda (Thursday, time TBA)
WIGGS SAYS: “Unhinged party-punk delivered in a very Tony Clifton-esque manner.”
WE SAY: The relatively new five-piece blends ’80s hardcore with ’90s college-rock—the Germs’ unbridled ferocity meets Pavement’s winking scorn. Frontman Samuel Gribbon seems barely there, yet he is the band’s secret weapon, his narcotized vocals masking ultra-clever lyrics and a dexterous delivery.
The Trespasser (Friday, 7 p.m.)
WIGGS SAYS: “Opening on Friday night is the highly prolific songwriter Derek Lord, from Atlanta. This will be only his second live show despite the massive amount of material he creates. [He’s got a] wry wit and slightly goofy sincerity.”
WE SAY: He’s new(s) to us… but cripes, dude’s Bandcamp page is loaded. A quick perusal of said page reveals a laid-back, lo-fi alley-folk vibe with a touch of dystopic-city daydreaming. Like if Beck’s early recordings had a love child with Arthur Russell.
The Rodney Kings (Friday, 10:30 p.m.)
WIGGS SAYS: “Everybody should have had the pleasure to cut loose and get rowdy at one of their shows by now. This being their farewell show, I’m sure it will be a dust-up.”
WE SAY: It’s tough to say goodbye to one of Athens punk’s most essential bands of the past few years, but we’re also positive the Kings will go out in trademark dirty, dangerous style. Please, for your sake, wear earplugs.
Twinki (Friday, 12:30 a.m.)
WIGGS SAYS: “Drag-rap from Jacksonville, FL. Incredible and indescribable almost. Especially after the madness The Fuzzlers stir up shortly beforehand. Just don’t fuck with her wig.”
WE SAY: Twinki has made Athens her second home over the past few months and has quickly amassed a group of local loyalists in the process. Her “raunchy sexxxcore” is brash, subversive and amazingly fun live. See what all the fuss is about Friday.
Hayride (Saturday, 12:30 a.m.)
WIGGS SAYS: “The classic Athens band will be jumping on to finish us all off after the combined madness of Savagist, Vincas, The Powder Room and Motherfucker. Not sure what they have up their sleeve, but those guys can play every song in the world. All of them.”
WE SAY: These guys have been doing their thing since way back in 1991, which means their band has survived grunge, nu-metal and EDM—and somehow, the music sounds as vital as ever. Like Five Eight, we’re lucky Hayride is still around to remind us of the simple power of well-executed rock and roll.
Deep State (Sunday, 11 p.m.)
WIGGS SAYS: “The official ‘you don’t have to go home, but can’t stay here’ band of SlopFest. Sending everybody off with a highly energetic and slightly sticky way.”
WE SAY: Deep State’s powder keg of a punk show straddles the line between drunken bedlam and stone-faced certainty. The musicianship of these four fellas is off the charts, which is why it’s so fun to watch them descend into chaos.
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