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Anything for a Weird Life

Truth Cult (Last Show)

I am always looking for the right opportunity. That moment when a band or individual should be spotlit, praised, celebrated in writing… it is tricky and imperfect. Like a photographer seeking that perfect shot”, it is a bit of preparation and a bit of gut instinct.

My years of trying to make that perfect shot” happen in terms of my enthusiasm for the band Truth Cult is over. They played their last show this past weekend.

It’s not like I haven’t had time. I first became aware of the band in 2018 as a project bringing together musicians from different groups in Baltimore I was already cheering on. Over time, the other groups ended and Truth Cult remained standing, no longer thought of in my mind as a side project,” even though that distinction was false in the first place. When I interviewed Angela Swiecicki for my book (which will bear the name of this column), I was struck by the ease in which groups were started in that scene I was digging on. As a key member of this stew of talented folks, Angie made it seem very easy to ask and begin and get a band up.

I was also struck by how much they tended to turn to music from my own past for inspiration and influence, taking a certain strain of upward-lilting emotional hardcore in new directions. Working with J. Robbins in the recording studio time and again made perfect sense in terms of a chain of connection. It’s the kind of music you want to pump your first along with and to, then and now.


And then… the live show. Kinetic and energetic, leaving everything on the stage from the first time I saw them. At their last Baltimore performance in front of a sold-out audience at Metro Gallery this past weekend, the fire remained. Years of playing together and touring gave the group a muscularity and a swing that reminded me at times of footage I have seen of My War”-era Black Flag, just psychically in-sync with one another. Paris and Emily traded off on vocals amidst stage divers and stage-diving, the band’s precision demolition of their set undeterred. It was great to see the group going out in top form in front of an enthusiastic room of fans, family, and friends.

What is next for the members of Truth Cult? What is next for the Baltimore underground? The show itself offered hints, being as it was a five band bill consisting also of sets by Geeker, Bubbler, Polarview, and Glitterer. There was a musical thread running through all, each building something from that same era of influence, with a tendency towards the wall of guitar” I associate with shoegaze. None of those other sets were last shows, of course, giving me more bands to follow forward and to cheer on.

In any case, the summer is coming. With it, bands will begin and end. Another Coconut July will be celebrated. Although my second column run ends here, the future remains unwritten, with much potential and energy radiating from the Baltimore underground.

See you on the other side.

Tim Kabara

IG: @kim_tabara

Photos by

Sam Levin(color) & Mark Wadley(b&w)

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