Dirt-poor punks, big ol’ mohawks, bald heads, thrash, clothes covered with patches, spikes and pins, and no last names. That’s the first impression you’re going to get with local Reno band Spermicide. With songs about the various pastimes of the average punk rocker—drinking cheap beer, couch surfing—to songs in support of Straight Edge (a sub-genre of punk rock dedicated to a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle), Spermicide blends loud mid-tempo beats with insanely fast ones.
Herpe, the band’s guitarist, describes their sound as, “Thrash-core. Skate-influenced. Fast!”
Spermicide’s front man says the band owes a debt of inspiration to thrash pioneers D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles). Fans of the Bay Area brand of “power violence” hardcore will immediately know what Spermicide is all about.
After playing shows for half a year, Spermicide already has managed to build an impressive and loyal following of like-minded, disaffected, young punk rockers. And a raucous, but fun, lot of punks they are.
Lead singer, Räde, and Herpe were once responsible for the band Leprosy.
Joe, Spermicide’s drummer, played for the short-lived M.I.P.
Spermicide’s earliest inception was in the form of Joe on drums and Räde on guitar and vocals, playing songs at a few drunken punk rock parties. They ultimately snatched up Danny on the bass. Herpe took the guitar, and Räde was left to concentrate on screaming his fool head off.
It’s under this final lineup that Spermicide has been playing with the likes of well-known Bay Area hardcore band Voetsek, longtime Texas punk/rock ‘n’ rollers Vatos Locos and Reno’s own Blood Brains and Beer.
Spermicide offers a great deal of gratitude to the latter, as Spermicide puts it, for giving them a place to practice and getting them on shows.
But that is how a local scene comes together and hopefully grows to produce more new bands. The bands work together, support each other’s shows and return the favor by putting each other on the bill when bigger bands roll through town on tour.
The bandmembers say they are planning a CD demo to give away at their shows. Spermicide has only been playing out for some six months, so their focus is more on playing loud and watching people skate the pit than selling albums.
Spermicide is what one expects from a young band of punk rockers. They like beer and skateboarding, and guitars are meant to be played as ridiculously fast and loud as possible. And when all these things are combined, optimum glory has been achieved.
If you look at yourself in the mirror, and what you see reflected back is pants covered in patches, tall and strung-out spiky hair and jacked-up scabby knees from skateboarding, you’ll want to catch the next show.