Music » Livewire

Terror

With Throwdown, Every Time I Die, and others. Saturday, August 16, at the Agora Theatre.

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Ask the swelling ranks of fans what draws them to see Terror, and they'll probably tell you that the California-based band's live shows are "exactly what hardcore is supposed to be." Of course, old-school hardcore fans would probably disagree, claiming that today's hardcore shows are little more than dunderheaded testosterone contests. Maybe they've got a point.

The crowd interaction at Terror shows looks more like a football game than a typical hard-rock show. Singer Scott Vogel braces himself at the front of the stage, facing off against the crowd like a Pro Bowl center, then begins hurling vitriolic lyrics as if taunting them to try to break through his line. And that's what the crowd usually tries to do. By the time most songs reach the chorus, Vogel ends up at the center of a giant pileup of sweaty moshers, jockeying to find the microphone buried at the bottom of the stack. If all this aggression sounds misguided or misplaced, try listening to Terror's debut album, Lowest of the Low. The band's amphetamine-fueled drumming and buzzsaw riffing can barely keep pace with the riptide of anger and frustration that Vogel lets loose on every track. It's fierce, primal music, and it deserves a reaction that matches.

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