Elder Abuse / Bleed American The Grave, Winnipeg MB, August 20

Elder Abuse / Bleed American The Grave, Winnipeg MB, August 20
Photo: Deborah Remus
After wrapping up a Western Canadian tour, Elder Abuse is back home in Winnipeg. They played their last show of the summer at a sketchy little venue called the Grave. The band play basic, catchy, fast punk rock in the vein of bands like Daggermouth. In fact, the band even features ex-Daggermouth member Dan Don on drums, so the connection might not be too surprising.

They sounded good, especially since they were down a guitarist and Nic Herzog was the only one strumming that night. The set was pretty fast and short, just like the songs the band has managed to pen so far, and while there wasn't a lot of banter, the guys weren't afraid to get up close and personal with the crowd while performing. The band was decent opening the Winnipeg Pennywise date back in May, but where they really thrive is at a basement show where there's no stage and nothing to separate them from the crowd, which the Grave ably supplied.

The set-list was short and and mostly composed of songs from Born to Lose, their debut full-length, which was released through State of Mind Recordings. Stronger cuts from the record, like "Worst Case Ontario" and "Winnipeg Sucks," had some members of the crowd even shouting along with the catchy choruses. They were entertaining, sure, but they were held back from being truly impressive by a lingering sense that they seemed to be mostly just hanging out and catering to their friends in the crowd.

Of the four opening acts that played, Bleed American was probably the best. The band is more pop-rock than pop-punk, and will take you back ten years to when bands such as the Starting Line and Cartel were in their prime. Aside from two songs from their upcoming full-length, most tunes were off the self-titled EP that was released in February, which was recorded with the band's strongest singer, Jordan Voth. They also tossed in "Restaurant Jobs," which appears on a local compilation called Get Lost in Sound that was released earlier this month. Overall, the guys were decent, and they seem to be getting more and more confident in a live setting.