So back in May or June of 2010, I was going through a pretty rough time and needed to get out of a situation I was in or at least wanted to change my mind long enough to enjoy a single moment. So to distract myself I accepted an invitation from a buddy to see Nine Millimeter Execution also known as  N.M.E. RIFA or simply NME, he told me this band was releasing an album or cover to an album or something like that. I didn’t care what the reason was for them playing I just wanted to get out and listen to some live music and chill. My buddy knew that I was into a hard-core, metal, thrash whatever you wanna call it genre. Basically heavy bass, fast rifts, breakdowns, screaming and music that will cause crowds at a small venue to split as if it were Moses and the Red Sea. If you’re unfamiliar with that genre it creates cyclone of fists, bodies, women & children and chaos to fill the center area in front of the stage to form a pit. Well maybe not children but yes women get sucked into the pandemonium and some get out and some actually stay in.

 

So, prior to arriving to the show I was suppose to check NME out on YouTube so I would be familiar with at least one of their songs. But I didn’t, I figured in about 20 seconds I would determine if I like them or not. I know, perhaps that’s rough and shallow on my part but I can careless. So walking up to the venue in La Puente, I suddenly had a realization that I might have left my comfort of security somewhere crossing The Orange Curtain of Orange County. I really didn’t care at the moment and went inside. My first impression was…ok…great…dive bar with a stage, this is either going to get really nuts or its going to be a bust and I should have stayed home. So my buddy introduced me to some of the guys from the band and I couldn’t remember their names at all after they told me but I figured who cares they prolly didn’t even hear mine because they were busy setting up amps and tables and other stuff. They were cool and showed a lot of love for me coming out and seeing them perform, but I knew they were busy setting up. So I’m watching them set up and checking out the rest of the bar, watching for hard heads and peeping at chicks and I grabbed a few beers for my buddy and this other guy that we were bullshitting with. The crowd was a little rough but nothing I didn’t expect. The thing that probably stood out the most was the “Support the Violence” t-shirts that I saw a few people wearing.  Finishing up my first beer, I hear the bouncers yell with their flash lights on “EVERYONE GET OUT THE SHOW’S CANCELLED!”, then I heard it in Spanish, well I don’t speak Spanish but I understood enough words to know they said the same thing. So at first no one moved and I thought they were joking or whatever. Then an LA Sheriff showed his face and said the same shit with a flashing of light. The bouncers then opened up three other doors near the front and I saw nothing but Sheriffs with knight sticks drawn and ready for anyone to give them a reason to use it. I was like great……what a bust…So we ended up traveling back to Anaheim and I hadn’t even seen this band get on stage yet.

About a week or two weeks later I got another chance to check out NME in Downey, they were playing at The Stardust Club. This time before I went to the show my buddy had given me a CD that had a few songs on it. I wasn’t extremely impressed but figured what the hell I’ll check them out I really like the song In Guns We Trust. So when we walked into the Stardust I immediately remembered being there before to see some other band before, however forgotten the name of the place. I met some guy from Tribal Gear that was there for either promoting or some other reason. I was re-introduced to a couple of members of NME before the show began again and they actually remembered me from the show that never happened a week or two earlier. The crowd began to grow and the scene seemed a little more hostile or at least the presence of hostility was thick in the air, compared to my first experience of seeing them, although I never actually got to see them perform.  I was a little more nervous once I saw the crowd come in full effect and I know that you might be thinking I’m a punk but I’ve been to Metal & Hard-Core shows before but this was my first Ghetto Metal Show as Nine Millimeter Execution had announced and the adrenaline was running through my veins before a single strum on a guitar was played.  I hadn’t felt that since the first time I saw Terror play at the glasshouse, another band from Los Angeles, once NME took the stage that hostile feeling I sensed was released within the crowd. I saw the pit open up with this big dude running and pushing into another big guy as the music began. Then the violence was released, with mostly men in the pit hitting and shoving each other and some chicks that were really close to the front getting crushed but holding their ground. The best part of it was the hot chicks in dresses wearing 6 inch heels that were in there but eventually made it out.  The crowd rhythmically followed suite with the cords that were played, most of them being fast but also with the melodic parts too. The show had a lot of energy the entire time and even though the music was intense there weren’t any fights and everyone was cool when the band packed up. A good show to say the least, I was quite impressed.

Every single song by NME had lyrics in Spanish and English either being screamed or being flowed. The lyrics would be considered pretty intense by most people but reflected harsh realities of ghetto lifestyles. I personally like rap and hip hop and as well as metal and I think that NME blended the two styles of music along with intertwining violent ballads along with drug use in Chicano/Chicana culture of Los Angeles very well. I know that their popularity has grown since they formed because their music has reached out to a lot of people because of the crosses between music genres.  I’ve included a few clips and check them out if you want.

 

 

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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