For those who have never heard of Mosh for Paws, it is a non profit and charitable organization that deals primarily with supporting non kill shelters. Not to mention, this organization deals largely with promoting proper ethics towards animals while avidly protesting inherent forms of animal cruelty within our community.
This righteous project is led wholeheartedly by Kevin Oakley out of Bloomfield, New Jersey and has been doing a bang up job with it since 2011. It all started with a passionate urge to help those in need when the Washington Township animal shelter was delivered a serious financial blow that left them threatened to close up shop. What better way to raise some cash than getting a group of kids to scream into a microphone and giving F5’s to your friends. What’s a broken fucking table or chair when it means it helps the life of another living being? Still, that initial call to help would soon send forward half a decade of relentless work dedicated to not only our furry little homies, but to the scene. To this day I’ve no idea what the hell a “scene” really means to most people. However, to Mosh for Paws it meant a community that acted like a family and were there at the call of a whistle to meet up.
Mosh 4 Paws festival realized it was going to need one hell of a place to hold this years line up. With that being said, Mexicali Live (located over in Teaneck, N.J.) was more than welcoming with hosting this years show and it honestly couldn’t of been a better fit. Especially with the solid stage production that was managed by Pete August to reassure the sound was nothing less than perfect. Not to mention a huge shout out to the staff at Mexicali for being on the grind all day and night. Without them, this show wouldn’t have happened at all.
When it comes down to it, this show was fucking wild. It showcased some of the most unknown and popular acts in hardcore and metal with a room filled with friends both old and new.
Threat 2 Society (New Jersey Hardcore) claimed the room quickly as the first act with their blistering sound of aggression and intensity. Nothing more refreshing than music that is motivated by the inherent corruption of our society and the overall distaste of our politics. They just dropped a new track called “Pay the Price” and is everything I wish I could put to words here. Bump it.
Jukai (Long Island Hardcore) has already made considerable ground as a formidable rise of talent over the past few months. They dropped their latest EP “Devoid of Hope” this year and its obvious after listening to that banger why the guys in Blistered decided to have them along on tour this past summer. Catch them in Long Island at A.M.H. for the Backup Plan reunion on the second of October if this peeks any interest.
Laid 2 Rest (Connecticut Hardcore) are brining back a sound of fury that once made blood pour from the faces of those who once frequented at VFW halls in the mid 2000’s. Influenced by bands such as Shattered Realm or CDC, they continue to pay respect their genre while adding a bolstering style of originality for the current era. Beat-down at its finest. Keep your ears pressed for these guys in the coming months.
Jagged Visions (Connecticut Hardcore) have this sort of darkness that embodies them in and around their music. It’s evil at its finest with riffs that just get you fucking going. Check their latest record here and get a taste.
Maximum Penalty ( New York Hardcore Legends) are a band that needs very little introduction. Before many of us in the younger generation ever knew or heard about hardcore, Maximum Penalty were tearing apart the LES with some of the most prestigious acts to grace the hardcore scene.
The Banner (New Jersey Hardcore) have been around for a minute spewing a venomous distortion of gloom and discontent to those in ear shot. Personally, this was one of the first local hardcore bands out of Jersey that ever caught my attention. After seeing them several times this year, it is safe to say this was their best show in the last few months. Check out their latest release “Greying” by clicking here.
Suburban Scum(New Jersey Hardcore) represented a true fashion of hardcore mentality that night. With crushing riffs, groovy tempos, and an unmatched attitude only led them to orchestrating a room into controlled chaos. Sub Scum just recently dropped their new record “Ultimate Annihilation” off of Flatspot Records this Summer and features various artists including Justice Trip (TUI/Angel Du$t), Brendan Garrone (Incendiary), and Gregory Falchetto (Mongoloids). Keep an avid eye peeled on them.
At the end of the day there was no drama, not a single altercation, and nothing was broken. Kids went off, bands did what they did best, and at some point or another there was a smile or laugh between everyone there. The goal wasn’t just to have a good time as much as it was to raise awareness and crucial funds for the Montclair Animal Shelter that burned down this year. Hardcore has always been consistent with having a sense of community within its culture. When someone falls down there’s always a friend standing there to help you up on your feet again. We instill this morals and attitude of unity to not only inside those four walls of projected distortion, but to world outside of it.
Well thanks again to Kevin for letting us cover this and for all the support you’ve given this project. Here’s a small interview with Oakley about the show and the future plans that are in store for Mosh for Paws. Until next time guys and gals!
1.) After nearly months of planning, facing set backs, and all of the stress that amounts to booking a festival; how did it go?
For one of the biggest hardcore shows that set foot into Mexicali Live? I thought the show went pretty well. The Mexicali staff were extremely happy, the bands had a blast, and we raised a good chunk of gas for the Montclair Animal Shelter. I was pretty bummed when the rescue canceled on us so last minute, but everything worked out in the end!
2.) What else can we expect from Mosh for Paws in the coming months?
In the next couple months, we’re setting up a “Play Against Animal Cruelty” event at the Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, NJ. It’ll be a free event where you just come with your dog and have them just play with other dogs. We’ll have a rescue or a shelter come do a “Meet and Greet.” Other than that, we’re gonna lay low for a bit. Maybe do some new merch designs and see what the rest of the year takes us!
3.) Clearly there is a lot that goes into running shows and cannot be done without help. Anyone you want to thank or call out for providing when others couldn’t?
To start, I would like Pete August for all the help he has provided for the past few months with the MFP event. Without him, we wouldn’t even have this show on Mexicali. Another person that needs a spotlight is my good friend Jenny Hossian. She works at Right Angle PR in Manhattan and she gave MFP free coverage for the event. Putting MFP in AP Mag, Brooklyn Vegan, and setting up numerous interviews with several local reporters like Montclair Times.
Finally, the Mexicali Staff for being so awesome and open minded when it came to opening their doors to hardcore. All the bands, Suburban Scum, Maximum Penalty, The Banner, Jagged Visions, Steel Nation, Laid 2 Rest, Jukai, & Threat 2 Society for playing the event. Without the support of the local hardcore/punk community, MFP wouldn’t even be a thing.
4.) Insanity ensued throughout the entire night and was filled with some raw young talent while still presenting hard core’s finest. What bands or moments during the night caught your attention the most at the show?
Even though ALL the bands were amazing, I gotta say Steel Nation and Maximum Penalty were my favorites ones of the night.
Laid 2 Rest & Jagged Visions were the heaviest. Jukai and Threat 2 Society brought the heat, The Banner played the tightest set I’ve ever heard them play in a long time. Lastly, with all the bullshit that Suburban Scum have been going through the past year, I was very happy to see them with their heads up high and doing what they do best.
Favorite moments of MFP had to be when you get to hear a Shattered Realm and Time 2 Shine cover in the same night. MFP ’17 will be even better.
Well that’s a wrap for this years Mosh for Paws. Just have to wait and see what the future is in store for us next year. Lastly, a huge thanks goes out to Paul Buczkowski (Photos on top) & Nicole Spangenburg providing us with some outstanding shots from that night here: