If you aren't familiar with Caffiends, approach their sophomore effort with caution. No Gods No Decaf bears the mark of a crucial crust-punk release and even features the deceptive skulled signature of dark-hearted Orlando artist-curator Heidi Kneisl (who's heavily relied upon for rad fliers by area bands). But the misleading visual stinks of Caffiends' screwball humor, as enthusiastic crowds who've caught on to these party punks will instantly recognize.
"The whole point of the record is to trick someone into buying the record who thinks we're a crust-punk band, and then listen to it and find out we're pop punk," drummer Andrew Cabbage says. "The title is a throwback to Choking Victim and Amebix. The title is No Gods No Decaf, and Choking Victim had an album No Gods, No Managers and then Amebix had No Gods, No Masters. That's kind of the idea – we sound nothing like either of those bands. Just hoping that one person gets pissed off."
For those who make it past the prank, the playful romp represents an evolution away from less cohesive songwriting marked by individual signatures in the four-piece (Andy Minor, Lance Rushmore and Tim Flynn join Cabbage) to smart collaborations that are stupid fun and bent just enough, all without losing traditional pop punk appeal.
Songs like "S.S.D.Decade" start your pulse like a friendly pit fight and lines like "I know what it feels like to be dumb" on "I Was a Teenage Bagboy" muss up any slacker's hair. Immature song names like "Hangover Farts" and "Pull Out Generation" deceive the serious craft upheld throughout the listen, with a series of buzzing sing-alongs leading up to bright horn lines on the tongue-in-cheek title track, "No Gods No Decaf," which brews up that evil over- caffeinated rush as the lyrics jab out in creepy whispered mock-jeers.
To celebrate the record release and the band's five-year anniversary, they've put together a massive punk block party with local promoter Non Prophet Organization, which features 20 bands at Will's Pub, Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall and St. Matthew's Tavern. Admission gets you into all three venues, plus you get your choice of No Gods No Decaf on CD or cassette. Learn more about other punks playing (including No Fraud, Wolf-Face, the Areolas and Panther Camp) below:
Thrash legends and pioneers No Fraud first released their aggressive Florida storm in the early ’80s and were recently stirred back to activity after the 2012 documentary We Can’t Help It We’re From Tampa reminded everyone where evil still breeds in this state. The show is supposed to be even more intense than the recordings suggest, so good luck surviving the Lou’s pit.
Wolf-Face and Caffiends are buds, releasing a split 7-inch together last year and linking arms while doing rounds of the state frequently, so expect their set to be nearly as quintessential to the party as Caffiends’. Plus, they dress like Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf with a distinct punk fury that’s also furry.
Listen: theareolas.bandcamp.com Show up for the Areolas’ set so they can put your dismal life into perspective with blunt interpersonal lyrics and crunchy, catchy guitars as heard on their July release, Get Awesome!, which you gotta spin before the last summer sunset.
Panther Camp doesn’t have a deep catalog of music online because they haven’t been around that long, but they have impressive pedigree featuring former members of hugely treasured acts like Country Slashers and My Hotel Year. Bonus: Frontman Jason Smith isn’t afraid to own the room, shaking things up with his Hulk-smashing crowd work.