On March 22nd, 924 Gilman Street in Berkley hosted the 5th Annual UGZ Speed Trials. Eight bands blasted their way through less than four hours of short, fast, and loud. Each band was given a 15 minute set limit in which to prove to the raucous crowd of punk rockers that they were the fastest and best band of the night. All of the bands lived up to the Speed Trials legend.
In 2002, Urban Guerrilla Zine started the Speed Trials in order to showcase some of the bands they had been promoting for. Voetsek won the first ever Speed Trials and the show has continued every year since.
This year's winner was Pretty Little Flowers from Texas. They played tight and fast and had the crowd in a frenzy by the second song. P.L.F. has been around since 1999 and have partnered with the likes of Uzi Suicide and Unholy Grave for split 7" releases.
Although they one second place instead of first, Noisear stole the show with their unbelievable showcase of what it means to be a grind band. With layered and varying vocal styles, sung by the three up front, and a blasting, popping snare sound, this band brings the speed. They gave the best performance of the night.
Another star of the night that deserves mentioning is Thousandswilldie from the Bay Area. Their songs were a bit too short, even for the Speed Trials, clocking in at 20 to 30 seconds each. They fit 25 songs in their 15 minute set, including the time it took to pour fake blood all over the crowd and light the drum set on fire. Twenty seconds is just not long enough to get into a song, especially when the singer has such an awesome, piercing vocal style.
Self Inflicted opened the night and Superbad, In Disgust, and 50/50 also filled the evening with mayhem. Despise You closed the night with an extra long set. They played their alloted fifteen minute set as well as Lack of Interest's spot, since they didn't bother to show up. It was never mentioned why the headliner of the night never made it to the show, but since Lack of Interest is from sunny So. Cal, they will probably be back this way soon.