From the Basement Floor to the Killing Floor: Noose Comes to Boston

It was another New England weather sucker-punch of a Monday, the kind that comes complete with snow and low temperatures right after gracing you with a weekend of sixty degree sunny bliss. After a long tiresome day, the last thing on my mind was to hop on the 66 bus–that certain bus that is never there when you need it, or always going the wrong direction–and go to Allston, but Noose was in town. After reading the lyrics and sampling the demo for the last few months, I knew I had to go, plus it was a free show, so my dwindling bank account was no excuse to back down.

Hailing from Chicago, Noose plays straight-forward straight edge vegan hardcore. I never X’ed up before, (read vegan drinks entry) but I dig their sound and energy, and most importantly their vegan message that comprises much of their lyrical entourage. Their words are not exactly pleas for peace, but guttural roars at the madness that is the meat and dairy industry. They are no pat on the back and whisper in your ear, but rather a speakerphone cry of indignation:

No Respect
I won’t respect your callous choice
I won’t respect the violence you endorse
I won’t respect your moral confusion
I won’t respect the omnivore’s delusion
Respect for your choice?
Respect for your habit?
You demand respect
I demand satisfaction
Because there’s no respect on the killing floor
No respect in the battery cage
No respect in the laboratory
Yet you wonder why I’m enraged?

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw
You say its cultural inheritance
Part of human experience
Fuck your tradition it’s based upon carelessness
This world may suffer from a defect in design
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your mind x2
You say it’s only natural- a harsh reality
Read your fucking Hume that’s the is-ought fallacy
Cruelty leads to hardness of heart
I choose compassion, I’ll stand apart
This world may suffer from a defect in design
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your mind x2
You say “Love is creation’s final law”
But upon their bones you choose to gnaw
Nature red in tooth and claw
That’s no justification- wrong is wrong

Their set was intense, the sturdy vocalist Bucky slammed about with the crowd forming a semi-circle around him. He frequently went to the floor as he passionately belted out his anthems of injustice and clean cruelty-free living; he occasionally made some mic-to-head contact which resulted in a few minor scrapes. Although there was a little bit of the back and forth dancing, most of the crowd resigned themselves to nodding–hopefully in agreement to all that was said.

In between songs Bucky made several small speeches about veganism. He altered his tone between joking, “Punch other people not animals, because remember we’re a vegan band…” and complete seriousness, “You should go vegan now, not tomorrow, not next week,” and “You should think about the suffering of others not just human others…”

At their merch. table, Noose was not only selling the standard hardcore wares such as demos, t-shirts, and records (I dutifully bought their seven-inch for a mere $5 dollars), but they were distributing animal-rights and vegan pamphlets they had picked up in Canada along their tour!

Noose is an example of how veganism/vegetarianism is something that can be incorporated into so many facets of our daily lives, from the music we make and listen to, to the social events we attend, to the books and literature we read (blogs count too!).

(Photo Credit: Rachel Atcheson and Noose Website)

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