Live Music

Beretta 76, the Damned, Trapped Under Ice, Procession Came Opposite, Mason Porter, Camper van Beethoven

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Beretta 76

Sat., Jan. 3, 9pm. $10. With the Doughboys + Jukebox Zeros. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Nearly seven years in, and it shows: Philly combo Beretta 76 are battleship-tight and really hitting their stride as they merge power-pop, garage-punk and classic '70s-style arena-sized hard rock into one whip-smart attack. Onstage, singer-guitarist Camille Escobedo's vocals, tough 'tude and allure might have you thinking of a threesome (artistically speaking, of course) between Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and Shirley Manson, while the rest of the band ably and often achieves their goal of making it "blunt, unprissy, immediate, pissed-off, melodic and raw-rocking." Bonus: They do a roaring cover of AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" that could probably wake Bon Scott from the dead. (Michael Alan Goldberg)

The Damned

Sat., Jan. 3, 9pm. $25. With Theo and the Skyscrapers + Electric Frankenstein. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011.

Sure, the Damned can claim to be the first British punk band to tour the United States. And yeah, they write pretty awesome tunes that vary from punk to rockabilly, and more or less started that whole "goth" thing. But honestly, the most alluring part of the Damned is lead singer Dave Vanian's voice. It's really quite lovely. A deep baritone that's oddly soothing and disturbing, Vanian's vocals are unusually clear and evocative--especially for a punk band. Combine that with a penchant for classical influences and lyrics that focus heavily on religion, the devil and general destruction and you've got a punk band like no other. (Katherine Silkaitis)

Trapped Under Ice

Sun., Jan. 4, 3pm. $10. With Reign Supreme, Full Blown Chaos + Dirty Money. Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave.

Baltimore metalcore quintet Trapped Under Ice, together about two years now, surely hope you leave their show with a mouth full of blood, broken teeth and possibly a compound fracture of the tibula and fibula. Okay, they probably don't wish you bodily harm, but their unwaveringly brutal tunes--clearly inspired by such NYHC legends as Crown of Thornz, Cro-Mags and Sick of It All--are true sonic ass-kickings, and their pit is guaranteed to be a maelstrom of violence. Make sure you've got your hospitalization insurance all paid up, especially if you're arriving early to catch fellow (and local) beatdown specialists Reign Supreme. (M.A.G.)

Procession Came Opposite

Sat., Jan. 3, 9pm. $8. With Pots & Pans, Restorations + Band Name. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888.

Leave it to a local band that's been playing on and off here for more than a decade to handily dissect the scene. Procession Came Opposite's "Hometown Reward" details the expected cold shoulder--"You didn't show the last time we played Philly"--and then offers a promising change in direction thanks to a diehard fan, cresting with the refrain, "Sometimes support is where you least expect it to be." Available on the trio's recent download-only Pillars EP, it's a prime example of high-gloss, higher-impact pop-punk that never pauses to gasp for air. The title track is downbeat by comparison, at least until it's kick-started by a rocketing chorus. (Doug Wallen)

Mason Porter

Sat., Jan. 3, 9pm. $12. With Hezekiah Jones. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

"Well I think you're kinda ugly and you tell me that I'm pretty mean/ And we both drink more liquor than this whole goddamn state has probably ever seen," the Mason Porter fellas croon in "Ruby," which spins the classic yarn of trying to escape from your significantly crazy other on a Greyhound bus before she does in your truck's windshield and your skull with a baseball bat. At least until you realize you truly love her. Women, booze, drunks and hobos populate most of this West Chester quartet's songs; so does mandolin, dobro guitar and upright bass, with which Mason Porter makes a rousing racket like a folk-bluegrass Replacements, offering humor and accomplished playing in equal measures. (M.A.G.)

Camper Van Beethoven

Wed., Jan. 7, 8pm. $25-$35. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.247.1300.

Sure, the reunion buzz has long worn off Camper Van Beethoven--notice they're not playing the TLA this go around--but that doesn't make David Lowery's famously motley crew any less capable of doing justice to a back catalog crammed with stone-cold cult classics. Few long-running bands have ever been as consistently inconsistent as this one, thumbing through whole series of moods and genres with the impatience of an ADHD-addled kid. If you've got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, you could do a lot worse than the 2002 box set Cigarettes & Carrot Juice: The Santa Cruz Years. Say it with me: Take. The. Skinheads. Bowling. (D.W.)

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