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Written by  Morgan DeShields-McClure

Melodic hardcore band, Iron Chic established in 2008 has made major strides in the hardcore music scene starting in Huntington Station, Long Island. Iron Chic cut their first full length album “Not Like This” on Long Island based label, Dead Broke Rekerds in 2010. During the interim of their first albums, Iron Chic toured the East Coast growing their fan base, playing packed shows with Lifetime and Title Fight, two fellow East Coast native hardcore bands. In 2013 Iron Chic joined their hardcore brothers by releasing their sophomore record “The Constant One” on well-known label Bridge Nine Records.

Never losing momentum, even after the loss of guitarist Rob McAllister who left the band prior to this death in January 2016, the band went on to play sold out shows. Iron Chic has toured as support for Samiam and Off With Their Heads and appearing on the bill festival shows such as Wild Fest and Booze Cruise while traveling along the East Coast, Canada, and Europe. In Fall 2017, long standing label SideoneDummy released the band’s third album “You Can’t Stay Here”. In conjunction to the third album Iron Chic set out on tour with Propagandhi around the world this time selling out shows in the U.S. and overseas, while taking breaks to headline their own shows in and out of the U.S.

On February 19th 2018 one of those self-headlining shows was held at the “Hi-Hat”, one of LA’s newer music venues. Hi-Hat, a multifaceted bar, venue, and billiard hall is ironically located in a residential community. The venue is compatible to those located in Philadelphia and New York such as Boot & Saddle, Johnny Brenda's, and Mr. Beery’s. Growing up not only on the East Coast, but in the Philly/NY Hardcore music scene and currently living in Los Angeles, one is often searching for a taste of home, Iron Chic performing at Hi-Hat was that taste of home.The scenery upon entering Hi-Hat was as I hoped, a dark room, show attendees playing pool, Tecate tall boys and Hamm’s beer cans slowly piling up on high-tops. The venue gives off a cozy lounge vibe with carpeted floors with an official capacity of 300 which at most shows can feel personal. The closest people were still a minimum of 5 feet away during the opener on the typically lit 3-foot-high stage located in a corner across from the bar. Customary to most shows the crowds fills in more and more with every act. Regional supporting acts Garrett Dale (Red City Radio), Dead Bars, and Racquet Club produced sounds complimentary to Iron Chic while giving the audience variety between each act.

It was at once time for Iron Chic to hit the stage, crowds began to tightly gather around the stage. The full band took their places on stage and singer Jason Lubrano, moves around the stage very calmly placing two Hamm’s beer in front of the bass drums while reviewing the handwritten set list, which was jotted on small piece of paper opposite side of Racquet Club’s set list. They opened with “Cutesy Monster Man” the song’s intro is roughly one minute long during this Lubrano has his back to the audience building up the crowd’s anticipation for their chance to yell the first few of lines of the song. In an interview, Jason Lubrano stated many of the bands songs especially on the current album deals with “…anxiety, depression, relationships, substance abuse, mortality, life, and death”. Lubrano sings every song as though he is experiencing those emotions again for the first time keeping his eyes closed tight for each song. He keeps the mic in his left hand, the cord tightly wrapped around his fist while leaning into the crowds, belting out a deep, raspy voice with levels that could act as their own gang vocals. Phil Douglas, Gordon Lafler, Bobby Brungus and Mike Bruno bring a high-energy performance and backing vocals. They all clearly have a passion to produce a gritty hardcore punk chord progression sound with a melodic paraphrasing. Seeing Iron Chic at Hi-Hat in LA brought me back to the once neon colored A,B,C 1,2,3 carpet in the basement of Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church. The LA club brought feelings of home with their enthusiastic crowd surfing, stage dives, and screaming the lyrics to their favorite parts in the mic.

-Morgan DeShields-McClure

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