Assault and Battery, Population Control, and Platinum Boys Team Up at Cactus Club

Platinum Boys.

Blaring riffs, accelerated tempos, and wicked vocal deliveries all appeared throughout Saturday night’s bill at Cactus Club with the likes of blackened thrash metal band Population Control, streetpunk band Assault and Battery, and garage rockers Platinum Boys. Ears certainly rang the next morning.

“It was great,” Platinum Boys guitarist Matt Pappas said. “Different bands that brought out a different aspect of the music community…it was cool to have a blend of different people that love supporting music and love rock and roll. Everyone was super positive.”

Population Control consist of vocalist Ricky Ramirez, guitarist Mike Gamm, bassist Joe Sanfelippo, and drummer Noel Chandek. They began as a crossover skate-punk band around 2013 but gradually adapted into more of a black metal-thrash crossover sound.

“It’s funny cuz I saw Mike in his first band Hammered years ago and it was great experience,” Chandek said. “It’s interesting seeing how the scene evolves in that time frame and now you’re playing with people that you saw.”

A year ago from May 10th they dropped an EP, “Schadenfreude,” and then released the single “Drowing In The Trenches Of My Mind” in November. The band toured with fellow metal band Scathed to New Orleans last year.

“We played at a lot of hole-in-the-walls. Like the New Orleans version of Quarters,” Sanfelippo said.

Fun fact – Ramirez recently opened a new bar known as “The Mothership,” located at Logan and Lincoln Avenues in Bay View. He went straight to work following their set.

Population Control has a new record coming out this year titled “Deathtoll,” which will be their full-length debut on Beer City Records.

Platinum Boys consist of vocalist/guitarist Joey Peterson, guitarist Matt Pappas, bassist Casey Hughes, and drummer Henry Chern. Their last full-length album had been 2017’s “Buzz.” The band’s latest single, the power-pop anthem “We Don’t Dance,” came out in early 2018.

“I think the slogan applies to something beyond just not dancing; it’s deeper. What I take from it is pushing past the partying rock-and-roll lifestyle and saying “I don’t do that anymore,”” Pappas said about the song.

Pappas loves the “cultural intersectionality” that occurs within Milwaukee’s music scene.

“A lot of times there’ll be shows that aren’t just a punk show, a metal show, or a rap show. There’s something for everyone there and everyone supports it, which is great.”

The band toured in Europe around the time We Don’t Dance came out. They hit countries such as Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

“We landed in Milan and played a show an hour away that same night,” Pappas added. “Then we went for like twenty days straight.”

“The hospitality was great and we partied super fucking hard,” Peterson said. “It was like a test of endurance on the excitement level. Everywhere we went people were willing to educate us on where we were. Going from country to country there’s different currency and different language in the distance from here to Minneapolis. We’d get somewhere and everyone would have food for us and have a place for us to sleep…like they’ll sleep somewhere else and pretty much let you take their house.”

Platinum Boys have a record finished that will be out by the end of summer followed by a full US tour. They recorded with Shane Hochstetler, whom they have nothing but positive things to say about.

“He’s easy to work with and gives a fuck about what he’s doing,” Peterson said. “He creates space to do what you care about.”

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