The Sunflower

Two-day ICT fest is a headbanger’s ball

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Four-piece punk band Kill it with Fire held an early set-time during ICT Fest

Four-piece punk band Kill it with Fire held an early set-time during ICT Fest

Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell

Four-piece punk band Kill it with Fire held an early set-time during ICT Fest

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Wichita has a surplus of music genres to choose from, and plenty of room for all of them.

The two-day, ICT Fest is just that place to immerse Wichitans in all things indie, alternative, punk, and metal, along with the many subcultures in between.

With a jam-packed schedule complete with two pre-show sets and two-after party sets, the fest rounds out with 39 bands packing as much music as possible into their 30-minute set allotment.

That means 39 underground bands have half an hour to make it or break it.

Bands like Mystery Blood, Bummer, and Kill Vargas already have their own cult following, but for some groups, ICT Fest is their shining moment — their first opportunity to showcase their potential.

 

Kill it With Fire

Since 2008, Kill it With Fire has been spewing punk-rock madness into the Wichita music scene. With a Blink-182 punch and an AGAINST ME! kick, the band combines so-cal, 90s punk with fast-paced thrash.

The 7 p.m. set-time made for a thin crowd, but the band put on quite a show. With intense, energetic instrumentals and two vocalists, the in-your-face performance was easy to headbang along with.

Unfortunately, as with many punk bands, the instrumentals over-powered the vocals and drowned out some of the band’s impact. The punchy, raw vocals had their — occasional — moment to shine, but it just wasn’t enough.

If KIWF could clean up their sound just enough to where they don’t lose the punk edge but can make the vocals understandable, they could be among the best on the local scene.

 

The Central

From Madison, Wisconsin, two-piece death-metal band The Central characterizes their music as “aggression” metal — an accurate description to say the least.

Marissa Campbell
Death-metal duo The Central performed Friday night at Harvester Arts for ICT Fest.

This 30-minute set could have ended 20 minutes earlier for me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when The Central opened their set up with a classic piano track, but when the disconnected instrumentals began and the ripping, screaming vocals never ended, I realized they were just striving to be as loud and kick-in-the-throat intense as possible.

Although they occasionally showcased their skills as musicians throughout the set, it was evident that wasn’t their focus.

For famous death-metal bands like Cannibal Corpse and Carcass, even their followings cap them at small venues. That’s not necessarily a negative, but if a death-metal band wants to gain a huge following, they should clean up their vocals and intensity just enough to surpass metal acts like Metallica, putting them on the same playing field as Slayer — who is selling-out arenas.

The Central, though, seemed to just want to express themselves as individuals, using their music as an outlet to exercise their rage.

In a fest with 39 bands, there are going to be some sets that you absolutely hate. That doesn’t mean local music isn’t superb. Groups like Team Tremolo, Mystery Blood, Tideway and Honeyblush, for example, had killer sets and made the most of their ICT Fest exposure.

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