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DRUNK ROCK Jake Quarrell eventually had to give up on what became a three-string guitar. 

Things at Starlab are looking up. Last summer, the Somerville rehearsal and practice space faced mounting debt as a result of water damage in the facility's basement. Its tenants and caretakers, Sleepy Very Sleepy and Movers & Shakers, threw an early-July BBQ fundraiser with live music in the 'Lab parking lot, securing enough coin — more than $1500 — to repair the damages and renovate the space.

Now Starlab is preparing another outdoor BBQ gig: a nine-band mega-bill August 6 headlined by Girlfriends, Spirit Kid, and Ramming Speed. But Starlabfest is still three weeks away, so this past weekend was host to something of a warm-up gig. On July 16, Allston bands Luau, Comanche, and Bar Sinister joined Providence's Weak Teeth and Best Practices for a sweaty throwdown at the space's home just outside of Union Square.

As the sun set over the nearby used radiator store and Starlab's grill ceased hot dog production, everyone finished their beers to begin a night of punk debauchery. Sweat dripped from even those standing still, and Starlab's two arcade games — the speedy and intense Out Run and the nearly impossible Pengo — provided between-band entertainment.

Bar Sinister opened the show with brooding guitar and drumming. Best Practices played even louder. Weak Teeth were by far the punkest, snarling at the crowd and flip-flopping between crust-punk riffs and blast-beat hardcore. Comanche's amps were stacked high and their level of aggression even higher. Comanche co-vocalist Andre Hester introduced one song by saying: "This song is about how you should never talk to cops. Ever. Or your parents."

Allston drunk-rock dudes Luau got the crowd the rowdiest and happiest, with many fans begging for more songs after frontman Jake Quarrell gave up on what became — as a result of unbridled energy — a three-stringed guitar. Folks appeared to go home as angry and punk as always, but they probably also felt a certain happiness at their core. With Starlabfest right around the corner, the good times are bound to continue.

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  Topics: Live Reviews , Music, Somerville, boston music,  More more >
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 See all articles by: SAM UEDA