The Sadists, Bitch School, and Rotties — Old Portland Strikes Back!

The Sadists – Clockwise: Vicious (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Glenn (Bass), Siris (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Ethan (Drums). Photo: Dru Vidor

Thirty bands. Three venues. One night. Old Portland Strikes Back! And with bands like The Sadists, Bitch School, and Rotties on the bill, this was definitely my kind of block party!

Keith from Volume Bomb Records was nice enough to give me a little background this shindig. Old Portland Strikes Back!, held by Volume Bomb Records (4420 SE 64th Ave. PDX, Entrance at Holgate Blvd) as a follow up to last summer’s This Is Portland Not Portlandia! event as a stand against the recent gentrification that many locals and local businesses attribute to the IFC sketch series, Portlandia and the artificial scene that has sprouted in the wake of the show’s popularity. Five dollars buys entry into all three venues and for $5 more, attendees get a comp cd of songs from several of the bands on the bill, available only at the show (unless there are a few leftovers, afterwards). Check out Volume Bomb’s Facebook for future events like this one (I hear the next one is all about the cops!) and while you’re at it, go to for music, guitars, gear, and other music related goodies.


I became a Sadists fan after seeing the band with The Lovesores at Barebones Cafe and Bar, back in June. The Sadists are like The Cry’s snottier younger brothers owing more of their sound to bands like The Damned, The Descendents, and The Ramones than to The Exploding Hearts and Thin Lizzy. I was glad to catch The Sadists again since I missed them on the third day of Twilight Fest.


Despite what had to be a bit of a nerve-wracking set for the band, it was cool to see The Sadists in action, overcoming several minor annoyances. (sound issues, Siris’ broken string in the middle of ‘Identity Crisis’). With Vicious taking over all guitar duties and adding some additional JT swagger to the preceedings, Siris was freed up to give the show some serious frontman flash. The Sadists turned things around quickly with a leaner, meaner version of “Nuthin’ To Say” (dig Glenn’s nasty bass line and Ethan’s pounding drums) and finished off with a new song “Ted Bundy Took My Baby Away”.


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Catch The Sadists at The Know 8/21 w/ Suss Law, Sin Ritmo (Mexico City) and Anti Sycotix.

The Sadists will also hit the road, again in September


The Sadists are finishing up their new album, but in the meantime, pick up their Love Sick EP on Bandcamp. Follow The Sadists on Facebook.

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Bitch School: Left to Right Jen Beck – Bass
Melodie Bierwagen – Drums
Lisa Fleming – Vocals
Morgan Grace – Guitar
Photo by: Savenkoff Photography

Bitch School rocked so hard with some proto-metal fury! Imagine Motorhead and Paul Di’Anno era Iron Maiden meets The Runaways. Bitch School is also supergroup made up of former members of Hellside Stranglers, The AltarBoys, Lady Speed Stik, and Cootie Platoon. Lucky for you guys, I got so into their set, I ended up recording the whole thing. Check it out! Also, pick up their ‘Get Nasty On You’ 7″ from Big Cartel. Go see them with Tiger Touch and The Lovesores on Oct. 7th at the Hawthorne Hideaway. Now, that’s gonna be a killer show!

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I was told I should stick around for Rotties and I’m so glad I did! (I’m usually winging it at these shows) With Just Dave’s primal drum thunder, Elena’s sinister bass grooves, Ellis’ menacing riffs, and Heather’s soulful vocals, Rotties are as hardcore as The Germs and Poison Idea but as melodic as The Gits. By the way, thank you Rotties and thank you Heather, for some much needed defiance in the wake of that horrible, bullshit Charlottesville rascist violence with a cover of INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” and helpful tips on how to punch a Nazi! Check out Ellis’ solo on that one. This is the kinda punk I fell in love with when I was growing up.

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In the meantime, catch Rotties play with Slutty Hearts and Bad Sex at The Liquor Store 8/22!

And if you’re in the Denver area, this Friday, go see them open for legends Psychic TV at Mercury Cafe.


Check out Street Warrior and pick up their self-titled follow-up on Bandcamp!


[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1515748011 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]


Rotties guitarist, Ellis Burnheart, is also an artist. You can pre-order her new book, 30 Days of Cats from her Etsy storefront or you can go to book release at The Know’s Artshitz IV happening 8/28 from 6 PM-10 PM.


About author View all posts

Ms. Moneynine

Musician, Music lover, Maniac! I’m also a freelance writer and contributor at Please Kill Me. And I’m presently calling the PDX my home. You can also follow me on Bandcamp.

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