California’s Dr. Know are no strangers to change. The early years of these godfathers of “nardcore” were filled with fights, going through no less than eight vocalists and some inarguably excellent punk rock. Their 1983 compilations We Got Power, Party Or Go Home and It Came From Slimy Valley are championed as classics, but also showcase a band riddled by constant change.
The following years produced Plug-In Jesus and subsequent Burn, seen as the band’s crowning achievements, and feature Kyle Toucher for the last time at the helm of a hardcore punk monster before the band’s sound took on a thrash-metal bent, culminating in the release of 1988’s Wreckage in Flesh. For many fans, the new direction was the beginning of the end.
By 1991, disagreements and greater personal ambitions stopped Dr. Know in its tracks. Momentary vocalist Brandon Cruz revived the act in 1998, launching multiple reunion tours with original guitarist Ismael Hernandez. The two even released new records as Dr. Know, much to the dismay of diehard fans.
On Aug. 8, 2010, Cruz announced the end of Dr. Know. Simultaneously, Toucher announced the reformation of the Wreckage in Flesh-era lineup. Fans rejoice. The good doctor has returned at long last.
Local punks Scream N Lizards and Pirate Radio join Dr. Know at 3 pm Sunday, June 14, at The Boreal, 450 W. 3rd Ave.; $10. All ages. Local drunk and rollers Xboyfriends and crust punkers Cuntageous will play a later show with Dr. Know that night at 9 pm at Old Nick’s Pub, 211 Washington St.; $10. 21-plus.