Punk's not dead: It's just gone digital, like the rest of the world. That was evident when three-quarters of Atari Teenage Riot took the stage at the 9:30 club Sunday night with no instruments. The group's wall of sound was provided entirely by deejay Nic Endo, positioned behind a slab of electronic gear.
Atari Teenage Riot has a very aggressive sound, with cacophonous beats and samples pouring out of the speakers in a loud jumble at 180 or so beats per minute, as the band members trade off screaming their agendas. It's easier to have some sort of abstract appreciation of this Berlin-based group than it is to actually listen to them. But there's not much to even abstractly get into here: The dominant lyrical motif in half their songs seems to be something along the lines of "What do you want? Atari Teenage Riot! Go! Go! Go!"
Alec Empire, who could give lessons in anger to Rage Against the Machine, made clear that he was disturbed to find himself in this evil nation's capital city, and demanded of the crowd, "How long are you going to put up with this?" Empire is an odd partner with Hanin Elias, who seems more like some sort of anarchy cheerleader, praising the crowd members instead of confronting them. "We all are the Atari Teenage Riot," she commented during the band's encore. If there's a punk equivalent of the good-cop/bad-cop routine, it's these two performers.