Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Back to Basics 

Disaster March fashions punk without pomp.

You're not sure what to expect when the Disaster March takes the stage. In one corner is guitarist Matt Chalko, clad in a white T-shirt and jeans, black guitar hanging casually from his shoulder. Opposite him stands bassist Dan Lutz, looking like a younger Jay minus sidekick Silent Bob. Behind the traps, Bryan Robinson sits quietly, almost pensive, awaiting the arrival of vocalist Kevin Schlappal. There is a moment of calm as Schlappal, clad in a black hoodie, makes his way to the middle of the stage.

It's erased a moment later, as the bandmates open their set with inescapable fury; it's as though they plugged into a loud, riotous good time. Schlappal half-sings, half-barks the melody of the first number, and before the song is over, he has discarded the hoodie (revealing a black T-shirt) and begun dancing in place, mic in hand, cord wrapped around his wrist.

Chalko strums basic three-chord riffs, but the sound is anything but repetitious -- in fact, it's wonderfully catchy. Beneath it all, Lutz and Robinson keep the beat loose but steady. At the refrain, each member shouts along with Schlappal, microphone or no. They sound like the Clash might, if Joey Ramone took over vocal and lyrical duties, and the mix is downright infectious. "I'm not gonna talk much, because it's boring. Here's more music," says Schlappal before introducing the number "Enjoy the View."

The band doesn't do much in the way of theatrics, letting the music speak for itself. While there may be minimal interaction with the audience, there is maximum response as many people dance or nod along to the clockwork rhythm banged out by Lutz and Robinson. The intensity grows as the set closes with "Graham Bell," a rollicking, hard-pounding number that encapsulates the band's loose, carefree attitude.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Shorts

More by Katherine Fulton

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation