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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Chaos Lounge
Chaos Theory: The ladies of Chaos Lounge
blend art and rock for a strong sound.

Cause and Effect:
The Aptos Club played host to a legion of local rock last week

DUE TO AN INCIDENT with the wacky Streetlight security, the pleasures of hearing Lost Cause's CD painfully remain unknown to me. However, Lost Cause's release party at the Aptos Club on Jan. 28 was an enchanted evening full of involuntary head spinning. If crunchy guitars, Keith Morris-like vocals and a whiplash rhythm section are your bag, baby, then have I got a band for you. Lost Cause zipped through sweaty slabs of punk like vintage Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies. Plus Lost Cause doesn't forget that it ain't a punk show unless the police, fire department and paramedics show up (the only person missing was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) to cut your set short.

Also on the bill was Séyance, who had some stony Melvins-worship things going on but not to the point where influence and influenza become one. I never understood why my dad used to strap a sponge on his head full of hot water when he'd jog back in Philly. Then one day, he told me the sponge kept him warm in the wintertime when he squeezed it on his head. That reminds me of Séyance. Their songs didn't grab me at first, but as they progressed through a tight and sturdy set, it all made perfect sense. Séyance's riff-tough music made me feel as if I should be busy building something big and metallic out in the quarry (with a sponge on my head).

A better ratio of female bands is cropping up locally (although there still seems to be a sad number of she-male bands). However, Chaos Lounge was interesting because the members went on artsy tangents without forgetting to go back to the crunchy rock factor. Backed by five capable musicians, such risk-taking proved to be much more fulfilling than the murky water leaking out of the Willie Wonka desert metal factory. The strong vocals were the band's slingshot to a musical bull's-eye, especially on "No Sleep."

Horse Play

Woodpecker: Supermodel Horse Auction CD. This Santa Cruz-San Francisco band still kicks out the loud, extra-crispy Am-Rep-styled jams, complete with lots of big Muffed-out guitars and tweaked-to-hell bass lines. The drumming is excellent--save a seat for Lord Andrew at the roundtable of local metal nobility with King Steve and Master Jade. Rob's Orca-like bass lines should be endorsed by the Japanese Sumo Federation.

Woodpecker's songs are burly--even more so than getting lost in Gene Simmons' chest-hair forest. "Swizzle Styx" flat out rocks because of Don's gargoyle guitar overdrives and man-overboard vocals. As a critic riddled with A.D.D., I'd like to say thanks, because I'll choose a three-minute metal stampede over a pyrotechnic epic any day--somebody hand me those Cliff Burton Notes, please.

"Dig" is a wonderful experiment that sticks on your permanent record like the one rad moment when you conquered the Presidential Fitness Test beast in junior high school.

So while a new legion of local metal bands diligently polishes its 1969 SGs, why not check out a trio that's been doing things its own way from a long way back.

Upcoming

Unida, Vincent's Ear and Herbert play the Coldwater Classic benefit at the Aptos Club on Thursday, Feb. 4. On Monday at the Pizza Junxion, the Rally and Baby Machine play at 8pm.
Matt Koumaras

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From the February 3-10, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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