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Number of the Beast: What-Nots singer and guitarist Eden Finaday outscored the devil on the sinister scale during Feb. 10's Catalyst show.

What-Nots and Ratchets

Local indie-pop heroes take the Catalyst big time, and Gabriel Ratchets comes out a winner in the demo derby

By Matt Koumaras

THE WHAT-NOTS did big-stage rock at the Catalyst Feb. 10 as competently as they can charm the pants off any dive bar, population 19. The shifty instrumental "And So It Goes" summoned up an improbable pit. "Seems So Small" (insert unspoken joke here) soared as Kevin bullied complex rhythms on drums into a dark corner and Brendan's bulging bass lines went for the jugular and struck bloody gold. Phil's throaty vocals on "Written Off" provided a chartered trip of passion while Eden's angelic twangs flew over some lonesome highway. As for Eden's vocals on "Pretty," we can all now assume if man is five, then the devil is six, and if the devil is six, then Eden is seven. The highlight of the evening was the hip-dislocating "Mercado Indio" that showed the smart songs keep getting smarter.

Sin in Space fired away with a ray gun loaded with atmospheric pop. "Sign" erupted with Cassidy's "I saw the sign" screams (not to be confused with the song by those Swedish Nazis, Ace of Bass). This band makes every bar of every song matter, and each chorus boasts a super payoff. Merlin, doing census work for Santa Cruz County, informs me that I must now add all four members of this band to the Santa Cruz rockstar count. Becca (also the new bassist for the Peggy Hills) and Kai on drums built high and sturdy grooves while Kristen and Cassidy's guitars triumphantly slapped the cusp of grandiose guitar rock.

As for the pop-ska fashion faux pas Sneaky Creekans, my mom always said if I don't have anything nice to say, then don't say a thing. But since I get paid by the word, and Ramen is losing its appeal, I have something to confess: I dig the Miami Sound Machine, too.

Gabriel Ratchets, 'We Sell Dreams'

A spirited swing through the emo jungle, "The Kidnapping Adventures of Distance" rules with a skyscraping lead courtesy of Chris that siphons every feeling of emotion from your guts. "Papa Smurf" wallops you with a bouncing TKO bass line from Josh that leaves you shaking like a Weeble Wobble and feeling sad and blue. Sean's vocals emit a hearty growl like he's been doing hard time in a Riccola-free prison-state. He smashes his drums with such tenacity that you better keep your arms in the window while listening on the bus or people will confuse you with the Def Leppard drummer (which impresses vixens but won't do you any good when you try out for the Karate Kid play). The ballad "Sleepy Time Train" is a nice change-up that will have you bringing out the Bics and looking for the nearest mullet. Pour a gallon of Gatorade all over this band--this is a winning debut. Contact the band at munkee33@hotmail.com.

Upcoming

Thursday, Diversion, Jet Lag, Black Silence and Fire Sermon play the Catalyst; Friday, Philistine Tent Revival, Exploding Crustaceans, the Sin Men and the What-Nots play Callahan's; Saturday, Sin in Space and Cherry Ames play the Jury Room; Sunday, Nerve Agents, Death By Stereo, Carry On, No Reply, and Fate 13 play the SC Vets Hall beginning at 6pm.

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From the February 16-23, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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