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Notes From the Underground

Mock Up:
Old schoolers, abusive skaters and indie knees at the Vet's Hall

It's about time Mock cut loose with some new stuff. Of course, they haven't played much lately and so the kids were pretty down for Friday's show at the Vets' Hall. It wasn't a bad performance, but some of the energy I've seen at previous Mock shows was lacking. Mock is best when they play intimate venues with wall-to-wall people, where you can smell everybody's stink. I missed Reliance, but can only assume they rocked. The Cavities had a dislocation problem. Singer Nick Clements' knee just wants to go free, but "Nasty" still managed a painful encore to prove his stoicism. D.I. really knows how to command the stage. They make it clear who's headlining, and they've got the O.C. old-school history to back it up. D.I. charged through the old favorites, including "Chiva" and "I Like Guns," and told stories, like about some skater who did time for assaulting a woman. There must have been something in the air (or Thrasher ), 'cause I caught Black Schleppedeth at the Redroom on Saturday and Chappy did another song about some skater who killed a woman (probably the same dude). Shlep sounded pretty good. Are they trying to ruin their rep or something?
Michael Mechanic

Professional Vesseling

After practicing a mere nine times, Soda Pop Fuck You played Emi's last Sunday and man, they were still better than buttery toast. (Toast is all I eat.) Their ska-punk happy hybrid was of the "get up and slam till it hurts" variety, but the crowd was too stuffed with raw fish to leave their chairs. Luckily, frontwoman Alison doesn't yodel like Gwen from No Doubt, but she's equally charismatic and easily made up for the lack of crowd energy. Catch SPFU sooner than later because come September they'll be disbanding for an undetermined period. Vessel (formerly Dajima) displayed a lot of potential with a sound I really couldn't place. One minute it felt like prog rock, the next grunge. Their new drummer, Mike Jones, who learned two songs a day getting ready for his first gig, said it was pretty much all punk to him--definitely not grunge. It did seem that singer Alex could have projected a bit more and their guitarist needs to work on his harmonizing, but on the whole they were interesting enough.
Squid

Upcoming

On Thursday, Foul Mouth and Unruly Mob play the Redroom (21 plus, 10pm). Food Not Bombs benefit at the Basement on Friday with Berkeley's Fifteen, plus Buddies Riot and the What-Nots (all ages, 7pm, $3 or three cans of food). Also on Friday, an all-ages show at the Portuguese Hall with Final Conflict, Oppressed Logic, F.Y.P., Riff Raff, Lost Cause, Tenfold, and Urban Strike (next to Harvey West Park, 7pm, $6). On Saturday, the Gorehounds play an all-ages show with Say Uncle, Junk Sick Dawn and San Jose's 187 Calm at Capitola Community Center (4400 Jade St., 8pm, $5). Also on Saturday, Cockpit plays the Redroom with TNT and King Towel (21 plus, 10pm).
Michael Mechanic

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From the March 14-20, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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