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The Out-of-Towners

[whitespace] Zeke
Matt Koumaris

Tattoo You: Zeke bassist Mark and the rest of the Seattle group rocked the Aptos Club.

At the Aptos Club, Seattle's Zeke wound down a week of hard-rocking shows

STARTING A BONFIRE on the mountaintop of rock & roll, Zeke scorched the Aptos Club on March 30 with riffs from the pantheon. By combining the brash attitude of the early Dwarves with the meatiest parts of Motörhead riffs and the Daytona motorcycle race, this Seattle quartet lives up to its reputation for high-octane rocking. "Fuck All Night" (with its glorious chorus, "Ooh baby, don't have to do it right") and "Twisted" delivered supersized power chords. Newer songs like "Rip and Destroy" and "Let's Get Drugs" showed no inklings of these detention boys' cleaning up their act anytime soon.

"Chiva" packed a hook that carved everyone up like a Swiss Army knife and featured intense, spiraling tempo changes. I want Epitaph to market an action figure of Abe, Zeke's goggle-wearing lead guitar hero, right now. Drummer Donny was an old-school treat who stomped in the head of his snare while firmly directing two middle fingers northward. Zeke's puckish bass player, Mark, gleefully watched pits erupt like a cat with a canary firmly within his teeth.

R.E.O. Speed Dealer took its own tight rocking set on the run. Speed Dealer's nonstop, grinding guitars dropped the bomb on me. The shirtless, Bud-bellied bass player had Cannonball Run written all over him. Jeff's gruff vocals show that you don't have to remove your ribs to rock like the devil. This is the same band who made the Reverend Horton Heat shelve the music plan and sell the Book of Mormon door to door.

Show Jam

The Prejacs, formerly Amnesia, played fun, silly punk at the Concussion benefit show at Moe's Alley on March 28. I dug the smooth, smutty vocals and thick bass lines. The flashing video slide show that accompanied each band was a trip just like when Brandon accidentally took ecstasy and shaved off just one sideburn on Beverly Hills, 90120.

The Shrew Men definitely get bonus points for doing something different with harmonica-fronted roadhouse jams. The band's music wasn't my patch of nicotine, but I've never seen more dancing people in Hawaiian shirts fondling each other since Joe Sharino's "invite-only" show at Beat City in '88.

Stitch whipped up sturdy Pantera-like riffs fueled by dramatic accents. The bass player laid down some intriguing lines, and his spaced-out facial expressions were a thing of beauty. The vocalist (who donned a sassy Gilligan-meets-G.I. Joe look) delivered burly orders that made me feel like I was stuck in the trenches with only a coconut for self-defense.

Holy Mammoth pasted together eight well-layered songs about a misanthrope named Gon Rikus and his legion of insects. The bizarre concept came to flesh nicely especially because of Danny's ambitious fret work--it made me want to hit the slow-mo button more times than the coed shower scene from Starship Troopers. The luscious sounds that Ryan made with just a subtle turn of a guitar knob were too poetic for the English language to convey.

Upcoming

On Thursday, April 8, Three Left Standing, Jet Lag and Dojo play the Catalyst. On Friday, the Gorehounds are back at Skinny's with Holy Mammoth and Triple Nickel. On Sunday, Riff Raff, American Steel, the Applicators and the Low Down, among others, headline a benefit for Club 138 at the downtown Vets Hall (5:30pm, all ages). Also just in: Agent Orange, D.I., Mock and Jet Lag on May 15 at the SC Vets Hall (call 479-1810 for tix info).
Matt Koumaras

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From the April 7-14, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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