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[whitespace] Explode into Space

Like true indie-rock heroes, Sin in Space fires all of its guns at a Catalyst show

By David Espinoza

PERHAPS IT'S A BIT premature to say local rockers Sin in Space are going to blow the top off of modern college rock next week--give the band a few months. Playing the second slot of a four-band showcase at the Catalyst April 20, the three Sinners with the help of guest drummer Rick Walker spun a blissful web of original tunes destined for success. Yes, I'm gushing, but let the record show that it's not just me. The Sinners already have the kind of following that takes years to build.

Comparisons to the Pixies aren't entirely hogwash. Sin in Space's sound fits that perfect pop-music-hitting-a-nervous-breakdown feeling the Pixies were great at.

Onstage April 20, Sin in Space opened with one of their many potential hits, "Fortune Teller," exuding a pouty Brit-pop vibe that ranked somewhere between the Smiths and Radiohead. Lead vocalist and guitarist Cassidy Meijer certainly showed off a talent for turning his soft-pitched whine into a ballistic, sloshed-out wail--just like Black Francis. And with Becca Stewart on bass and Kirsten Rigg on guitar, the band has three rock star Chia Pets just waiting to sprout. Give them lots of love, water, no sunlight, and soon they'll be sharing the stage with Supergrass and Pavement.

It's a shame veteran Santa Cruzers the What-Nots couldn't have played a longer set after Sin in Space wrapped up. Since this was the band's last performance (lead singer and guitarist Eden Fineday is taking off to study in France), the What-Nots did their best to cram two albums' worth of gems into roughly half an hour. Still, it fell short.

Instead of running the gamut of their hardest-hitting, adrenaline-laced songs like "Suck Me Dry," "Even Me" or "Bitter," the foursome focused on their slowest ballads, tending to make even their biggest fans jaded. It's not that the material they played ("Written Off" and "Romance") wasn't their usual brand of well-polished beauties; it just didn't fit the setting. The thing is, the What-Nots haven't cleared the dust off of tunes like "Suck Me Dry" for ages--probably because they got tired of them. It would have been nice, though, to hear them live one last time.

So, where does the band go from here? Band members tell me that Sherwood, always the big Uncle Tupelo fan, is going to start a country-punk band. And Thompson has a new gig playing bass with Slow Gherkin. Northcutt? He'll have no problem finding another band--he's gotta be one of the best drummers in town.

Five Points of Light

Not that looks mean everything, but at club shows, it helps a lot if you can see the band. Rosie McCann's apparently doesn't know this; the funk-fest there April 22 with Five Point Plan lacked any stage lighting to draw attention to the five players in the band as they started up a groove for a very small crowd. Blame it on the man for forcing Rosie's to spend more money on entertainment permits instead of quality lighting equipment.

On the other hand, if the members of ex-SC outfit Supersauce now in Five Point Plan ever had a local following, it didn't show. The band took it all in stride, though, pumping out a slick Brand New Heavies-meets-Medeski, Martin & Wood sound. Next time, guys, next time.

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From the April 26-May 3, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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