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Garden of Eden: Eden, the What-Nots' singer, showed the band's strengths in Aptos.

Palookaville played host to a hot bunny, and the What-Nots took over the Aptos Club

By Matt Koumaras

I TOOK Nuclear Rabbit to the Palookaville taxidermist last week, and the rabbit split into many fuzzy fanged pieces and made human salad out of the taxidermist's fingers. "My Girl's Got Guts" rocked out with the lead vocalist's belly dances and microphone stunts. "Tiny" reminded me of Mr. Bungle leading a drum circle off the pier. The assorted grindcore roars were as dope as the Crack Street Boys. The Rabbit's funky spectral thrashes were like picking a scab--you know it's bad for you, but you pick it anyway. And it feels good.

The local band Herbert opened. I forget how mesmerizing a drummer Herbert's Steve is until I see him switch around 20 different bits of percussion within the span of a second. The drastic tempo shifts on "Voodoo Swing" were divine. New bassist Mason (formerly of Vessel) launched into booming bass lines that would take an elephant gun to stop.

Mike's razor-sharp guitar riffs on "Wanderlust" shredded like a black cat-o'-nine-tails. Everyone at Folsom should ask for pizza and the guitar tab to "Devil's Garden" for a last request. Mat's demonic power struts on "The Monster" gave rise to images of Ozzy joining the X-men. Oddly enough, I was playing Scrabble alone last night and won by spelling Herbert.

Openers Serum from Toronto played a safe blend of Third Eye Blind-meets-Goo Goo Dolls-like rock that seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Methinks this serum is made of Canadian poison, true apothecary.

So, What About Those What-Nots?

The What-Nots ventured to the Aptos Club last Thursday. Jesse from Edaline filled in on drums for the flu-ridden Kevin. He did a remarkable makeshift job. It's hard to believe that "Glockenspiel" is a Beautiful South cover because it highlights all the What-Nots' strong points, like creating soothing vocal breezes that tease the tip of mania, mastering fluid tempo twists and laying down a few bars of distortion to make everyone giddy.

Without a stocked fridge full of hits to choose from that night, it wasn't the prettiest of sets. But being blessed by two singers who routinely deserve to take a bow, the band made do and remained so much ahead of its class that even its teachers are bringing the What-Nots apples now.

Edaline lit things up with glittering guitar interplay. When the vocalist sighed "Let me lay you down," accompanied by simmering six-string symphonies, I'll be damned if I wasn't cradled in the fetal position fighting emo tears. This band's set was as form-fitting as that Billy Ocean shirt you purchased from Goodwill and forgot to try on.

Las Munecas, which translates as "Down with DeCinzo," added buckets of energetic salt to the New Wave snail. Lead singer Melanie, twisted den mother of about 80 local bands, was not of an age but a time with her rambunctious cheers. "Elevator" went up to cloud nine when she ordered band members Alex and Bean to "go up ... now go down!"

"Pet Store" was a hyperactive tune that echoed of Vice Squad. Guitarist Bean, bassist Alex and drummer Sean were clean engines geared to a rocking destination light years ahead of schedule.

Upcoming

On Friday, June 4, the Peggy Hills, Chaos Lounge and Wired for Death play Skinny's. On Saturday, a Cancer Sux benefit with Exploding Crustaceans, P.A.W.N.S., Gabriel Ratchets, Abhorrence and Real Sex GooGooPlex is at Pizza Junxion (7pm).

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From the June 2-9, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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