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Notes From the Underground

[whitespace] Operation: Cliff Clavin
Hey, Norm: Operation: Cliff Clavin kicks down a bouncy, poppy sound on 'Last Words.'

Kings of the Road:
Fury 66 returns from tour to drive home their punk scene dominance

By Matt Koumaras

FURY 66 ROLLED ITS touring wheels back home Sunday, Aug. 8, to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at Palookaville. At this benefit for Youth Services of Santa Cruz, it became readily apparent that, just as soon as local bands thought they had nibbled away at Fury's hardcore tricks, the masters returned home and opened up a new can of hardcore surprises coated with beauty and strength. Mickey hammered down stellar bass lines tougher than nailing tofu to the wall. Rye and Zac, Fury's new guitarist (reportedly the 66th member to join the band), shredded in passionate, melodic leads and powerhouse riffs. "My Old Man" pelted me with rocks and sent my senses back to the age of quarrel. Joe loaded every ounce of hope, anger and frustration into each verse, earning my vote for the "local musician most likely to have an aneurysm onstage" award. Awesome cover of Minor Threat's "Betray."

The Volunteers' imported two-minute explosions puzzled most of the audience who had come for Fury 66. It's a shame, because the band smoked with style. Their formula is simple--zippy, connect-the-dot guitars, polished backing vocals to walk the plank for and a hilarious lead singer with more gropes per song than Madonna on Viagra. Fancy guitar playing by Joe on "Loyalty." "Hopeless" reminded me of the Swingin' Utters doing the Sex Pistols. The Partisans cover clearly was the highlight with its hectic "I never needed you" chant--finally, a local band to start a riot to during a Saturday morning soccer game at Mission Hill Junior High.

Jet Lag's hammy metal personas on their "Danzig" tune resurrected a beast far more frightening than The Blair Witch Project. "These Eyes" was pretty fun because it flaunted the world's craziest midget stage divers.

Operation: Cliff Clavin, 'Last Words'

The male-female vocals on this CD bring to mind a poppier P.A.W.N.S. walking a straight and narrow rhythm line. The opener, "Another Nothing," struts around to a fun, bouncy pop beat, and Hannah's quirky vocals lick the asbestos off the wall. She also drops some lethal bass bombs on the best song title of the year, "No, We Don't Have a Chick Bass Player." Cut-you-down-to-size lines like "This scene is supposed to be against the sexist ways of the rednecks, but it's all the same when you call a girl a chick," should make Jewel drool her way back to Alaska. "Shoot to Kill" is a well-written account of America's keeping Mexico as its industrial slave. "Welcome to the Club" skips across town preaching strength through numbers. Unfortunately, the covers of Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" and Liz Phair's "F*ck and Run" give new meaning to the word "blow" and most assuredly will have you cursing and running your way to the nearest Porta-Potty. Bad Monkey Records, 473 North St., Oakland, 94609, or www.badmonkey.com.

Upcoming

No One, the Expendables, Jet Lag and Lost Puppy play the Catalyst Thursday (9pm, 16+); Herbert, Diversion, Seyance and Live Wire play the SC Vets Hall Friday (6:30pm, all ages); Riff Raff, American Steel and Nothing Substantial are on Community Television (Channel 71) at 8:30pm Friday; Dilligaf shows up on Free Radio-SC 96.3FM 4 to 7pm Tuesday.

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From the August 11-18, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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