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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

[whitespace] A Happy Cold Beer:
New Year's Eve, punk drunks and all-ages fun

NOT SO FAR OUTSIDE OUR CITY GATES, the kids gathered for what was to be a satisfying--no, a legendary--New Year's Eve. Legendary, at least, from a relatively quiet spectator's vantage point in one-half of a padded booth in Campbell's Jersey's Pizza, a strange and lovely hybrid of sports bar, fresh young punk pit stop and patient musician's haven.

I arrived a little late, missing the Eyesores, but just in time to catch our local heroes Meat Pizza Sandwich's debut (at least to my ears) under a new name, the Plebians.

Its demotion to peasantry has cost the band little, it seems--it continues to bravely progress to faster and faster definitions of musical simplicity.

Apeface drove a more passionate bargain, drawing on the gained loyalty of over-the-hill kids and the power of reputation to fill up the partitioned rooms with tightly compacted revelry. The band drilled at the bones of apathy and struck oil.

Amid the confusion of a few false midnight countdowns (I have an airtight alibi, I swear), Curbside headlined the show with L.A.-style hardcore, competing with the genuine dawning of the new year, amid the drunken bestowal of kisses from bleached barflies and the passionate resolutions of the very young.
Arwen Curry

The Sound and the Fury 66

I happily traded X's Ain't Love Grand (which sounded warped, or very Scandal-like) for the Fury 66/Chances Are 7" recently and realized that Fury 66 keeps getting better pit after pit, and this album rates as its best yet.

Forget about being leg-whipped by the Hot Topic-sponsored Harbor High offensive line at Fury's last show, and respect the music for what it is--superb melodicore. It manages to put a poppy spin on the punk medium without getting too sugary.

In case you didn't know, Joe Clements' throaty vocals bring equilibrium to the punk-rock solar system. Remember singing in the shower and having it sound pretty cool? That's what Clements' vocals are like normally (except I don't think he was soaping up with Dial during this session).

With its crunchy, power-packed guitars, Fury spawns a sound so much bigger than most current punk bands. I played these two songs for Siskel and Ebert, and they began undressing and violently sumo wrestling while screaming "Old School."

I can't describe how much I love the song "World Peace." I think I heard the Cro Mags cover that same tune years ago in NYC when I sported an A-Team mohawk and drove a cab. The same can't be said for Chances Are, however. It's more like chances are there's only one good band on this record, and the other puts out a limp, punk-by-numbers effort. Chances Are isn't entirely without merit, but as with getting an enema from an unlicensed caregiver, you're pretty happy when the whole experience is over.

To find this punk-rock effort, write Humble Merchandise, P.O. Box U, King City, 93930.
Matt Koumaras

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From the January 8-14, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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