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[whitespace] Herbert Metal Detected: Local metal rockers Herbert impressed the pants off NFU's music critic when it opened for the Jesus Lizard at a recent Palookaville.

Local rockers Herbert make a good impression before Jesus Lizard show

Herbert's shape-shifting songs, like that old brown jug full of Uncle Jesse's moonshine, keep getting better all the time. At Palookaville on July 7, Herbert succeeded in creating intricate tension and then let it all explode with a big bang. "Devil's Garden" is aching for pyrotechnics and screams like the mother of all hurricanes. "Buried in Greed" should be the theme song for any party involving beating a piñata.

Mat's vocals were truly celestial on the newer epic, "Valley of the Blind," while "Voodoo Swing" proved to me again that Steve is still the most dynamic drummer in town. Herbert retains the glorious distinction as the king of SC metal for another week until Krokus relocates. Just like the bit of finger missing from Tony Iomni (Sabbath's axman), Herbert's set was too short and left me craving more.

I despised the first half of Firewater's evangelistic, Jon Spencer-styled set, but this quirky six-piece (with sax, violin and Korg keyboard) eventually caught my ear. "Superman" reminded me of Soft Cell backing up Neil Diamond. Tasty! Firewater's set balanced out into a dignified mediocrity.

Jesus Lizard is David Yow. Now that Iggy Pop's stripping down to Depends and puking up bran, Yow is the chosen one, the cliché rock slayer. Yow was a complete ham for 90 minutes--he started a one-man pit during the opener, "Seasick," ballroom-danced with portly stage divers, and perfected his legendary "tight and shiny" genitalia trick (I think a cover of Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" should be in the works).

His one-liners were a Budweiser-fueled riot. The new Lizard lineup shredded as much as its last show here with Helmet (who had to go home crying after being forced to wear the musical helmet of inadequacy on that tour). Howling Buñuel-styled lyrics, chainsaw guitars the size of Texas and a little indecent exposure always equate to an awesome show. This show made me so feel so rebellious that I rushed home and drank two-day-old expired milk--I'm not afraid of gelatinous chunks.

Spaces for Hire

Unconventional bands can now potentially play a show before the area code changes again. Skinny's has resurrected its "new rock showcases" and was jam- packed for the Damones, What-Nots, Green Means Go show.

The Aptos Club (the "A.C." to the locals, or if you're feeling real daring, just call it the "A") started having "alternative" nights on Thursdays. Past shows have included Herbert, Exploding Crustaceans, Gorehounds and the Lonely Kings. You'll definitely need to bring a P.A.

Perhaps Palookaville will continue its nice recent trend and put local bands like Herbert with touring bands like the Jesus Lizard. Why more promoters don't add 30 minutes to their shows and bring in a local draw remains a mystery. Local bands flyer town like maniacs and blackmail all their friends into showing up.

Don't forget Lollipop Productions too--they've been doing an excellent job putting on a well-represented mix of all-ages shows at the downtown Vets Hall. Email Adam at [email protected] for details.


Vincent's Ear and Witchhook Sky play the Aptos Club on Thursday. On Saturday, the always pogo-mad Groovie Ghoulies, The Gorehounds and the Muggs tear up the Vets Hall.
Matt Koumaras

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From the July 16-22, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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