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[whitespace] The Applicators

The Applicators shimmy and shake with manic vocals and gritty guitar lines

By Matt Koumaras

As I was downing in a deep pool of earthy, irie demos flooding my inbox, I got saved from the musically mundane by the Applicators coming down from their lifeguard towers with a new demo. Shimmy Shakers showcases what the Applicators do best: sexy pop tunes steeped in charmed immediacy.

The frisky opener, "Police Love," conquers all with Michele's lightning-fast seesaw chord changes. Melanie's cries of "Put those cuffs on me" reportedly have caused skyrocketing merchandise sales at Camouflage. "Nyah Nyah" is poke-in-the-eyes Bratmobile-styled punk with slick snare work from Melanie. "Fingers in My Brain" grooves along to a strutting pop guitar beat and a happy vocal jingle built for cartoons. My favorite tune, "Summertime," erupts marvelously with the band's patented manic vocal quips. "Tidal Wave" is a Breeders-esque change-up with gritty surf lines from Michele. The intense vocal cacophony in "Sucka" proves you wouldn't want to make the Applicators angry or there will be blood in the spillway tonight. The sheer grandeur of the chorus of "He's on Coke" ("He's on Coke/It's no joke") is doubly awesome because it promotes alternatives to alcohol consumption for this county's impressionable youth.

While recently vacationing in Paris, I noticed everyone had a cell phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other. This struck me as weird, but I suppose tourists visiting the U.S. will soon notice that every American has the new Applicators tape blaring from a boombox in one hand and a gat guarding it in the other. Pick this up immediately at Streetlight or forever be deemed unpatriotic.

Public Screening

So you're in a band, but the talent is strictly limited to the music. Don't be caught wearing your clothes backwards in shame like a punk-rock Kriss Kross due to a lack of creativity. You need a logo and T-shirts, and Abyss Screen printing is here to help you. They've done the wicked artwork on Herbert T-shirts in the past and are now offering four-color screen-printing and specializing in working with bands. (Abyss offers special rates for new customers through the end of the year.) If your band, club or record store is looking to have custom-screened shirts, sweatshirts, jackets or any other merchandise with logos, Abyss is at your service, and Herbert's Mat Fitzsimmons is even available to design and complete custom logos. Contact Abyss for info at [email protected] or call them at 831/421-0510.

Rock and Read

Local indie-rock promoting goddess Kristina Hunken has started a Nerds on Curbs mailing list/collective directed toward people in Northern California interested in playing an active role in their community through music, art, politics, etc. She's seeking "DIY, self-starter folks who run record labels, distros or set up shows, write ezines, photograph--or people who would just like to get involved with these activities." It is a 100-percent pro-people collective, and absolutely no homophobia, sexism or racism will be tolerated.

"I'm hopeful that more people will discover this news list and utilize it to network information throughout the Bay Area and beyond," Hunken says. Go to www.onelist.com/subscribe.cgi/nerds_on_curbs. Or email her for more details at [email protected].


Diversion, Jet Lag, Papa Roach and Black Silence play the Catalyst Thursday. Naked Ape plays for a video shoot at Moe's with DJ Zeph and DJ Imperial Sunday; also Sunday at 7pm, the Need, the Automaticans, Meme America and California Lightning play a free all-ages show at Channel One, 763 The Alameda, San Jose.

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From the September 15-22, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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