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Not-So-Silent Night

[whitespace] Schlep
Ghost of Schlep Past: He might not be pretty, but Bio Bob of Schlep (left, pictured here in 1995, pre-chrome dome) has the experience to rock all night.

Vets Hall show rocked even if crowds didn't exactly roll into the joint

By Matt Koumaras

THE FORGOTTEN HEADLINED a practically empty Santa Cruz Vets Hall show Dec. 17. They let loose on a full-out street punk stampede reminiscent of the Swingin' Utters getting their tonsils taken out via chainsaw. They were pretty damn tight, and it was pretty damn lame that you didn't make the show. Yeah, yeah, it was $10. But if you didn't squander that money on the Spice channel this weekend, you would have had a much better time--the Forgotten offer insertion shots of inspired hardcore.

Class dismissed for those of you not worthy to learn from the Randumbs' exciting, old-school Sonoma punk. "Frogger" was an edgy, pop-punk blitz featuring some incredible dual guitar action that was worth hopping across any suicidal street for. The lead singer's manic whine on "Made in the U.S.A." was glorious, like witnessing the second coming of Joey Vindictive. Hooray!

Sit down on my couch. As a psychologist, I am here to help you. The first step is to admit you are a punk-rock magnet and Schlep is the steel. Don't try to deny the fact that they aren't as young and good-looking as Savage Garden--experience goes a long way. Not even the duct tape your mom put over your mouth can stop you from screaming "Schlep" in the middle of the night. And that's OK. The chrome-domed Bio Bob is a very sexy lead singer, especially with that cordless Madonna mic. When Bio Bob bared his ass and refused to play another song because of the mullet-positive bouncer who stole his beer, I got all tingly too. But here's what you've got to do. Go to the next Schlep show, confront your ambiguities by making eye contact with the bottom of the bottle, and rock out to the band's tight, menacing metal foreplay. Next time, we'll put a muzzle around that menacing Bob Sagett and that fitness club vision. This session comes to $120 payable in Schlitz.

I missed the Volunteers, who must've played a matinee set. I bet they were good, too, and I vow that last Friday will be the last dish I ever wash for the evil-that-be known as Marriott's Food Service.

Cold Rolled Tool

With the Vets Hall show ending early, I cruised by the Aptos Club to catch Dilligaf, but instead caught Cold Rolled Coil. The lead guitarist ripped through some wicked harmonics and hammer-down metal river dances. The Bobby Hill clone of a lead singer gave his best cookie-monster core growls while performing soul kisses to a skull that proved there's something hilariously rotten in Denmark. "The Pain I Feel" featured some unreal, stop-gap tempo changes that were pointedly powerful. The polished metal sheen to the band's well-scripted songs reminded me of Tool and occasionally doubled down to the commonality of Fool. (The lame, delayed-to-hell samples brought up a lifetime of swallowed gum and bile.) Quick pointer: When the audience requests "Freebird," we don't really mean it--and we all want that evil bird to be free of life. And regarding your toothless, metalfied version of "Paint It Black": Congratulations on being the 1,889th band to cover it--we're shooting for 2,000 by the millennium.

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From the December 22-29, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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