Monday, October 10, 2011
400 Blows Brings The Noise....
400 Blows exists in that strange nether realm where punk collides with metal and saddles up with noise rock without really belonging to any of these genres. You can hear traces of each of these aggressive genres in their vicious music which is topped off by the snotty vocals of Skot Alexander, who just happens to sound a little like another infamous punk singer. (But more on that later.)
After a six year absence, the Los Angeles-based band, which features new members Scott Martin, of Big Business and Crom, on guitar, along with drummer Kevin Fitzgerald just released its first new album with this new line-up, “Sickness & Health” earlier this year on Org Music and the band is hitting the road to bring their patented in your face live show to the masses. This tour will take them to Daniel Street in Milford on October 17.
The big question concerning a band that takes this long a hiatus is why it took so long to follow up their last record 2005’s “Angel's Trumpets & Devil’s Trombones” with this year’s album.
“Being prolific has never been a strong point for this band. Most of the previous albums have all come out about 5 years apart. So we are right on schedule. In fact, we already have stuff ready for a new album so it won’t be that long a wait for the next one,” said Alexander.
That’s the short version of the story. The long story deals with two former members leaving the band for various reasons. One was having a baby and wanted to start a family, while other decided to not continue on. So, Alexander, the band’s sole original member and guiding force needed to find new members. He found them in Martin and Fitzgerald.
But the band took their time, writing new material and developing their personality. Alexander said he didn’t want the new version of the band to turn into a cover version of the previous one.
All this waiting paid off because “Sickness & Health” (which by the way fits Alexander’s MO of titling the band’s album with two words that are the complete opposite of each other) is a 34 live wire minute ride through the dark recesses of Alexander’s mind. It is filled with his twisted adult nursery rhymes and totally kills it musically, as Martin and Fitzgerald destroy on their instruments, laying down a dense, energetic racket behind Alexander. The band is in perfect synch on this record making it one of the best loud rock releases of the year.
In fact, Alexander in a way knew it would be good, because he can’t stop singing the praises of his instrumental cohorts.
“They just bring fucking awesomeness to the band. I could just hang out in the audience and watch them play and it would be a great show,” said Alexander adding jokingly, “plus we’ve become a lot more handsome.”
But now back Alexander’s voice. The dude sounds a little like Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra. If you listen to the new album you can hear it. In fact, one critic remarked that it was a “less annoying” version of Jello Biafra’s voice. (Ouch!) You would think this might annoy him but it doesn’t at all.
“There is a big difference between how the Dead Kennedys and 400 Blows sounds, but if you have to compare me to Jello, I don’t mind. I happen to know him. Jello is okay with me,” said Alexander.
But the band really kills it in the live arena. Based on former performances they definitely have the right attitude to deliver the goods live. To paraphrase one of their songs, they kill like champions.
“We don’t do this to suck. We like to leave blood on the stage,” said Alexander. “Not literally, though,” he added.
Based on the above quote you can see that the band is committed to giving awesome performances that are filled with the proverbial blood, sweat and tears that makes great live bands great. So there really is no reason to miss this show if you’re a fan of the loud stuff. After all, it’s only $5 and though it’s on Monday, what better things do you have to do on a Monday in Connecticut?
Nothing. So be there. Here’s another one you’ll be kicking yourself over if you miss.
Manic Productions Presents:
Monday, October 17
21 Daniel Street
7pm - $5 – 21+
Buy tickets now or pick them up at Redscroll.