Toxic Rock Syndrome

Theyre up! Theyre down! But dont call the Pinehurst Kids emo

His guitar is the foundation of everything the band does, and Davis bobs each song along waves of immaculate, fierce, electric hums, while still managing to toss in some ravishingly giddy hooks. It's both happy rock and downer rock. Uh-oh. That must make it . . . emo! Davis says they've been stuck with that lame tag before, but that doesn't mean he has to embrace it. They've been compared to Sunny Day Real Estate several times, but the Pinehurst Kids—like local heroes the Killingtons, whom they most resemble—really are just a great rockband.

"Every two years, somebody comes up with a new way to categorize music that not only rocks but has a melody," Davis says. "'Emo' might work for some people when they try to describe us, but the problem is that we're too aggressive, our songs are too fast, and they don't all sound 'emo.' It's like everybody needs to have some sort of fragmented categorization with music and use that as a basis of whether or not it's cool to listen to.

"Invariably in reviews, people will pick bands who are pretty far apart from what we actually sound like—like Sunny Day Real Estate and Green Day, or Weezer or the Replacements or Built to Spill. But I think it's good that people don't always say the same things. That means we must be doing our own thing."

Their two OC shows this week come at the beginning of a lengthy summer trek. They'll be taking their Minnesota Hotel songs (plus a batch from Viewmaster, their already-in-the-can follow-up, which is due in February) up and down the West Coast, over the Rockies, through the Midwest, deep down South, and on up the Eastern Seaboard, before slowly slouching back toward Portland.

Lots of states. Too many cities. But Davis and the Pinehurst Kids will be going nowhere near Pinehurst, Idaho.

Pinehurst Kids perform with Outerspace, Real Diego and Fuzzpop at Koo's Art Cafe, 1505 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 648-0937. Sun., 8 p.m. $5 donation suggested. All ages; and with Peoplemover, Starflyer 59 and Andromeda at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $6. All ages.
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