By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Photo by Tina Brugnoletti Stitches
Four More Songs From the Stitches
The tag on the Stitches is that they do '77 punk better than anyone was doing it 1977. You might have a safety pin or two to pick with a statement so bold, but this little EP did perk up quite a few of the saw-the-Pistols-the-first-time-around geezers who populate this office (of course, they all sold their turntables long ago to buy, like, sweater vests and SUVs, so they're not going to be able to listen to this until the CD version creeps out in a few months—better luck next trend!). The Stitches make everything old sound new again. "Won't Look At You" is a catchy pogo-party-to-go that might have been peeled off their last release (1995's 8 x 12), but the rest of Four More might be a peek at the fabled full-length that Western civilization has been waiting for years to hear. "Can't Keep Up (With Killing Me)" is a midtempo snarler with a mean rock & roll edge way closer to early Pagans (Ohio boys, just like more than a few of these lately Laguna residents) than anything the Pistols ever pissed out, while the lazy pop riffing of "Pick Me Up" and the razor-sharp "Brains on Vacation" temper that tried-and-true Brit punk sound with potent doses of dissonance and grit. Top it with Mike Lohrman's supersoused falsetto, and you got a real taste of quality, translated nicely from the volatile live shows. Really, the only thing missing from this record is Lohrman exposing himself. If they were a little less unruly (and a little less likely to punch in the nose the guy who put out this record—don't worry, they bought him a beer and everybody's friends again), the Stitches would easily blast past being one of Orange County's last best secrets. But then again, if they were a little less unruly, they wouldn't sound nearly as good, would they? (Chris Ziegler)
Info: Kapow! Records, P.O. Box 1287, Lake Forest, CA 92609; www.kapowrecords.com; www.thestitches.com.The Stitches record-release party with Neon King Kong, Alleged Gunmen, Your Enemies Friends and the Switch-Ups at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067; www.allages.com. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $8. All ages.
FINGER-POPPIN' GOODGo Forth
Go Forth's latest opus—a full-length, yet!—is so packed with juicy, radio-ready hits that you'd think it criminal if several didn't achieve airplay, or at least wind up on the soundtrack of one of those awful teenage sex comedies. Take "Head Change," a nifty breakup song with the finger-poppin' chorus, "Get out!/Shut up!/Just let me breathe!" "Extraordinarily Normal" would be the lament for this flick's required "loveable loser" role. "Suzy," a reworked version of the song that appeared on an OC Weekly local band compilation, is as lovely as ever, whirring and clicking with its giddy "la-la-la" lick and a guitar solo that smacks of pure power-pop genius, all running around a lyric about a beauty queen whose life is suddenly terribly, terribly askew. "Reaction," meanwhile, reminds us of a Lit song with about 75 percent less smarm. Go Forth have the right weapons to make themselves mega—only question is what industry troglodyte will they have to (metaphorically) blow to get them there? (Rich Kane)
Info: (714) 896-9814.Go Forth perform at the Next Door Bar & Grill, 211 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 680-3663. Fri., 9 p.m. Free. 21+.
OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.