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Twang and Clang: Take Out fuse rockabilly with metal

Riverside band Take Out have a distinctive twangy clang to their sound. Their style is a mix between metal and rockabilly, which isn't unheard of, but it's not a hybrid you come across every day—or even every week. There isn't exactly a wealth of similar combos out there, so booking shows always proves to be interesting—sometimes stretching over a very noticeable gap between the genres. For example, this week at Anaheim's House of Blues, Take Out will open for the '70s classic-rock band Kansas (yes, they're still around and not content to live off the royalties of "Carry On Wayward Son").

Three years ago, after a series of band breakups and makeups, posting ads, and begging roommates to join, Take Out finally coalesced into the lineup of Russ Hunter (vocals), Rich Abboud (drums), Dan Gaughan (guitar) and Jason Wickstrom (bass). "We are all influenced by different styles, and when Russ joined, it really completed our sound," Wickstrom explains. "The girls love it." Hey, at least Take Out have priorities.

With a CD that came out in early 2007, the band has found fame on the XM wavelengths with "Merry Go Round" and "Born Again," both of which they are trying to push as singles. Besides their satellite-based success, Take Out also have a loyal "concert following" that Wickstrom describes as "a group of people who will travel from pretty far away just to see our show. Playing live is why I started; everything else is just a means to an end." They're looking to hook new fans with their live show as well: "We want the audience to be like, 'What the hell just hit us?'"

As for playing with rock veterans like Kansas, "It's an honor to open for them," Wickstrom enthuses. "They're legends. The fact that they can still do it at their age, go on stage and kick ass—it's amazing." The members of Take Out were barely in kindergarten during the height of Kansas' career in the late '70s. Although Take Out's members may not have been able to appreciate classic rock at the time, they can now. Wickstrom says with a laugh, "I know it's a completely different genre, but we are looking to win over some Kansas fans."

Good luck because Take Out doesn't exactly sound much like Kansas' melancholy ballad/AOR staple "Dust in the Wind." Most of their songs are straight metal with hair-thrashing drums and obnoxiously fast guitar solos (as any guitar solo should be). The rockabilly influence surfaces in "Yesterdays," about a woman who found Jesus and won't screw her boyfriend anymore, featuring such charming lyrics as "How can I get those panties off?"

Well, now, would Take Out's music inspire any thought-provoking, existential arguments like that of their headliners? Um, not so much—but Take Out are entertaining in a more debauched way, and people never seem to tire of that hedonistic approach to rock & roll.

TAKE OUT PERFORM WITH KANSAS AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES, 1530 S. DISNEYLAND DR., ANAHEIM, (714) 778-BLUE; WWW.HOB.COM/ANAHEIM. WED., 7 P.M. $32.50-$35. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.MYSPACE.COM/TAKEOUT1.

 
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