Joyride/All the Madmen
Linda's Doll Hut
Saturday, Aug. 14
Joyride were one of those hot-shit OC bands that came up just before the dawn of the Offspring/No Doubt era, a band rock critics always liked to point out as being yet another example of the county's rock & roll richness that always seemed to go ignored by the majors. Of course, they were on Dr. Dream at the time (who wasn't on Dr. Dream? Everybody was on Dr. Dream!), so maybe that's why no one noticed. As we all know, the majors finally moved in on OC—except they signed almost all the wrong bands! Joyride broke up before they ever really had a chance, but maybe it's just as well: Who needs major labels these days, what with all the pink slips flying about in the halls of those corporate-music castles?
So we rejoiced at the future possibilities of this Joyride reunion at Linda's, one in the Doll Hut's recent series of 10th anniversary shows. We remembered Joyride as one of the great OC rock bands of that period—or hell, any period. And their set told us we hadn't romanticized them. They did all of their slamming, painfully loud, untested-by-marketing-groups speed-pop oldies and spit up those semifamous, sweeping, Cheap Trick-gone-good monster riffs. They're still one of the tightest local bands we've ever heard, and they still have a hilariously nasty jones for tackling dumb cover songs, like Human League's "Don't You Want Me."
Not everything was perfect—did Steve Soto and Greg Antista always spend so much time yakking between songs? Yes, we love you; now shut up and play!—but when they played, they made every friggin' note matter, and that's all we could ask for.
What we're really hoping for are more Joyride shows. Along with the Cadillac Tramps' April gig, this'll go down as one of the year's most splendiferous reunions.
Openers All the Madmen were quite the sonic slab o' beef, too, spewing Stones-meets-Big-Star-meets-Modern-Lovers ballbusters. They were much better than we thought they'd be after we first spun their CD, Twinstar Radio, which seemed terribly redundant and unoriginal upon first listen—but, by the second time, metamorphosed into a glorious tribute to a bygone era of cruising around in Ford Mustangs during the '70s, blasting away the Mighty 690. . . . Is pot great or what? Especially thumping was "Suicide Motorpool," which we actually grooved to while entrenched in our car outside the Doll Hut, coming down from our Zima-and-Chiclets high. Also ridiculously thrashy was such wunnerful tuneage as "Bahm Bahm Bahm" (which has this contagious chorus that, shockingly, goes, "Bahm bahm bahm").
The only thing we didn't like is this song called "River," which we're pretty sure is what you'd hear if you spun "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" at the same time (thankfully, they didn't play this). Other than that, All the Madmen were a great band, so much so that they crashed the Locals adjective department.
Penis Flytrap The Shack Saturday, Aug. 21
So we find this mysterious note on the Locals desk, asking why we've never been out to the Shack in Anaheim. Hey, all you gotta do is ask! But we looked at who they've booked in the past and felt really queasy after seeing that they seem to have a thing for hairspray bands on their way down (Bang Tango? L.A. Guns? Aren't they dead yet?) and campy "tribute" acts ("Atomic Punks, a tribute to early Van Halen!").
But the room does have its tacky charms—there's wood paneling everywhere (suggesting that the building once housed a disco back in the '70s), and those fake vinyl plants back by the big, comfy couches are getting kinda threadbare.
But, hey, we were here for some hot, throbbing penis—yeah, baby!That would be Penis Flytrap, whose singer, Dinah Cancer (cute!), once fronted mid-'80s LA Goth band 45 Grave—Marilyn Manson stole all their ideas. We know this because Colin, the creepy guy who sat next to us in driver's ed, was really, really into them, often speaking of Dinah in hushed, worshipful tones (poor trendoid Colin—the year before, he was a sash-wearing, mascara-caked NewRo!).
Penis, sadly, turned out to be flaccid, a shock-rock band that didn't shock and barely rocked. Oh, sure, Dinah's platinum-blond fembot sidekick, who writhed around in a tight Catholic-schoolgirl skirt, a leather corset and hip-hugger boots, was mildly amusing, but even her tepid muff-diving simulation on Dinah was lethargic and uninspired, as if she were going down on a department-store mannequin. And please—zombie makeup? Song titles like "Village of the Damned," "Cemetery Girl" and "Say You Love Satan" belched with tired, guttural vocals while the band played mediocre grindcore. Sorry, but this is soooo mainstream these days. Dinah and her crew might as well be playing this year's Halloween Haunt.
Send tapes, CDs, and tips on where we should go (besides hell) to Locals Only, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.
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