The Killingtons/No Motiv/Autolux

To be honest—and, brothers and sisters, we are always honest—we were kinda dreading this night of (ugh!) "emo," a style we generally like, though a term we abhor. So we'd really like to kick our own ass and smash our own face into a bloody, tomato-red pulp when we're forced to describe LA's Autolux as a (ugh!) "power-emo" trio instead of a "power-rock" trio—otherwise, you'd think they were Creed or some other vile bile pile. Power emo! There! We said it (sigh . . .)! Their guitars were ornery and virile, and they sounded really nice and loose together—surprising, since this was their first show. Then we found out that they actually have quite a bit of experience: their drummer used to beat skins for Ednaswap, and their bassist/singer has worked with the Beastie Boys. But they all looked so young and cherubic, like a high school band or something, which made us feel old. They did seem a bit awkward at times, which we attribute to first-gig jitters, but once they figured out where everything was, they hit a swell groove, which climaxed in a generous, feedback-y distorto-thon, with singer boy howling out lyric lines as if someone had just steamrollered over his precious jewels. We're sure this made all the (ugh!) "emo" boys (and girls) in the crowd weep rivers of knowing, pained recognition.

No Motiv were interesting simply for the fact that they were from Oxnard, which just could be the (ugh!) "emo" capital of the world—hey, if you lived in Oxnard, you'd be sad and moody, too! Actually, superproducer Daniel Lanois, we've read, has moved his headquarters from New Orleans to that very 'burb, for some ungodly reason. Insane? We sure think so! Maybe No Motiv could work with him; we'd like to hear what he'd do to their crunched-up teen-rock sound, and their singer with the high, reedy voice that suggests former membership in a ska band (that old singing-through-yer-nose technique, y'understand). They fired up plenty of righteous riffs, though, like they'd been abusing fistfuls of cayenne-pepper suppositories, likely accounting for the occasional, dislocated (and less successful) hardcore foray. They wrapped up, someone in the crowd screamed "Oxnard rules!" (ummm . . . okaaay . . . ), and they left. An all-right band, but not as satisfying as Autolux.

And certainly not as magical and thrilling as Les Killingtons. We won't go too deep here, since you probably know what we think already, so we'll just say that we think more people showed up for them than for headliners Sense Field; that all sorts of fabulous OC music celebs turned out for the gig; that all their new tunes sounded grand and glowing; that we have yet to witness even a mediocre show from them (and, at this point, mediocre is something they're not capable of delivering); that we're waiting patiently for their full-length, which should be out by summertime; that until then, you can pick up their tremendous three-song EP American Made on Jon Halperin's Vegas Records imprint; and that after the show, we met bassist Chris Muench's too-cool mom, who thanked us for scribbling such nice things about her boy. You go, mom! Our sole caveat: the band didn't do their crotch-grinding cover of WASP's "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)," which you can find on Triple Crown Records' ILove Metal compilation. But them's piddlins—the Killingtons don't have that much hair to farm, anyway, so it would've been hard to re-create the full, head-bangin' Hessian effect onstage. A band that's covered WASP and A Flock of Seagulls? Now that oughta destroy any (ugh!) "emo" brand anyone tries to stick 'em with.

Send tapes, CDs, show dates, long, rambling diatribes, whatever—but no death threats, please, unless directed to the editor—to Locals Only, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.

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