In the early '00s, punk rock and power-pop had began to revisit the past as bands like The Briefs and Exploding Hearts burst on to the scene. Decked in white denim and peroxide fringe haircuts, these fashionable groups ushered in a power-pop and '77 revival that would last nearly a decade. After surviving grunge, "big rawk" and 90's pop-punk, suddenly guitar panic and a cheeky pop approach was en vogue. But before the North West even had time to heat their hair irons, four reprobates from Sacramento had already beaten them to the punch.
FM Knives were born in the back of Beers Books in 2001 and were the closest this generation would get to experiencing a newborn Buzzcocks. Singer Jason Patrone captured the Pete Shelley whine (sans embarrassing, affected, faux-Manchester accent many contemporaries would play up) and lyrically explored similar content an amphetamine crazed Howard Devoto would jot down in his moleskine. Guitarist Chris Woodhouse (whose name can be found in production credits from everyone from !!!, to Thee Oh Sees, to Ty Segall, to the Bananas and dozens more) attacked his Telecaster. The duo was further complemented by the impeccable rhythm section of bassist Zack Olson and drummer Ed Carol. Together they brought the edginess and energy that could only come from a band spending entirely too much time in their hometown drinking at The Flame Club. FM Knives released one album ("Useless & Modern") and two 7-inches before imploding in 2004, but in their wake they made it (briefly) acceptable to once more put the words "pop" and "punk" in the same sentence.
After more than a decade apart, one can only wonder what could get the band to bury the hatchet and reunite for one last show: The acclaim? The money? To show the reunited Briefs they are still less embarrassing? Or maybe just the venue's proximity to Tommy's Joynt. Regardless of their reasons, FM Knives hit the Hemlock stage this Saturday one more time with Marie Davenport filling in on bass.
Also on the bill will be bedroom-pop geniuses Swiftumz (taking a break from working on their anticipated third album) and rock-and-roll lip-curlers the Midnite Snaxxx (warming up to hit the road to Goner Fest in support of their new cassette).
FM Knives, Midnite Snax, Swiftumz
September 17, 2016
8pm, $10 (21+)