Punk Unplugged

Even in Blackouts: acoustically punk'd

Summertime, and the living's easy. Summer invites the promise of teenage romance, unbridled debauchery, and carefree whimsical days full of doing nothing and liking it. Summer is the time countless bands have written songs about. And when it's over, autumn leaves you longing for the days when you sped down the highway in your mom's station wagon with the windows down (if they worked), cranking whatever rock 'n' roll you could get your sweaty hands on. If you are part of the now 20-something generation, the rock 'n' roll blasting from the speakers might have been Screeching Weasel, the East Bay band that perfected the three chords + bratty vocals + distortion = pop-punk formula. Playing like the Beach Boys on a speed bender, Screeching Weasel's raucous humorous songs were more contagious than crabs and put them on top of the hierarchy of early '90s pop-punk bands.

But as bands do, Screeching Weasel broke up, and guitarist John "Jughead" Pierson went on in search of a more simplistic approach to punk. His new band, Even in Blackouts, employs the same driving straightforward rhythms, but acoustically. Now, you may be thinking, acoustic punk? So they sound like Dashboard Confessional? No, and God no! You won't find any open journals stained with tears here. Even in Blackouts is more like the band that would play in your living room and then hang out and drink whiskey all night. And many times, that's exactly what they do. Singer Lizzie Eldredge's comforting vocals blend perfectly with the revved-up guitars on their debut album, Myths and Imaginary Magicians. They may still sing songs about summer, love, and growing up, but they also don't forget their roots, charging through covers of Screeching Weasel's "Hey Suburbia" and Operation Ivy's "Knowledge." In your face, Carrabba!

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