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Straightfaced 
w/ Big Fat Dragster 
by Goth Brooks 

When and Where? @ Chain Reaction-Anaheim, CA 1/13/01

Not even when I was a kid did I attend a show at an all ages venue that didn’t serve alcohol.  That’s okay by me since I’m not a big fan of alcohol these days anyway.  I like myself better when I can remember what I did the night before, and I like the next person a lot better when they’re not puking their lunch up on my shoes.  Chain Reaction is a cool place that has a snack bar that sells sodas and chewing gum and caters mostly to a straightedge crowd.  It was kind of odd at first seeing whole families entering and exiting the doors of this place throughout the course of this evenings show.  I think a lot of the spread in the ages had to do with families being out in full force to support different members from different bands.  There were two more bands other than the two main draws on this bill that I didn’t catch the names of, or arrive in time to catch their shows.  I came to see Big Fat Dragster and was highly anticipating a great show from one of my newest favorites Straightfaced.

Big Fat Dragster got things started off in fine style with singer Ray dragging some kid from the back of the crowd, by the collar, and straight through the crowd into the center of the action in front of the stage.  A daring maneuver that 

equates to walking the yard in prison like you’re running the show.  And run the show is exactly what Big Fat Dragster does from the moment you hear Magnus and Sikk Rikk throwing down that BIG FAT drum and bass sound, to the moment Scotty and Larry kick in with their crunchy, overdriven guitars.  Big Fat Dragster is all about high octane Rock and Roll, with infectious high energy being put out by the band, and the BIG FAT audience reaction in response to it all.  This band and their audiences are getting more and more insane with each show, and it’s stunning to watch band and audience feed off each other the way I’ve witnessed it at Big Fat Dragster shows.  When you combine the bands killer live presence with the kickass music they’re playing to consistently more off the hook audiences, there’s not much left for anybody else but a BIG FAT mouthful of dust.   Big Fat Dragster was like a group of trained killers in the art of guerilla warfare on this night, so my best advice to you is to be afraid…be very afraid!!!  

Like I was saying earlier in this review,  Straightfaced is one of my newest favorites.   What’s new to me is all too familiar with the huge worldwide fan base Straightfaced has.  Straightfaced has been around for about six years, but I’m not too familiar with the bands history because I only knew of them, but knew nothing about them or what they sounded like until recently.  Until a more recent closer inspection of bands on the Epitaph Records label, I’d written the majority of them off as all sounding the same.  Not the case with this band.  If there were one great equalizer, or even the ingredient that allows this band to exceed and set them apart from the rest, I would have to say it’s guitarist Dave Tonic and his incredible talent.  Tonic uses an amazing array of major, minor, split, and block chords in his playing to some of the most intense effect I’ve ever seen.  Throughout the bands hour-long show Straightfaced exhibited their own brand of in-your-face showmanship backed by the lyrics of one pissed-off Johnny Miller on vocals, and the hard as nails rhythm section of Jeff Hibbons on bass, and Ron Moller on drums.  Most of the set material was off the new Straightfaced CD “Pulling Teeth” which is being called their best work to date.  The recording was done at the world famous Grandmaster Recorders off Sunset and Cahuenga in Hollywood, CA. with The Dwarves very own Blag Dahlia assisting the band in the studio.  For a little Punk band from Huntington Beach, Straightfaced sure keeps some heavy company these days.  
 

Gotta have some more?

 Check out www.straightfaced.com for a free MP3, tourdates (they will be in Europe for the month of Feb) plus get news and other cool stuff.  Also check out this MP3 courtesty of Epitaph and Emusic.

Check out Big Fat Dragster’s Full Metal Racket - and get some MP3's here
 


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Photos Courtesy of the bands!


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