Out & About

Le Shok: While tight pants and white belts have become the leisure suit for the '00s, San Diego's Le Shok has taken the all-looks-no-hooks philosophy to new heights. Featuring Locust keyboardist Joseph Karam on drums, the fivesome has attracted that band's prissy, pretentious, and style-conscious following, despite making music less of the keyboards-and-grind mode and more of the total-old-school make. Known for similarly confrontational stage antics--6-foot-6 lead singer Hot Rod Todd once whipped out and jerked off Li'l Hot Rod at a SoCal bar, just to get the bouncers off his, uh, jock--cool suburban youths have flocked to the band not for the post-modern performance (art?) but for the post-grunge, uh, asshole-ism. Problem is, there's still that little thing called music getting in the way, and the band's 7-inch offerings are a triumph of style over substance: The actual records are pressed in small quantities on varied colors of vinyl (so as to assure the future of eBay), while the contents are, without fail, three and a half minutes of hookless, sloppy, trebly walls of nothing.The band's full-length, We Are Electrocution, released on the California-based Gold Standard Laboratories label, is a futile exercise in the same game. Despite the best album-sleeve illustration in recent memory--spread female legs with a wall socket in place of a vagina--the result is what remains after cocky stage presence, exotic vinyl, and cool friends are tossed aside: irritating, derivative, and, in many instances, simply inappropriate. The album's cover of Delta 5's "Mind Your Own Business" is perhaps the greatest case of classic-punk-song-covered-by-hack since Marky Mark's take on "Walk on the Wild Side." Le Shok is an excuse for rude, unentertaining behavior, and I'm sure the show at Rubber Gloves will not fail. In the words of the band, "Glitz and fucking glamour, you can keep that phony bullshit." I agree. Count me out.
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Amelia Abreu