The Epoxies

The Epoxies' name is no misnomer. Just like glue, the Portland band's new wave-meets-punk tunes get stuck in one's head with their shredding guitars, bopping keyboards and the voice of female leader Roxy Epoxy, which shifts from Exene Cervenka growl to straight-forward Missing Persons-style singing to the mid-'80s hiccup emphasis (think of Toni Basil in "Mickey"). But The Epoxies--which also include Dr. Grip on percussion, Fritz M. Static on keyboards and backing vocals, Kid Polymer on bass and Viz Spectrum on guitars--don't write songs as rehashed as it may sound. As evidenced on the self-titled full-length debut issued this year on Seattle's Dirt Nap Records, the cold, futuristic, clinicalness of new wave's synthesizers and apathetic vocals takes on the raw energy and emotion of punk in a perfect street fight, with one matching the other blow for blow. From the girl power-fueled love anthem "Cross My Heart" (in which Roxy sings, "I'm not the kind of girl who gives up easily, who runs away") to a goodbye as the whistle of the H-bomb grows nearer in "We're So Small" ("Don't worry, baby, we won't feel a thing/They say it's over in a flash"), The Epoxies take on subjects much more timeless and, in some cases, contrived than the keytar, the strap-on keyboard favored by Static.

But the kitschy-ness of the '80s fascination, which never wears thin on the record, is taken to full tilt live when the band performs in visor specs, striped shirts and tights, with skinny ties and electrical tape used as all-purpose accessories. The Epoxies have also been known to play in front of a lit-up sign of the band's name, with strobes, smoke machines and other special effects adding to the spectacle. It may be hard to take a band seriously that once tried to shower itself and its audience in feathers during a finale, but The Epoxies are one '80s throwback that doesn't belong on the shelf with your Rubik's Cube.

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Shannon Sutlief