The Epoxies

While it's difficult to pinpoint the exact moment in history when ultra-fashion-conscious new wave music formally emerged, we can be certain that its arrival altered the face of popular music forever and influenced more of what's now heard on the airwaves than a few would care to admit. Though a number of rock acts and avant-garde experimentalists had put the analog synthesizer to good use since the '60s, it was the end of the '70s that saw punk, power pop and electronic music sharing information to create a whole new use for the keyboard. For some of the weird kids, punk was a little rough around the edges, but disco was simply not cool. New wave gave them a place to go with their angst and skinny ties.

If you ask the Epoxies, the rough stuff could have been left in the equation. Since 2000, the Portland quintet has embraced the defining elements of new wave while folding in the raw energy and chaos of punk. Maybe if the Sex Pistols, Devo and Toni Basil were thrown into a blender and whipped into a smoothie, it would taste like the Epoxies sound--zippy and refreshing. As if that's not enough, the super-cool punk wavers put on a live show that rocks the eyeballs as hard as it'll make you pogo, complete with yards of multicolored duct tape, wraparound x-ray specs, vinyl miniskirts and strap-on synthesizers. Dust off those parachute pants and get ready to bop; the Epoxies pack all the irony and twice the fun.

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John Goddard