By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
You may not know it yet, but FM Knives is the best punk band in America right now. Hailing from sunny Sacramento, the band takes the best aspects of melodic '70s punk (think the Buzzcocks, Generation X, early Devo, maybe), play it with a "screw the wrong notes, full speed ahead!" ethos and energy and add a good dose of smartass humor, irreverence and a sense of fun that can only come from the warm California sun.
The group's debut album, Useless and Modern (Broken Rekids), recorded in six hours in late 2001 but only now getting widespread distribution, is an instant classic of the "my girlfriend's lame, my job sucks -- no, wait, everybody sucks, I might as well die young ... but, y'know, whatever, it's cool" subgenre of punk rock. Made up of veterans of a dozen Sacramento punk and garage bands you've probably never heard of, FM Knives is the tip of the iceberg of a scene that could make Sacramento the next Olympia or Chapel Hill or, um, Omaha or something.
The band's sheer energy and enthusiasm on record are sure to prove incendiary in the live setting. Backed by the splashy, fill-happy Keith Moon-isms of drummer Ed Carroll, the garage-rock riffage and genuinely rippin' solos of guitarist Chris Woodhouse and the fuzzed-out bass of Zack Olson, singer Jason Patrone delivers his stupidly clever/cleverly stupid lyrics and ba-ba-bas with the fervor of a true believer. This is sure to be one of the best punk rock shows to hit St. Louis this year. Don't miss it.