are back. But why? "Basically, because we can," explains Peter Case, the band's founder and principal songwriter. "We did a packed show at South by Southwest this year, and it felt really good to be in a band that rocks like this. When you've done over 1,000 gigs together, and it just takes off when you play, it feels fresh." Case has often been ambivalent about the Plimsouls, which he started in Los Angeles in 1978 with guitarist Eddie Munoz and bassist Dave Pahoa, both of whom are in the band for the summer tour. (But "we are on our fourth drummer," Case notes. "It's like Spinal Tap
.") Together they made only two studio albums during their salad days. The self-titled debut, however, remains a touchstone of post-punk garage pop, greasier and rootsier than most of its new-wave competition. After the band stalled out in the mid-'80s, Case turned to a prolific acoustic-oriented solo career, and while they reunited for Kool Trash
in 1998, they haven't toured regularly this decade. If all goes well, new recordings might follow. "We get along as well as we ever have," Case says. And no need to worry: you won't have to yell for "Zero Hour" or "Hush, Hush." They're playing the hits.