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L.A. Beat

Isotopes hit a home run with baseball themed punk

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 If the Ramones had been inspired musically by guitarist Johnny Ramone’s baseball fixation, the result might have come out sounding like Vancouver’s The Isotopes — whose whole schtick is playing upbeat, poppy songs about baseball and historic baseball moments.The Isotopes knock it out of the park at the Moose Hall. Photo by Richard Amery

It is tough to put a new twist on punk music, but the Isotopes have cottoned onto a pretty inspirational idea. After all if the Hanson Brothers could do it  with hockey punk songs, why can’t the Isotopes do the same thing with baseball? They are named after the Springfield’s own baseball team, the Isotopes from the Simpsons so their energetic, peppy music and live performance also has a great deal of humour.

 They had a good sized crowd at the Moose Hall, Aug. 1 for their energetic show which was basically their two full length CDs worth of music played rapid fire fast.

 There were good natured false stops, addictively catchy, crunchy chords and even the Real McKenzies’  Vlad Zak on bass and backup vocals.

A leather jacketed/ sunglassed MC introduced the band members by number and position as they crashed into “Never Been Caught,” the first track of their latest CD “ Nuclear Strikezone” to kick off the set. They scarcely paused for a breath in between songs. “Total Juicehead” was an immediate favourite as frontman Evan October crammed as many pushups  on stage as he could during the  guitar solo.

In Darkness adding a touch of grunge to metal. Photo by Richard Amery
 Meanwhile the MC, who took his microphone during this,  added to the baseball  park atmosphere by drinking a beer on stage, eating chips and swinging a baseball bat and giving  each of the band members shoulder massages as they played on. He had stripped down to nothing but a jock strap and leather jacket by the end of their set. Which was hilarious as it was disturbing.

 Midway through the set  they asked everyone to take off their has and help them sing “Take Me Out to The Ball Game,” which they followed up with a rousing punk version of the beloved baseball hit.

 They continued on with a song  October noted they don’t play often called “ Infield Fly.”
 They wound down their show with  “Bleacher Creature Girl,” the last track on the new Cd as well as “The Ballad of Rey Ordoñez and crowd favourite “ Chicks Dig the Long Ball.” They ended their set with the MC throwing candies,he pulled out of his jock into the audience.

 Calgary pop punk trio Potato Rocket  opened the show with a set of catchy punk that reminded me of Teenage Bottle Rocket.

 Regina metal band In Darkness followed them up with a set of loud, energetic hard rock and metal which reminded me of Pearl Jam singing metal music.

 They had a lot of  melodic moments and the lead singer used a home made mic stand consisting of a cultivator blade, a chain and a sword. they had a pretty good mosh pit starting for several of their songs. There was a prominent bass, some  solid guitar riffs as well as spooky clean sounds.

 They wound up their set with a huge drum solo in the last song.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 August 2015 10:02 )  
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