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CHBP: U.S.E., Truckasauras, Menomena, The Airborne Toxic Event

July 26th, 2008 by travis hay

5:45 Man, four bands in a little over one hour and I am already pooped. Luckily there are vendors giving out energy drinks and there is a steady stream of free alcohol flowing in the VIP area, which should make the rest of the day more tolerable.

As I exit Nuemos I am immediately struck with the urge to dance, which means Seattle’s own instant dance party band U.S.E. must be performing. The band’s music is an infectiously grooving cocktail of Daft Punk poured over Junior Senior with a splash of Emerald City flair. The seven-member group (or at least I counted seven people on stage, including Jon E. Rock the rapping drummer, and two female dancers who also serve as backup singers) was the first band of the day to get the entire crowd moving. Everyone I saw leaving the general area of the pit in front of the stage was drenched in sweat. I assumed this was from too much busting a move with the masses in the sun.

6:15 My friend and I move from one dance party to the next and make our way over to catch Truckasauras. This was the longest line we had to wait in to get inside of a venue, but after a show two or three minute wait we’re inside and the place is packed.

If you break it down to the basics, you could say Truckasauras is a four-piece group that plays electronic music in front of video screen showing images of B movies and vintage WWF footage (notice I didn’t say WWE. That’s because I am what the kids would call “old school” and I don’t acknowledge the existence of the WWE. Tthat’s just how I roll).

If you really want to break it down to the basics, you can just say Truckasauras is awesome.

There was a keyboard, a sampler, and think I sawa a drum machine and my buddy told me there was a guy playing a Game Boy too. The music is something you’d find at a vampire rave, or at least that’s what I thought when I walked in. For some reason (likely my limited exposure to music that is played a raves) the first thing that popped into my mind when I got into King Cobra was that scene from “Blade” where the vampires are all dancing to loud techno music.

However, there were no day-walking vampires on site, just some killer techno beats with crazy images of Hulk Hogan, Rambo and Bloodsport going on in the background. It was definitely the most fun set of the day.

7:00 After watching more sweaty people dance inside King Cobra, we made our way outside to see Menomena. A lot of people were buzzing about this Barsuk band last year and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.

I can sum up Menomena in one word: meh.

However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I only caught two songs and I my eardrums were still abuzz from the crazy awesomeness that was Truckasauras. So I’ll give Menomena a second chance and maybe scope out their MySpace page later or something.

7:15 And the winner of band with the coolest name at CHBP is … The Airborne Toxic Event.

These guys wowed me in a way similar to how The Pharmacy impressed me earlier in the afternoon. The four-piece consists of a guitarist, bass player, violinist/keyboard player and drummer and they play high-energy pop-rock for the masses. They remind me a little bit of Seattle band The Blakes, except much less polished and, of course, the addition of a violin. If there is one band I could see coming back to CHBP next year and playing the main stage it’s these guys. I expect you’ll be hearing more out of The Airborn Toxic Event in the future.

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One Response to “CHBP: U.S.E., Truckasauras, Menomena, The Airborne Toxic Event”

  1. Coren Says:

    I get a strong “Eve 6″ impression from Airborne Toxic Event. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad yet.

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.