Monday, June 8, 2009


400 Blows' music is both technically simple and tough to categorize. Displaying some definitely crushing metal power but delivered with a distinctly punk sneer, these psuedo-military Los Angeles weirdos churn out what could be called mathrock, although its basic foundation is built on division rather than multiplication. Supremely-amplified, straightforward riffs spew forth in a deceptively repetitive manner, only to break down at unexpected times and fall apart (on purpose) over machine-tight drum breaks. Complete songs are built off of three or four notes, but by the end of the jam one is still left scratching their head, wondering "what the Hell was that?". Like a reality show starring Denise Richards, it's complicated.
I've seen these guys several times over the years, including a farewell show of sorts (drummer Ferdie and guitarist Christian both left, leaving vocalist Skot the sole founding member) a couple years ago at Annie's Social Club in San Francisco. As usual, 400 Blows' onslaught of lock-step volume overload turned me from "the guy getting elbowed and beer spilled all over him next to the mosh pit" into "that asshole in the mosh pit elbowing people and spilling beer all over them". That's just what this band does to me.

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