Eugene Weekly : Music : 12.22.11


All-Out All Stars

The Golden Motors are a Eugene super group filled with musicians who’ve been rocking the local scene for years. Composed of Scott K and Jivan Valpey of Pass Out Kings, Dan Schmid from the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, and acoustic punk-rock scallywag Dan Jones, the band boasts a deep roster of talent and charisma.

 The Motors combine Jones’s late ‘80s alt-rock leanings with the grime of a Eugene garage thrown down. In the group’s self-titled debut, which drops early next year, the Motors cover new ground that synergizes your old man’s post-punk and your bartender’s hardcore with a biting sarcasm that comes off in a shroomy Weenesque fashion. 

The album opener, “A Pickle and Two Pearl Onions,” begins with a narrator saying, “Laughing practice, go!” followed by cackles and raunchy riffs that reverberate throughout the entirety of the masterful instrumental track. Other songs on the album are loud ragers, like “Pink Pansies,” a short punk song just shy of two minutes long that evokes the blood-crusted revelry of Wasted Youth.  Flexing a bit of diversity on the album, the song “Panther Girl” highlights Jones’s acoustic prowess in a downtempo way. 

The Golden Motors play with Poli High and Tom Heinl 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 22, at Sam Bond’s; $2-$5. — Andrew Hitz

Blackout Throwbacks

Close-knit and deliberate, the Bad Luck Blackouts are Eugene’s new old-school skate-punk band. This power trio sounds like early Bad Religion, if the famed L.A.-based band had a female vocalist. And Kyra Van Winkle, the Blackouts’ vocalist, is not only a phenomenal singer but a gung-ho showwoman willing to go all the way in the tradition of her genre.

“I kick chairs over, I rub my boobs on stage,” says Van Winkle, who used to play bass and sing with The Autopsies. “We put on really high-energy crazy shows.”

Aaron Carlson (guitar), a Eugenean by way of Chicago, and Johnny Kraft (drums), a native of the Midwest, make up the rest of the group. Both musicians, influenced by bands like Screeching Weasel and the Descendents, fell in love with the local music scene. 

“There’s really a strong support for the punk scene here,” Kraft says. “Coming from the Midwest where the scene was weak, coming here has been a complete change.” 

The Bad Luck Blackouts differ from other furious punk bands in the way the group records — clean. You won’t hear muddy bass or over-distorted chords from these guys. The trio is particularly attuned given that the musicians have only played together for one year. The song “Do or Die,” from the Blackout’s self-titled demo, is a perfect example of the band’s clarity. Van Winkle’s voice surgically cuts through the classic skate-punk (almost surf-punk) tapestry her bandmates lay down for her. 

The Blackouts are tailor-made for X Games crash videos or very untamed bars. Keep an eye out; this group is hungry and confident and they have the potential to spearhead the local scene and push even further. Time and tour will tell.

The Bad Luck Blackouts play 10 pm Friday, Dec. 23, at John Henry’s; $3. — Dante Zuñiga-West