Eugene Weekly : Music : 7.31.08

Fashionably Late
Is it still cool to be caught in Aerodrone’s orbit?
By Chuck Adams

Aerodrone,  Of Mountains,  The Science Heroes,  A Makeshift Resolution 9 pm Saturday, August 2. WOW Hall. $8 adv., $10 door

Slacker scenesters of Eugene, wake up! It’s 9 pm and time to roll out of bed, throw on your pink belts, white American Apparel hoodies and ass-tight black pants. For those hipsters who haven’t fled back to Portland for summer jobs at Hot Topic, there’s a show in town this summer that requires your perfectly sculpted “messy” hair and Axe-scented armpits. And guess what: Aerodrone, your Eugene scene heroes of 2005, are returning from their fire-choked SoCal haunt to play to their hometown crowd.

There’s only one problem: On their MySpace blog, the band recently pondered, “When we play the WOW Hall in Eugene … who would come?” Could it be that the same groupies that went gaga for Aerodrone’s Moving Units-meets-The Faint shtick two or three years ago have graduated beyond the synth-drizzle to deeper club sounds? (Girl Talk, anyone?) But Aerodrone are still banking on youth mainstays like Casio keyboard synth, corporate-punk fashions and a heavy dose of irony to reel in the fans. At least one of their MySpace friends, “Yesi,” has reaffirmed Aerodrone’s status: “I’m still your friend! I’M SO GOING.” 

The band, signed to Cordless Records last year, has a new(ish) EP out, Sceneboy, that is currently only available as an iTunes digital download. While the album still sounds a whole lot like The Faint, its lyrics have sharpened up. It appears that band members Gary Zon and Kevin Patrick have decided that instead of fighting pretentiousness, they are going to wear it like an oversized pair of sunglasses, tongues planted firmly in cheeks. On the title track, Zon sings in a mocking deadpan, “I need new shoes / I need new pants / the ones I have / don’t fit me right,” before launching into the heart-on-sleeve macho-whine, “I want to scream / I want to shout / I feel so lonely / and left out.” Can you feel the angst? Can you see the smirk?

But the best track is the slow groove Italo-disco burn of “Late to the Party,” where Zon murmurs (as if from under his bedsheets): “I’ll wake up in a minute / hungover from the night before / it’s cold, turn on the heater / oh nevermind / we never paid the bill.” For the scenester’s life, the hardest part is waking up.