The French Exit/Karoshi Boy/Hillary Chil - Live in Los Angeles (Cover Artwork)

The French Exit / Karoshi Boy / Hillary Chil

Live in Los Angeles (2015)

live show

$7 to see four bands is a great deal no matter how you spin it, much less when two of the bands on the card are hot, up and coming SoCal punk outfits. So, I laced up my shit kickers and headed on down Sunset Blvd to Echo Park, where the PBR is warm and flat and the Hipsters line every dimly lit street corner. Expectedly, Karoshi Boy and local boys, The French Exit didn’t disappoint and were the definitive highlights of this all ages show (and when I say all ages, I mean all ages. I posted up about three feet from the stage behind a mom rocking out with her 3 year old in tow).

First up was Hillary Chillton, a five piece ensemble hailing from Claremont, CA which sports both a female and male vocalist. The male lead, Tanner Duffy has a sound not dissimilar to Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World and when he was up to bat, the band took on that sound as well. But, when female lead, Nina Anyayahan took the mic, look out! She was loud and proud! The whole tone of the band morphed seamlessly to fit her violent, aggressive style and it was stellar. At times, it was almost as if I was watching two different bands from song to song, both good in their own ways. Being partial to the more gritty, Street Punk sound though, Nina’s performance was the best part of the set for me.

Next on stage was Corona, CA’s Karoshi Boy. This four man group takes influence from Built to Spill, The Pixies and The Get Up Kids. Early in 2014, the boys released their 1st album, Nothing Is, a 7” from Open Door Records in Hawthorne, CA. Lead singer, Zach Miller sounds a bit like John Samson of Weakerthans and Propagandhi fame. They didn’t have many songs, but the ones they had were perfectly executed. The entire set was an extremely well wrapped package with simple harmonies and an upbeat tempo. Think Yellowcard, but faster and more abrasive.

Minnow was the next band up and although not my type of music, they had merit. I would scantly liken this six piece team (one being the tambourine and xylophone player) to Porno for Pyros. Having listened to almost exclusively nothing but Punk for about 20 years though, the pool from which I draw my reference is admittedly shallow. They took no breaks in between songs which on it’s own, deserves recognition. Too many bands these days will extend the set unnecessarily with a multitude of breaks. I always like to see them just smash through the whole thing in one shot, It suits my personality. But a xylophone? WTF?

And now, for the main event- The French Exit! These feline aficionados are a quickly ascending four piece Garage Punk troupe hailing from right here in the City of Angels. This was their first hometown show of the year (and also Guitarist/Vocalist Bobb’s birthday) and they proved that their success from 2014 hasn’t slowed them a bit in the new year. The band predominately played songs from their newest album, Guts and Black Stuff from It’s Alive Records. The pace of the set was rapid with clean transitions. No pit, which is always a little disappointing, but we’ll blame that on the fact that it was a Wednesday night and the venue wasn’t very packed (I’ll make it up in a few weeks at the Leftover Crack show). You can really tell that these boys are hitting their stride. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for 2015.