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Jo Koy Feb8 & 9 at The Republik

BAMP Project proudly presents... Comedian Jo Koy February 8 & 9 The Republik Honolulu, HI
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White Marks on a White Wall

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SMITZ

Story by Katie Whitman. Published 4/3/2006 12:00:00 AM

An Authentic Representation Of Young Punks In Hawaii

SMITZ

by Alexander Nicholas Kaiser, photos by Keisha

Let us dance together, children. Because I know how it feels to be young - I lived it once before. 6 years ago I remember falling off a bus, on my way to a show, drunk in the middle of the daytime, outside radio free hawaii. At fourteen years old it was still understood at that tender age I was living in the heyday of my youth, and that was the most entertaining thing we could come up with. Leather jackets marked our allegiance to revelry, music, to the loud and the fast. Operation Ivy, Rancid, The Casualties, The Clash - of these bands I became socialized to all of them subverted my mind permanently, some more than others. Now, though I have calmed my revelry some and I don’t honestly listen to the Casualties anymore, I still have a connection specifically to the naive and rebellious heyday of my early teenage years when I listen to this type of “punk” music. When I heard Smitz on myspace (a substitute for the long lost mp3.com for young artists, and a very powerful tool) looked at their pictures and read their lyrics I almost felt as if I were looking in a mirror of myself around the turn of the millennium. I heard Op Ivy influence all over what is perhaps my favorite of of the four tracks, Pollute Boy, and I was a fan. This is one of those songs that can’t help sounding like it was recorded in a garage - though LowBrow studios manages produce the track clearly while keeping the raw inflection. The chorus of Pollute Boy (Pollute Boy, Pollute Boy/You get what you want) is spat like a political endightment upon somebody, but the song itself is indescript about exactly what sort of social injustice, if any, has taken place. The song really finds it’s strength during the verse with a strong vocal melody in time with a simple three chord ska hook, along with a slightly stuttered scream of “Sally K!/Sally K!” the song turns into a powerful anthem. An anthem about something, you’re not sure exactly what. But if you let down your pretensions and listen to Smitz you will be impressed by the dedicated passion with which these 15 or 16 year old kids create something that successfully replicates the passion and sound of bands like Reagan Youth, Operation Ivy, Citizen Fish. There are many bands in Hawaii competing for the same genre, Black Square, Upstanding Youth and 86 List to name a few; these are some of the most celebrated bands in the 808 scene, and rightfully so. These bands all recreate the same genre of music as Smitz, with even better musicianship, more calculated song writing, years (often decades) of experience and a large following that they have generated over these years. All all of those bands, through their professionalism and engineering of the genre to radio-friendly perfection, have lost a sense of that dirty, garage-made by a 15 year-old authenticity that can only be created by dirty 15 year olds in a garage - Smitz have this X-facor in spades. For me I feel nostalgic when I listen to Smitz, but I’m overwhelmed with optimism for the future when I think of all the young punks going to their shows, defining their formative years to positive, energetic punk music. This may very well be Smitz at their prime, and I could be wrong, but you still wanna pay attention to them now before they get famous or break up.
Go to www.myspace.com/smitz to get hip.

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