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The Front:  Scolari’s Office, San Diego
May 18th, 2007

North Park.  North Park.  North Park.  Why must you be so far away?  However, the venture into Scolari’s Office in San Diego is always worth it.  Actually, that may only be true because both times I’ve been there to see The Front, a three-piece Los Angeles band consisting of Michael Bauer (vocals, guitar), Kelly Kutasy (drums), and Nico Woolley (bass).  And, they are always worth the drive, the bad parking, the bums, and the lack of decent bathrooms.  Tonight was no exception, especially on the first night of their 2-week West Coast tour.

You have to know, first of all, that Scolari’s is a dive bar with a sign out front that has a tight-shirted, big-titted woman in an office with some peeping tom eyeing her from a window.  Nice marketing.  But, I have to admit for an all-cash bar, it is a decent hangout, and the sound isn’t too bad.  That is unless after the first band (some folksy Patsy Cline-ish duo), some drunk woman plows her head through a glass window, halting The Front’s performance for some 30 or so minutes.  Apparently, this place is in a semi-residential area and the sound cannot wake the neighbors.  Once the woman was ushered in an ambulance and the blood and glass was cleaned up, the staff finally figured out that cardboard could muffle the resonant sounds of The Front’s hard-rocking set.

Let me preface by saying that The Front is one of the best bands out of LA.  They are finally getting the fanfare they’ve deserved for sometime with the release of their EP Smiles and Handshakes.  Airplay on Indie 103.1 and shows all over Hollywood are arising.  Everyone is getting a taste of the nectar I’ve enjoyed for awhile.  I’ve always described them as this powerhouse with the penetration of a marching army, but with the softness and beauty of butterfly wings.  Michael’s vocals can be as emotive as Elliott Smith, but as angst-driven as Kurt Cobain.  The guitar riffs can knock you off your seat, with an edgy bass line that meshes the two together like a crocheting of sounds.  Add the raddest female drummer on the planet, and you have this crash of pain, lust, pleasure, and anger clinging to your ear drums and playing over and over in your head for days.  Lyrically, you get politics, love, alienation.  Mix with some awesome music and you have a perfect culmination of what encapsulates The Front’s sound.  A recipe for success.

I’m not sure I want to share my nectar up here on Olympus, but for the sake of this band, I will share some of my godly drink!  Their EPs are available at Amoeba, at any live show, or from their website or myspace:  www.thefrontiscoming.com or www.myspace.com/thefrontiscoming. 

-Lysa Pavlith