The Rap is a series of op-eds with mp3s that highlight local musicians and upcoming events in the Bay Area. Each week a band writes about their favorite local band, and the following week, the band that was chosen gets to chooses their favorite Bay Area group.
If you’re a Bay Area musician and would like to participate please contact us (David [at] SFCritic.com).
Written by Adam Dragland of Team Candy
Long before Blink 182 and Simple Plan did to their genre what Nickelback did to alternative rock, there were bands much like Airfix Kits defining a new style of music called punk. This bay area trio is proof that it can be as much fun today as it was back then. Real punk is lively music with a smart ass wit and a straight-ahead beat. The rebellion, the angst, the attitude: it’s all there, but implied. Why whine about the pain and injustices of life when you can snicker and entice your audience to slam dance them away?
Airfix Kits strip punk rock down to it’s Clash-flavored skeleton and brings it alive. Their shows are fast and chaotic, always every bit as loud as good rocking demands. Bassist Alan Kasameyer is the embodiment of their energy, channelling Mike Watt from The Minutemen in style as he flails his way across every inch of the stage. The veteran of Your Mother and Giant Haystacks’ right hand becomes a blur of bass thumping motion; you literally can’t make out a distinct finger while he’s playing. This freedom to groove is a testament to the steady and often pounding drums provided by Phil Lantz. Meanwhile, singer/guitarist Allan McNaughton (also formerly of Giant Haystacks) plays the straight man to his rhythm section’s madness. His bright clean guitar tone, Scottish accent, and dry sense of humor are the perfect contrast. McNaughton remains firmly anchored in the song while the music spins around him.
The make or break aspect of any band is their songs, and Airfix Kits shine in this regard. Their numbers are often enhanced with call and response where everyone gets in on the action. “Playing Both Sides” does this quite tastefully, fitting for a song about a two-timing lady. It’s the kind of tune that demands the whole club shout the refrain in unison. “Flex Time” may be the band’s finest moment. It’s a song about surviving the dreaded workday that would make Frankie Goes To Hollywood smile. How can you not love a breakdown to drums and punkapella in the middle of a song? Moments like this need to be experienced live to truly appreciate, and that’s the way music should be.
Catch the Airfix Kits February 17th at The Hemlock!
Airfix Kits: “Playing Both Sides”
Airfix Kits: “Flex Time”
About The Author:
Adam Dragland is the singer and guitarist for the San Francisco rock band Team Candy. They’ve just released “The Tenderloin Sessions”, a 3 song demo that can be downloaded for free by clicking the link. They perform tonight at Brick and Mortar Music Hall at 8pm.