Sound Advice

Aloha Screwdriver and The Small Dinosaurs

By April 9, 2012

Futuristic surf rockers Aloha Screwdriver and underwear-clad The Small Dinosaurs invaded the G Street Wunderbar last Saturday night.

Alameda’s Aloha Screwdriver played aggressive, Dick Dale inspired surf rock, with a retro-futuristic vibe (jumpsuits, ray guns, bubblegum cigarettes). The hard rocking trio had myriad theatrical tricks that kept the crowd entertained. In true rock star fashion, guitarist Donald Bell jumped on a box that lit up as he wailed. Mid-way through, drummer Steve Slater and bassist Grant Shellen ran through the crowd, shooting toy ray guns.

The band had fun with an enthusiastic audience member, who bopped along to the music. As the drunken dude danced, they stretched out the music with a sustained note, to see how long he could hold his pose. ‘Give it up for the Pilate’s instructor,’ Donald Bell said to much applause.

The only downside to the set was, as my friend put it, ‘after awhile, it all sounds the same.’ And yes, the surf rock genre does suffer that fate- it’s like an endless loop of the Pulp Fiction theme. But don’t let that detour you from checking them out next time.

My pal Joel Daniel already plays in two bands- Shayna and the Bulldog and The Hoots- and now The Small Dinosaurs. All I knew going in was that they sang songs about household chores.

The show began with the “Jurassic Park” soundtrack blaring as the band members stripped to their underwear. Joel donned dishwashing gloves and tight red boxer briefs. The reason? ‘It’s what I wear when I clean,’ Joel explained. Fair enough.

‘Wash the Dishes,’ ‘Sweep the Floor,’ ‘Pay the Bills’- sounds more like my ex girlfriend than a set list.

Whether you enjoy house cleaning or not, everyone can relate to these songs. And while The Small Dinosaurs have a goofy sense of humor, it isn’t just a kitschy novelty act. The music is really good! ‘Lay Those Traps’ is dark and moody, while ‘Trash Day’ is an epic, Springsteen like rocker. My only complaint was the lack of a lawn mowing song.

Landon Christensen

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