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I'm hoping there's no statute of limitations on how many pieces including Hector Penalosa and the Escovedo family I can write. Because if these guys continue pumping out seminal So. Cal. rock 'n' roll fluids, I'm just a messenger. The Roman Candle–level skywriting is that the Zeros can still make adults jump around like kernels in a hot Jiffy Pop tray. There's just so much that's classic power punk about playing eight songs and walking offstage — the teases — before clambering back to throw down until a couple of moshpits have been attempted and the floor's a mosaic of broken glass.

Hells, yeah, it was a great way to slide into a new year. Before genuinely exiting the building the Zeros fed an ecstatic, black-leather-armored jumble with the killer riffs appending to "Main Street Brat," "She's Just a Girl on the Block," "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," and "Black and White," let alone treats that testify to the band's being more/divergent than any sort of Ramones, like a revved-up spin through the Modern Lovers' "She Cracked."

New Mexico laid an inviting backing-through-time mat down with post-punk-ish, percussion-driven grooves not entirely unlike a more pissed-off Feelies. Listen up for these former Apes of Wrath: the trio had a lot of folks practicing the hot-tin-roof hop with solid compositions, right-on chops, and deal-with-the-devil dynamics.

Oh, and back to Penalosa: seeing him for the first time, my friend Lisa commented that his singing, whenever he faced the mic, added extra verve. She said it — I'm just here to scribble notes I can't decipher later.

  • Concert: The Zeros and New Mexico
  • Date: December 31
  • Venue: Eleven
  • Seats: Wherever I could avoid getting squashed
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