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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
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In search of low-fi punk rock

Nobunny is a scary dude.
Nobunny is a scary dude.


Nobunny is a scary dude.


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was one of the most vexing, indulgent, awesome films I’ve ever seen. It was “an epic of epic epicness”, as the tagline goes. That being said, I know I am not the only one that wishes that Sex Bob-omb, the supposedly ‘terrible’ band of Pilgrim’s, was actually a real band. 

So for your benefit (and my curiosity), I’ve done a little research to bring you guys a list of bands that somewhat, to-an-extent, almost sound as cool as Sex Bob-omb. Without further ado, here it is.

Beck. The music for the band in the film was written by Beck. In the comic book, the band is supposed to be awful. So, Beck was called on to write music that wasn’t very good. For Beck’s case, however, being asked to write bad music is like asking the sun not to be so bright. 

Thus, we have these incredibly well done songs that sound like they came off an early Beck album: appropriate considering he wrote them. Surprisingly enough, each of the songs were actually performed by the actors in the movie – believe it or not.

I recommend checking out “Minus” off of Beck’s Odelay album, just to start you off.

Guitar Wolf. and Times New Viking. Beck didn’t start something totally new when he wrote these songs for Scott Pilgrim, he just expanded on the massive base of lo-fi, hardcore, psychedelic, indie garage rock that was already in place. He chose these two bands in particular as his inspiration.

The similarities are pretty obvious, especially since both bands drip with feverish adrenaline and diseased testosterone. I’d say check out Guitar Wolf if you want to be somewhat able to comprehend what is going on. And if you just want noise that beats your ears like a war machine with a battering ram in hand, then Times New Viking is for you.

Try out “Jet Generation” by Guitar Wolf, and if you think your speakers (read: your brain) can handle it, “Drop Out” is probably the best place to start with Times New Viking; that is, it’s the most comprehensible song.

Coachwhips. After some deep digging into the realm of music, I discovered this little chicken McNugget of golden musical goodness. Believe you me, this band is not for the faint-hearted. Leave your morals at the door because the lyrics hit on some hard subjects; just check out their album names, for example.

Faint of heart aside, these guys rock. Hard. Best of all, their sound is nearly identical to the Sex Bob-ombs. I must give you fair warning, just a few minutes of “Evil Son” and “Extinguish Me” might just rip your face off, and I mean that in the most positive way possible.

Darlings. To back the track up a bit, I’m going to recommend the Darlings. These guys still rock, but not quite as angrily as everyone else. It’s a bit of a surf sound, with some hints of pop. Their lyrics bring a smile to my face: a song titled “TV” is a love song to the television, “TV, feeling really far away, give me somewhere to be right now.”

The Darlings are probably the best suited band for a wide audience. Their music isn’t nearly as abrasive as the previously mentioned bands, and it’s quite catchy, too. I think “TV” off the Yeah I Know album is a good starting point.

Turbo Fruits. Let’s just say I love this band name. If anything, the band name is worth giving these guys a listen. It’s only better when you discover how great they actually are. How do I describe their intensity? Let’s say, if Coachwhips is a 10 and the Darlings is a 1, then Turbo Fruits would be a 5.

They aren’t as bloodthirsty, or quite as in-your-face as the Sex Bob-ombs, but they provide a healthy substitute that won’t leave you feeling as though you’ve been bullied at the end of each song. Check out “Want Some Mo’” off the Echo Kid album.

Nobunny. This is one weird guy. He wears a bunny mask for the extent of each concert, and he plays a wide, wide variety of music. He also strips down to tighty whities during his live shows. Either he has a great sense of humor, or… yeah.

I will be perfectly content with keeping his music on my playlist and never seeing a live show. His lyrics can be a bit out of the ordinary (what did you expect?), but the heart and the spirit are there. They are there somewhere deep beneath the tight underwear and the bunny mask.

If that sort of thing entertains you, then by all means see him live. If you’re normal like me, then check out “Someone Else’s Brain” and “Boneyard.”

Tyvek. Last, but certainly not least, is Tyvek. It’s the madness that I love; the guitar sounds decidedly furious and the vocals are nothing short of strained harshness. Lo-fi as it comes, these guys bring unbridled fury.

It’s hard to pick one song. I would just as well recommend the whole Nothing Fits album as point out a song. But, to make it easier on you, I’ll say check out “Underwater 2” and “Potato.”

That’s the list that I have for you. If that doesn’t satisfy your lust for that Scott Pilgrim sound, then check out the following bands: White Stripes, Eagles of Death Metal, Black Time, the Okmoniks, the Spits, the Intelligence, Black Lips, Urinals, King Khan & BBQ Show, the Golden Triangle, Jemina Pearl, Ty Segall, and Stnnng. Happy listening.

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