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Buzz Bands

October 30, 2003|Kevin Bronson

Ruling the high seas

Eighties, punk, new wave, gloom, glam, shoegaze -- British Sea Power is post-everything. The five-piece from Brighton, England, which makes its L.A. debut tonight at Spaceland, is brash with a wink, dark with a smile and unabashedly theatrical, with their penchant for decorating stages in camouflage and wearing World War I garb. Its debut, "The Decline of British Sea Power," with its corrosive guitars, leaden bass lines and angst-ridden themes, is a do-it-yourselfer's dream. "We've always been suspicious of handing over [production] responsibilities," frontman Yan says. "It all comes from punk, really. To us, it means DIY.... It adds an element of trust." The music has drawn comparisons to Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division and the Pixies. "You've got to be lumped in with somebody, I guess," Yan says.

Fast forward

Sherman Oaks quartet Relax to Paris was one of the odd bands out last Thursday in New York when the American Music Awards conducted the finals of its competition for unsigned bands. The Bomb Squad, an act from NYC, won the right to perform live on national TV on Nov. 16. "I guess the other band had home-court advantage," Relax to Paris guitarist Ryan Gelber says. "We got some e-mails from some fans and friends of the Bomb Squad saying they thought we should have won, so I took a little comfort in that." ... Fonda plays the Derby on Sunday to mark the release of "Catching Up to the Future," and Midnight Movies kicks off its November residency at Spaceland with an EP release party Monday.

-- Kevin Bronson

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