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Buzz Bands

December 27, 2007|Kevin Bronson

If the Binges had any more energy, they'd plug their amps into themselves. The Los Angeles quartet (pictured) could be champs at most time spent airborne during a club set, if they kept such records, but Mayuko Okai -- one of two Tokyo-born sisters in the band -- is content with her honorary title of happiest guitarist around. "It took me six years of experience, with so many other bands . . . and now, we have almost two years with this lineup," she says. "This is the band I've put my heart into." Her sister/bassist Tsuzumi Okai, singer Dylan Squatcho and drummer Travis "Skanky" Smith seem to have bought in too; the foursome's increasingly sharp, in-your-face punk rock (as much Stooges as Puffy AmiYumi) must be as fun to play as it is to witness. "One of the biggest boosts has been the results -- little by little, people seem to find us," Mayuko Okai says, marveling at the locals who shout along to the Binges' lyrics even though the band's output so far remains only "Hear Me Out," a single released by indie imprint Sympathy for the Record Industry (in limbo since label chief Long Gone John moved from Long Beach to Olympia, Wash.). "We've recorded 14 songs, but [releasing them] depends on Long Gone John," who is divesting himself of the label, Okai says. "I can't wait to put out the album." Friday's show at the Roxy figures to be special -- Mayuko and Tsuzumi's mother, Takae Okai, will be visiting from Japan and seeing her daughters perform live for the first time. ALSO CHECK: Saving yourself for New Year's Eve? Hard when there's a bill like Sunday night's at the Echoplex: the Melvins, 400 Blows and Tweak Bird.

-- Kevin.Bronson@latimes.com

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