Partisans - Neon Maniacs & Skulls @ Showcase

Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Jul 23, 2005, by Andrew Ridley.

Featured Artists: Neon Maniacs; Partisans; Skulls; Genre: Rock;

I got inside in time to see the Neon Maniacs setting up. I maneuvered around to be somewhat in the front. The venue was packed already, and I’m sure it sold out by the end of the night. The Neon Maniacs came on stage donning outfits that seem to be out of Star Trek. Gnat, the singer, was where a bright white jumpsuit and an odd face mask. It only would have been more Neon Maniac like if it were a neon green. The Neon Maniacs are a punk band from Orange County, they play a very high pitched, fast, punk rock. It’s had to explain, vocally there is not much I can compare it to, but if you like the Stitches, you might like the Neon Maniacs too. Lyrically, it’s really weird stuff that makes no sense upon initially hearing it. They played a good solid set and seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. Their bass player made googly faces at me, its ok though, cause I know him. The only down side to their set, aside from seeing it many times already; was the crowd didn't seem to be too into it. Maybe they had all seen them too many times, but I would bet they just weren’t digging it all that much and would rather see the Skulls or Partisans. You can check them out for yourself at or if you live in Orange County, visit gnats record shop: Radiation Records in Fullerton.
The Skulls are old school, LA punk rock. If you are you into old LA bands like X, Black Flag, Fear and such, then you should already know the Skulls, and if you don't, you need to check them out. They started way back in ‘77, broke up a few years later, and started playing again in 2000. I am honestly not a big fan of their music recorded, but live, oh man. They put on such an incredible show. Billy Bones is nuts, and it shows. He is everywhere on stage, the guitarist is crowd surfing, and half the audience is either on stage, or trying to get there. I don't know how many kids fell on me. They are infamous with their sing-alongs, and everyone seems to know them and participates with them. The audience was definitely very much alive with them, and made it incredibly fun to see. The skulls website is at
Partisans; you see their t-shirts and patches on punk rock kids everywhere, and yes they still play! They formed in ‘78 in England, broke up in the mid ‘80s and got back together in 2000. They even released an all new album in 2001. They are quite incredible to see. I saw them last year, and this show, just completely blew that one away. They played almost all the songs people wanted to play, and most of the people there seemed to know every word of them. They played a few new songs as well, which gets mixed reviews. I really just don't know. To figure out if I actually like it or not I would have to sit there with the album and listen to it a few times, but from what I heard when they played it has almost a rockabilly sound in it, which is pretty odd. They finished their set, and the crowd started chanting the standard "one more song, one more song" and of course, they came back to play more, and they played three more, and by the time those were over, everyone seemed ok with it. The last three were the most exhausting of the evening. The only disappointment of the evening was that they didn't play Mindless Violence, but that is very forgiving. I am sitting at my computer listening to their songs, and just from hearing it, it makes you want to be back at the show again, and if you want to know what its like to see them, listen to the music, and imagine the best possible way they could make the show a great show and there you have it. So much fun, it was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to this year. If you haven’t heard them, check them out, especially if you have an interest in old English punk rock bands, and this one you actually have a chance to see if they come back next year! I think the only people that didn't have a good time at this show were the ones that didn't make it inside.



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