Exithiside Shack-ing up tomorrow and next week 

Who: Exithiside

Where: Crab Shack

When: Saturday, Dec. 20

After eight years slugging their uptempo brand of punk rock, 2003 has been somewhat of a breakout year for Vancouver’s Exithiside.

In early October, after winning five times in a row, the band was retired from the Necessary Chaos request challenge on now defunct Vancouver radio station XFM for one.

And, perhaps the greatest honour for a five-piece band of red-blooded Canadian boys, seven of their songs appear on the soundtrack of the latest Midway/Next Level’s NHL Hitz Pro hockey video game, which was released back in September.

The XFM victory is particularly sweet since the format was audience-driven.

"It’s very cool, especially in your home city," says bassist Craig McLaren. "You hear your song on the radio and you know people are calling in and voting for you."

McLaren and company are currently involved in recording the follow up to their last self-titled album, which the bassist says is leaning toward a more raw rock sound from their roots in Green Day/Good Charlotte-style snarky punk. But however their sound might evolve, McLaren reassures their high-energy craziness and sense of fun will remain intact, making it unlikely fans will watch the band morph into scowling post-grungers.

"We all think it’s important to have fun with what you’re doing," he confirms.

Exithiside was a fixture at the Crab Shack last season and Saturday’s show launches what McLaren hopes will be another great season. The band also plays at the Crab Shack Friday, Dec. 26 and Saturday, Dec. 27. Call 604-932-4451 for more information.

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