Punk drunk love 

Who: Sidesixtyseven and HuskaVarna

Where: The Boot Pub

When: Sunday, Nov. 17

Ah, punk rock. Where would the working class be without it? It’s the perfect anti-establishment antidote to a rough week at work. And for all you closet freedom-fighting fans hiding out under your headphones and hoodies, your music medicine is here: on Sunday night, you must take two large doses of Sidesixtyseven and Huskavarna. To be taken together, with liquid.

The Vancouver based five-piece, Sidesixtyseven, have a solid fan base locally and abroad thanks to their first EP Inspired and the follow-up LP More Stitches Than Riches released in 2001. Those new to the Whistler punk scene though, will no doubt welcome 67’s fast and furious flavour straight into their aural senses, and may even be entertained with a skateboard trick or two. All five members are avid skaters who’ve spent several years spreading their skate-plus-punk love around the country.

Lead vocalist E.N explained the amalgamation: "We are first and foremost about punk music but skateboarding just goes so damn well with it. Every time you watch a skate or snowboard video, it’s the music that helps to take you right there, to feel the adrenaline." Sidesixtyseven have featured in their fair share of Whistler videos. Most notably, the extreme snowmobiling video titled Roops of Hazard.

While proud of their video representation, the band claims they are more than just music for extreme mountain action.

"We’re pretty powerful and aggressive sure, but we’re not just there to make noise, we love to mean something too," said E.N.

That message is pretty loud and clear if their political platform is anything to go by. Several band members are keen supporters of the B.C Marijuana Party and they’re here to help spread the word on weed.

"Civil disobedience, that’s what we’re about. We play fast and talk even faster to help make a slow government make the necessary changes to get rid of outdated laws. Ending prohibition, having freedom of choice, and acting responsibly, that’s what we’re about."

The band have a new drummer, Nic, who they’ve been playing with for three months, which E.N said was long enough to develop not only a new style but six new songs to boot, which they plan to record around Christmas time.

"We’ve got a whole new energy with Nic and we’re pretty excited to go to as many snowboard and ski parties as possible to show him off. We’ll all be regulars in Whistler this season for sure," E.N said.

The 67 boys are fired up for Sunday’s show, especially as they get to play with their old pals, the local Whistler band HuskaVarna. With a laugh reminiscent of the evil Dr Jekyll, E.N said: "We’re all good friends and we always have a good time. It should be very entertaining. They’re maniacs on the move again that’s for sure."

After a year’s hiatus, HuskaVarna are pumped to perform their first gig back in Whistler. The three-piece local thrashers left their Pemberton pads in April, heading for the bright lights of the big city to pursue their own interests for a while.

Bassist Jason Gavin, drummer Tom Ward and guitarist/lead vocalist Jeff Billinton formed the band four years ago and after many months of touring across the Northwest and all the way down to southern California, they developed a loyal fan base. Their debut album Music for Pornos was released in September, 2000 to rave reviews on the all-ages circuit.

Since their departure, they have not been forgotten. Several rotting HuskaVarna posters have remained on walls around Whistler, surviving the weather and the graffiti. So did the graffiti bother them?

"Nah," said bassist Gavin. "We know who it was and he’s been dealt with. He now lives in Fernie actually. We chased him out of town so nobody else get any ideas, right."

Gavin said the band are restless and ready to go back to full time touring, with Whistler being the first stop on their planned return trip down the West Coast straight after New Year’s Eve.

The band promises to put on quite a show to rival Sidesixtyseven’s. While 67 will have skateboards, Gavin said "HuskaVarna will have hotdogs."

Anyone expecting a battle of the bands type of night, may be disappointed though, as Gavin said: "There is no competition cos we’re way better."

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