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Plugging into the sleazy punk pipeline

Some people think sleazy punks dress in snakeskin, throw around wads of cash, and get laid by slutty groupies. True punk sleaze demands 3 a.m. prowls through dirty city streets, searching for someone or something to smash the howling demons inside. On Static Delusions and Stone-still Days, the Catheters hit that trashy sweet-spot, spitting out a record of raging hormones with a heaviness that could crush skulls.

The first thing that stands out on Static Delusionsis the Seattle band's frontman, Brian Standeford, who screams like a tortured alley cat, emitting each feral syllable with dripping venom. His subject matter is aggressively dark as well, full of images of arson and ugliness. Even when Standeford lightens up a bit -- offering "I do my best to be warm and gentle" on one song -- he undercuts his words with sneering sarcasm.

Lance Hammond


With Bottles & Skulls and Down in Flames

Friday, April 26, at 10 p.m.

Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F.

Tickets are $7


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Since Standeford's singing style recalls sleazy punk icon Iggy Pop, it's not surprising that the Catheters' music takes a page from the Stooges. With its sludgy guitar effects and quick pace, the group also recalls Northwest legends like Nirvana and Mudhoney -- even if the band members are barely old enough to remember when grunge began. All told, the Catheters herald the return of the seedy punk sound. Three a.m. never sounded so good.

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