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Old-school punks return for a Victims Family reunion

Wednesday, May 9 2001
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During the late '80s, this trio of Petaluma natives made a name for itself at Gilman Street with fast-and-furious, off-the-wall tunes like "They Cut Out His Brain" and "Liars, Pigs, and Thieves." The group's heavily syncopated rhythms and riffs, experimental guitarwork, and sardonic lyrics flew in the face of the average three-chord songs of the day. The band was dubbed "jazzcore" for lack of a better term, and over the years it drew a small but loyal following in the European and American underground. By the mid-'90s, when punk went mainstream, the trio seemed poised for a breakout -- at which point it disbanded.

After the breakup, guitarist/singer Ralph Spight and bassist Larry Boothroyd continued to kick out the jams in Saturn's Flea Collar and Hellworms, but these spinoffs failed to capture the power and passion of the original group. Fortunately, Spight and Boothroyd decided recently to resurrect Victims Family, enlisting Tacoma drummer David Gleza to drop the beats. New titles like "Monstrosity" and "I'm Being Followed Around by the CIA" show they've still got attitude and musical muscle to match.

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Sam Prestianni

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