This year's Budget Rock festival (Thu., Oct. 22–Sun., Oct. 25) once again ups the ante, offering its best lineup of trash-rock (formerly garage-rock) greatness. While punks pull their hair out about getting into the Mummies shows, here's a rundown of other Budget Rock candidates worth catching. John O'Neill
Young Offenders (Thu., Oct. 22, 9 p.m., Eagle Tavern)
If bald ain't exactly beautiful, it still packs a pretty potent wallop. Young Offenders win the Budget Rock Sore Thumb Award for being the least like the rest of the roster. Jabbing, skittering guitar; abrasive delivery; and amazing hooks make these guys the hands-down best punk band in the city. Think Wire meets the Marked Men, or even Elvis Costello via early Gang of Four.
NoBunny (Sat., Oct. 24, 3 p.m., Thee Parkside)
Quick rule of thumb; Any band with a Silvertone guitar generally rocks. These guys sport two — and they honor the local garage tradition of dressing up in cheap costumes and acting totally mental.
The Brentwoods (Sat., Oct. 24, 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill)
It's the reunion nobody is talking about. How could a band with such a pedigree (Trashwomen and Supercharger, with Darin Raffelli helping out) stay so far under the radar? More importantly, how could one group be so inept? Five singles and one album, all of which sound like a 1950s teen dance party played through an electric razor.
Wounded Lion (Sun., Oct. 25, 1 p.m., Thee Parkside)
The best thing to crawl out of the drought that is the L.A. music scene since the Fuse. Great pop ideas bludgeoned into submission by a no-frills, no-fills, zero-effects rhythm section the Monks would be proud to claim.
Rock & Roll Adventure Kids (Sat., Oct. 24, 3 p.m., Thee Parkside)
The band that stole the first Budget Rock is still one of the Bay Area's least-appreciated outfits. Marcos Valerio Arsing is one of those unhinged, primitive, missing link–type guys nobody will get until he's 60 and living in a trailer in the woods.
The Curse of the Mummies by John O'Neill.