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SCATTERBRAIN STIRS UP A HURRICANE OF SOUND, SHOWERING EAR-RINGING FUN ON HEAVY METALISTS

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Scatterbrain thrashed the evening away Thursday at the Speedway Cafe, performing songs from the group's new album "Here Comes Trouble." For people not used to solid, relentless rock performed with a fiery intensity, the evening might have meant trouble - but to those who can appreciate electric power delivered with tight and superb musicianship, Scatterbrain scored big.

The evening kicked off with the Maggot Heads, a band that sounded like they had only been together for a week. Of course the band has only been together for a week, so its discordant music and wasted performance made sense. Even loud, toneless renditions of The Ventures' 1960 hit "Walk Don't Run" and the television theme to "Barney Miller" didn't salvage the Maggot Heads' performance.Truce, the second warm-up band, was an improvement. The guitar players were more polished and the drummer really knew how to use his two bass drums. Not bad.

Scatterbrain, featuring vocalist Tommy Christ, guitarists Glen Cummings and Paul Nieder, bassist Guy Brogna and drummer Mike Boyko, bounced on stage shortly after 11 p.m. and opened their show with "I'm With Stupid. The song delivered a hard-driving 2/4 beat, dirty guitars and Tommy Christ, dressed in a smiley-faced black T-shirt, singing through a megaphone. Nice opening song, and the band members demonstrated right off the bat they knew how to play their instruments and arrange fast, tight instrumentation.

"Down With the Ship" followed, delivering funky interludes from the bassist and drummer. The rhythm changes in "Ship" were intricate, as they were with nearly all Scatterbrain compositions and they even mellowed - for a measure or two. But the evening was still to get better.

"That's That" was a monster of a composition, featuring the best rhythm Scatterbrain put forth all night. The bass part was heavy, funky and driving. One could feel the rhythm as the bassist Brogna popped and slapped his instrument to a heavy roar. "That's That" evolved into yet another 2/4 beat, but still managed to maintain its throbbing beat and forward groove. The guitar solo in this song was fast and wailing, and the composition manifested an uncontrollable power. It didn't get any better than this.

Later Christ left the stage, saying "I'm goin' back stage to relax a little while. These guys are gonna play something." And they did. Mozart's "Sonata No. 3" cranked from the speakers, as the guitarists ran fast lines on their fretboards and once again showed off their musical abilities. The relentless guitar runs and the non-stop noise made this number an icon of novelty during the show. Mozart might have even been proud.

"Beautiful job, boys," Christ said returning to the stage. "That always brings a tear to my eye."

With their ending number, "Earache My Eye," power was the name of the game. In this wave of inexorable noise, one could be functionally deaf and still follow the music. The force of the drums and bass in the hurricane of sound could drive one to the wall. This number featured four-part shouted vocals and the now-standard rhythm-change instrumentation typical of Scatterbrain's music.

For the encore, the band pulled on letterman sweaters and struck up a '50s-style song, signaling the beginning of "Don't Call Me Dude," an imaginative and humorous addition to the night. The song eventually got underway with another tight and funky beat, and Christ was bouncing around the stage, singing (and screaming) that he didn't like people to call him "dude."

Well, dudes, the evening was pure, no-nonsense animalistic fun - although the audience, and this reporter, won't be hearing for a week.