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Putting the Punk Back in Bend: Three acts reviving local rock n’ roll 

Three bands that are bringing the genre punk back to Bend.

Wild Eye Revolvers

Pierced and tattooed, cracking beers and lighting up smokes while sitting on the floor of their gutted van, Wild Eye Revolvers explains their sound as "thrashacana," a term I’m sure they made up. It means something like punk rock with a mandolin with a banjo. You’ve probably unintentionally heard them play before. Lukas Johnson (guitar/vocals), Hondo Hernandez (mandolin) and Nate Irwin (banjo) started the group by busking on the streets of downtown Bend.

“That’s band practice for us,” said Hernandez. “It was the easiest way to play in front of people, no strings attached.”

They’re great street entertainment, as proven by the fact that a few weeks ago, they made $200 in just a few hours of playing. Nella Diesel joined the group on washboard and stomp percussion, giving some backbone to the four piece’s guttural anthems. The punk rock mentality also comes through in their apparel and their performances, which are sweaty, raw and sometimes bloody. Diesel routinely shreds so hard on the board that her fingers bleed.

Based on their appearances you might expect the music to be rough around the edges, but their sound is simple and clean. Similar to local favorite Larry and His Flask, the band combines folk and bluegrass with a punk rock edge and puts on a performance you won’t forget. While the band doesn’t have any recordings yet, they do have a good number of songs, and said they would be happy to record if they had the opportunity.

“[The music] is freedom and it’s happy and we’re not trying to push for anything because we don’t want it to be a job,” said Hernandez. “We want it to be fun.”

Wild Eye Revolvers

Coming soon to a street corner near you

Five Pint Mary

Five Pint Mary started with husband and wife Michael and Sarah Holmes playing music in their living room with friends. Jamming to some Celtic traditionals, things started sounding pretty good so they infused the classics with some punk rock attitude and started a band.

“I’m really drawn to the strong melodies Celtic music has,” said Michael Holmes. “You start with that great material and you can play it in a new way.”

Many of their songs are based on traditional structures, starting off slow and sweet with the fluttering of the tin whistle and rolling vocals. Just when you begin to wonder how the Lord of the Ring’s soundtrack got in your CD changer, the percussion hits and the song explodes into danceable punk jam. Influenced by bands like The Pouges, it’s no mystery where Five Pint got the idea to combine Celtic folk and punk.

“Folk and punk are not that far apart in their intent. They have a do-it-yourself ethos,” said Michael Holmes. “The traditional songs are drinking songs that people used to sing in the pub, have a few pints, get rowdy and sing along with.”

That intent is shared by punk rockers, Celtic traditionalists, and of course, by the band’s seven members. They make whimsical, lively music that’s great for tipping back a few and getting your dance on.

Five Pint Mary with Short Pants Romance

Saturday, June 9

M & J Tavern, 102 Northwest

Greenwood Ave.


Yeah. Weird name, he knows. The man behind the meat, Bill More, is a bearded Pete Townsend lookalike, circa 1979, with an acoustic guitar, and the ability to make everyone in a room think about ex-lovers. After a lifetime of listening to punk rock, More picked up a guitar and wrote his first song just a year ago.

“I found myself at the end of a 16-year marriage that drained my identity. The only way I found to figure out who I was, was to just write songs,” he said.

More explained that sometimes he would write 10 songs in a day. When the songs kept coming, he packed up, conquered his crippling stage fright, recorded an LP in a friend’s living room and learned a kick-ass Bruce Springsteen cover. Now he is Hawkmeat.

His gritty voice, heart-wrenching lyrics and high-energy ballads will make you reevaluate the state of your romantic life. More’s songs are extremely well-crafted and tell an emotionally moving and honest story about breaking down and moving on. Some songs make you want to call past lovers and apologize. Others make you want to call just to say fuck you.

“I don’t like happy songs,” he said. “Well, I do, sometimes, but I don’t know how to write that. All this great stuff is coming out of my darkness. I’m trying to get to a therapist, but this is the best I can do.”

and Little Owl

8pm Saturday, June 2

The Horned Hand, 507 NW Colorado Ave.

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