College radio loves the Pinehurst Kids

Thursday, May 31 The Pinehurst Kids kicked off a six-week tour of the United States with a rollicking show at Berbati’s Pan. The show was a CD release party for their third album, Bleed It Dry. They opened for The Posies.

According to singer/songwriter Joe Davis, the band started as a joke in order to get free beer at EJs. That may be true, but The Kids seem serious about the band now. Sounding not unlike some of the popular alternative radio bands that have come to dominate the airwaves, it is hard to classify what makes this band different. Davis dismissed any similarities in sound between Green Day and PK as the mere physical similarities of the two front men. I still kind of think so, but I have always liked Green Day since Kerplunk. Who knows, maybe it is the blue hair. Davis gives his influences as Miles Davis, The Replacements and U2 .

Alex Steininger of In Music We Trust described the band’s sound as “power-pop with a punk mentality” in his review of the album, Minnesota Hotel. That punk edge is intensified by the band’s live performance, particularly with by the antics of kick-ass bass player Caleb “Cal” Gates.

If Davis provides the voice for PK with his contagious lyrics and melodies, Gates provides the soul. The lanky bass player, complete with Budweizer beer label ‘Caleb’ tattoo on his arm, sings back up and moves constantly. He jumps, grimaces, laughs and above all plays great bass. He shows his old school punk rock roots and love for playing.

I haven’t seen anyone have so much fun on stage since Nathan Roder of Sound Fester. (Local band from the ’80s that played Satyricon and X-ray. Only claim to fame was that drummer Steve Hardy’s other band, Rectal Pizza, was voted one of the most disgusting band names in Rolling Stone one year.)

Gates and Davis seemed to dominate the stage with their performances; Gates provided the punk and Davis the passion. Guitarist Devin Morrow, who alternated lead and rhythm with Davis, seemed a bit reserved at the opening of the number, but soon found his groove and was playing strongly, especially after the band toasted the audience with a shot.

Drummer Tony Howard was a bit weak, however it was his first show with The Kids since former drummer Rob Duncan left. Tours make or break new members, if Howard can survive the road trip over the next few weeks, he should meld into the band.

The tour play list includes songs off Viewmaster, Minnesota Hotel and the new record. Check out MP3s from Bleed it Dry at Barbaric Records (

Some of my favorites from the show on Thursday include “Rollover” with an infectious chorus, “Big Fight” with a catchy hook, strong bass and nice guitar work, and “Dancing” from Davis’ solo record. The album, Hope Chest, is available on new Portland indie label In Music We Trust ( Joe will be playing a CD release show with a band at Dante’s in Portland at the end of July after the PK tour.

If the band sounds familiar it may be because they have been getting a bit of media buzz lately. After five weeks at college radio, the Pinehurst Kids new record, Bleed It Dry, climbed to #22 on the CMJ top 200 and continue to be one of the most added bands to college radio play lists.

Not only that but the second track on Bleed, “The Onceler,” from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” may be featured on Something Cool, Jaime Cooley’s Sunday night show on KNRK 94.7 The song is catchy and memorable. On the Web, Joe Davis is the featured artist for June at PDX Bands (