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Japan's BREAKfAST offers daring feats of skatepunk

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Balanced: BREAKfAST
  • Balanced: BREAKfAST

Breakfast in Japan traditionally includes rice, miso soup and maybe some dried fish or a pickle of some sort. BREAKfAST, on the other hand, also hails from Japan, but combines thrashy skatepunk straight out of early '80s California with a healthy dose of art punk.

BREAKfAST established itself as a skater's band with the requisite references -- song names like "Ollie" and "Violent Grind" -- and a generally simple but fun attitude, borne out in its tendency to bring skateboards on stage and play songs about fireworks and the pizza man. Many of the band's songs have a basic thrash formula, but the band is noteworthy for those moments when they stray from the formula.

While the weird capitalization in its name implies a tribute to another Mike Watt-George Hurley project, much of BREAKfAST's more adventurous material garners comparisons to The Minutemen. Time-signature changes, trebly guitar chords and attacks on the upbeat characterize songs like "American Wino" and "Milk," from the band's Vertigo LP. Everything from jazz to traditional blues colors BREAKfAST's discography, punctuating the high-energy freakouts with more musically novel breakdowns, alternating and sometimes combining modes in a way somewhat reminiscent of early Hüsker Dü.

BREAKfAST hits the Mr. Roboto Project Saturday night with tourmates Conquest for Death and Boston's Conversions (featuring former Crucial Unit drummer Chris Strunk) for a show that also marks the end of the line for local power-violence outfit Warzone Womyn. It's got the makings of a punk show that's well-rounded, just like the elusive "balanced breakfast" of commercial lore.

BREAKfAST with Conquest for Death, Conversions and Warzone Womyn. 7 p.m. Sat., July 28. The Mr. Roboto Project, 722 Wood St., Wilkinsburg. $8. All ages. 412-247-9639 or www.therobotoproject.org

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