House party

Loose Moxie’s show starts slow

NOT AS RAD AS SEX Getting down with Alex of Sex With Girls is Rad.

NOT AS RAD AS SEX Getting down with Alex of Sex With Girls is Rad.

Photo By Tom Angel

Sex With Girls is Rad & Botchii Moxie’s, Sat., April 3

Moxie’s on a Saturday night: Two bands wrestle with feedback from the P.A., and a jar for “donations for the out of town band” passes through a modest gathering of familiar faces in the dimly lit café.

Of the dozen or so times I’ve seen Chico’s Botchii, this was the first time I wasn’t blown away by the noisy duo’s performance. The combo of joking around and unhinged noisemaking has always worked for me because they never seemed to be acting. Jokes felt born of the same skittish nervousness they displayed in regular conversation, and the noise exploded from deep confinement in startling bursts of schizophrenic response.

On this night the two worlds merged, and the whole audience was in on the act. Most everyone in the place knew the Botchii dudes, and the two entities played off one another, goofing around, kicking things over, yelling back and forth ("Sex with chickens is rad!"). It was all fun enough, but it was too reined-in to be exciting and too sloppy to be powerful.

Portland’s Sex With Girls is Rad started off much the same, with vocalist/guitarist “Alex” giving a cry of “This is a hit,” as he and co-vocalist/guitarist and drummer “James” launched into the first half of their short set. The duo had a tough time holding it together as they bashed through the sloppy punky-pop songs, mixing in bits of pre-recorded sounds and fun lyrics: “Bought some tea at Trader Joe’s/ You are so pretty in pink,” from “Trader Joe’s.”

The second half was a lot more fun, as they forwent holding it together at all, letting the sampler handle most of the instrumentation, with James alternating craziness on guitar and drums and Alex abandoning his axe and free styling lyrics while dancing in the crowd. Wearing his New Order affections on his sleeve, Alex peppered his rantings with lines from "Bizarre Love Triangle" and "Blue Monday," as a pre-recorded female did the same. All control was abandoned, as Sex With Girls collapsed into a beautifully wrecked heap.