Drummers Bill Bateman, D.J. Bonebrake and John Densmore have served much time in three of Los Angeles’ greatest and most subversive bands. But part of the subversion of, respectively, the Blasters, X and the Doors was in those bands’ rejecting such overwrought rock cliches as the drum solo. So these three stalwarts wreaked glorious revenge on punk’s anti-solo ethos Friday at the Lhasa Club by teaming up for a “drum-a-thon"--all rhythm and fills with no melodic frills.
For the sweaty 40-minute set, consisting of half a dozen fast-paced selections, the featured “skin"-heads all played in some sort of impressive synchronization--sometimes all three thundering away at once, sometimes two providing the rhythm while the other stretched out.
The typical rock drum solo is as eager to please as the climax of a fireworks display; the blurrier the hands look to the crowd, the better. But this teamwork was less showy and more jazz-like--or, in its louder moments, more cadence-like.
Bateman turned in especially precise rudiments, and his and Bonebrake’s concentration on the snare drum suggest that these guys probably spent a lot of time in a high school marching band before graduating to the full kit.