NASALROD In Axel we trust.
Julie Jolliff

THE GENRE POLICE will never close the case on Nasalrod. You can't call them punk because you'd be selling them short. They don't play noise rock because their songs have structure, even a dance-ability at times. You could almost call them a pop band, but they're way too heavy and aggressive. They're a band of musical masterminds that can't be caught. Even when you ask Nasalrod directly who or what influences their sound you won't get a straight answer.

"Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop," deadpans Chairman, the band's in-your-face frontman. "When you pretend he's not a fictional character, he's actually a real good role model." Chairman later gives more of a perspective: "The whole thing is very collaborative. We really just influence each other."

Nasalrod claims nobody writes anything before practice. They only write together. As a team, their mixed bag of influences creates a perfect, yet very odd storm of talents and personalities. Kat Knows (bass and backing vocals) elaborates, "We all bring completely different things then we piece it together like a puzzle. We're puzzle pieces!"

"Stuff just boils out on its own," adds Spit Stix—yes, the Spit Stix, founding member of LA punk instigators Fear. "But originality is really a focus. It's more exciting to play songs if there's originality in them. Then you own it. It's not something you stole from something made 20 years ago."

If the mystery of their melodic, soulful, quirky, yet violent sound doesn't sell you, the morbid curiosity of their live performance will. The same reflex that forces you to rubberneck at some twisted highway accident is the same one that holds your attention at a Nasalrod show.

Chairman careens around the stage, high kicking with the face of a furious man on the tirade of his life. Justin Stimson boogies to his heavily nuanced guitar licks and adds a witty quip here and there. Knows sways and stomps, and a focused Stix somehow drives the madness forward.

Chairman explains the circus simply: "When we're playing live I feel like we're throwing a party, and we're the hosts of the party. I'm thinking, what does the audience wanna hear? What do they wanna see? What they wanna see is probably what I'd wanna see."