Bob Linder - Vocals / Keys
Paul Costuros - Guitar / Sax / Trombone / Vox
Nate Denver - Bass / Bass Vocals
Pete Nguyen - Drums / Vocals
Matt Hartman - Alto Sax / Bass Clarinet / Whistle

San Francisco, CA. (2000 to Present)

"Reflections" 12" EP (Thin the Herd)
"Broadcast Performances" 7" EP (Life is Abuse)
"The Album" LP/CD (Load / Tigerbeat6)
split 7" w. BOXLEITNER (Zum / Thin the Herd)
v/a "Open up and say ...@>%_|^[!]" CD (Tigerbeat6)
v/a "Paws Across the World" (Tigerbeat6) 2003
v/a "Frisco Styles" (Jack Hanley Records)
v/a "Burn My Eye" DVD (BME)
v/a "Troubleman Mix Tape" (Troubleman)
v/a "If The Twenty-First Century Didn't Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It" 2002 (5RC)
"Live May 26th 2001" CDR (Self Released)
"Reflections" CDR (Self Released)


A year and a half ago I did not enjoy Total Shutdown's sets. This was when they were on just about every bill worth going to so I saw them plenty more than I wanted to see them. Then one night they played Cafe du Nord, and something had changed. Maybe it was them, maybe it was me, I don't know, but that night was the first time I heard the balls-out noise-rock-jazz-metal-whatever-the-fuck big-punch delivery they've been laying down, and I started to ease up a little on my apathetic feelings toward the band. Now it's more than a year later, and they're still hitting their stride; their momentum continues to build, everything they do is an event, and let's face it ‹ this is a wicked mint thing to witness. These days their songs have a crushing power; they're playing with a confidence and ease that wasn't there before. I don't want to get all New Agey on them but: I think these guys have found themselves! Friday night's set was a brief, pugilistic dance around the maypole, made complete by the utter mayhem that's always been a part of Total Shutdown's particular thing. Going absolutely apeshit is one of the finer points of the band's credo, and the past few shows have been goddamn crazy nuts. Between guitar player Paul Costuros, singer Bob Linder, and bassist-ape grunt vocalist Nate Denver, there was so much audience-charging that I expected the drummer to pick up his set and try to take a few people out himself. Denver is a big guy, and seeing him crowd-surf with one of those giant Fender basses swinging around just begging to take a divot out of some unlucky sap's forehead is a friggin' thrill, I'm not kidding. The high point of their set for me lately has been this song called "Five," a two-minute-long burst injected into a scree-scraw-ing attack ‹ there's a punctuated bass riff that sounds more like a nail gun on repeat, with a reactive, full-band crash following just behind. The guitar and sax go this way, then the rhythm section goes that way, creating this confusing dance groove, and the effect on the listener is at first disorientation and then surprise and then an uncontrollable urge to scream at the top of your lungs. Friday night's version was no exception; they nailed it like they nail everything lately, and it made me deliriously happy to hear it. Total Shutdown are playing a type of music heard nowhere else. The only band they come close to are the earliest incarnations of the Flying Luttenbackers, back when Weasel Walter first appeared touring with a five- or six-piece unit and playing the dive-bomber jazz metal that freaked everybody out. Total Shutdown are even more insane than those early Luttenbacker formations were ‹ somebody described them as Anal Cunt with saxophones, which says it all if you ask me. Is there any other band worth being compared to besides Anal Cunt? Hell no, Anal Cunt rules. Anyway, between that night at du Nord so long ago and the Friday-night gig, Total Shutdown have slowly but surely assumed a spot as my most favorite band in the city. Their shows are becoming legendary ‹ a week ago they hammered down their rep as sexiest band in the world by releasing a debut 12-inch that is without a doubt the best record ever printed on vinyl and sold to the general public! I wish I could explain why Reflections is the best record ever, but in case you hadn't noticed, this is a live review of their set at Kimo's on Friday night and not a record review, so that's all I'm going to say about it. You might care to purchase one for yourself or perhaps for a loved one. (Mike McGuirk)


"Broadcast Performances" 7" EP
2002 (LIFE 019)
Available Now