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Diesel Dudes, Toner, OVVN, and Casual Hex

Electropunk with lots of sweating involved — and more.


If you go to a Diesel Dudes show, you can expect to see lots of tighty-whities, leather, and sweat. The Oakland electro-punk group’s live performances have a reputation for their absurdist displays of masculinity. But while it’s tempting to call Diesel Dudes’ hyperbolic aesthetic parody, it ultimately comes off as sincere — albeit completely bizarre. The bandmembers are disciples of EBM (or electronic body music), a style of dark, synth-driven punk that became popular in Europe in the Eighties. Rife with pulsating, danceable beats, EBM emphasizes that listening to music is a physical experience. Diesel Dudes tap into this theme with allusions to muscles and pumping iron, with tracks such as “Body Clench” and “Thrusts Per Minute.” On January 23 the band performs at Sgraffito Gallery with Oakland bands OVVN and Toner, as well as Casual Hex, which is on tour from Seattle.