Punk pop riddle

Zero Boys reunites and reemerges

Like many other newb admirers, I never knew about Zero Boys during their brief existence from 1979 to '83. But then I got a copy of their thrice-reissued debut, Vicious Circle (now Secretly Canadian) in my hot little mitts — love that punk pop primitivism. During its short life the Indianapolis group never played the Bay Area: its 1982 SF storefront show was unceremoniously canceled. The Zero Boys broke up soon afterward, with bassist Tufty joining Toxic Reasons and relocating to the Bay, but the outfit has reunited with each reissue of Circle — a recording that's found quite a rep for itself as a lesser-known hardcore gem.

Now, with the reemergence of Circle and History Of, a collection of unreleased recordings, a promoter fan is flying them out to play. "There's been very little effort to revive the band on this end," said vocalist Paul Mahern, 45, from Bloomington, Ind. "It's all fan-driven." The appeal of this record — which Mahern made at 17? "There's a snotty kids thing, but there's also this real musicianship. Also we were among the first wave of American hardcore that was also pop punk," he said. "Scratch the surface below Green Day, and you get the Zero Boys."

Fri/20–Sat/21, 7 p.m., $10. 924 Gilman, Berk. www.924gilman.org

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