Local punk rock supergroup Coercion is perhaps one of the least likely Santa Cruz bands to re-form. That’s because back when they came together in ’96, they only played once, at local punk rock spot the Riff Raff House. They also demoed some tracks, but that was it.
Two decades later, guitarist Luke Pabich contacted singer Jake Desrochers and suggested they revisit this old side project. Desrochers said yes, as did original bassist Tom Kennedy.
“I’d always really liked the songs. It was sort of this unfulfilled project we all walked away from for whatever reason,” Desrochers says. “It is like the same band, but on steroids. We know so much more now. The songs are more concise, the attitudes are more concise. It feels great.”
Back in ’96, it was a project mainly for Desrochers, Kennedy and Pabich, who were already in other local bands like the Lonely Kings, Death By Stereo, and Good Riddance. They all wanted an outlet to play punk songs that were darker and had more of a metal and post-punk influence.
“Everything punk in the late ’90s got fun-sounding, and we all like this sort of darker side to that,” Desrochers says.
Upon reforming, the band immediately created an EP, Exit Wounds. Now that Coercion is fully operational, the rest of the lineup includes Jim Miner on guitar and Anthony Garay on drums. They also have a second EP, Veritas, in the works, which they hope to release in late summer. Then they hope to do something they never got to do with this band: tour.
“It’s like a giant web of punk rock bands who knew each other. Lonely Kings, Death by Stereo, and Good Riddance all played tons of shows back in the late ’90s, early 2000s,” Desrochers says, “It’s kind of funny that we’re all now in a band together. It’s like a bunch of free agents that got combined into a championship team.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Sunday, July 1. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.