The seaside town of Perpignan, France, with its warm Mediterranean breezes and narrow roads lined with cafés, is far removed from big-city temptations. In other words, snoozeville, daddy-o. The one good record store in town closed, but a few brave souls have tried to put on cool shows for what is the most frenzied crowd of any town in France. That's saying something, in light of France's history of embracing the cult of underground American music, from rockabilly to '60s garage, to punk, to the recent garage revival.
Ask any band that's been lucky enough to pencil in Perpignan on a long Euro tour, and the members will regale you with stories of mind-boggling drunkenness and sin-starved kids who'll jump in front of the van to keep a band from leaving town. That's the spirit of the Fatals -- a rabid, liver-bursting dissection of every raw rock riff, played as if all guitars and drums will dissolve to dust tomorrow. Imagine what it would be like if migraines were fun, song titles like "My Drill and Your Head" were invites, and the Cramps were a screamo band. Bring earplugs, a smile, and your cheapest Côtes du Rhône.