Paint Fumes are, arguably, Charlotte's most important loud band. The city has become a hotbed for garage and punk with the likes of Brain F≠ and Young and in the Way, but these bands owe many of their first shows to Elijah Von Cramon, Fumes frontman and booking force at the integral house show spot Sewercide Mansion.
Lately his own band, started less than a year after Cramon learned to play guitar, has become one of the city's best. They're a forceful and frenetic garage trio, playing Oblivians-inspired rave-ups with an aggressive, high-speed edge that indicates Cramon's proximity to hardcore. With the always energetic Josh Johnson (aka Pinche Gringo) behind the kit, the trio's live sets are breathless and infectious.
"I've always liked old music," Cramon says of the band's taste for old-school rock 'n' roll riffs. Still, he emphasizes punk's influence on their songs. "All that stuff is super simple, but it always has a different sound. It's the same chords that have been played forever. It's just making them your own."
Paint Fumes' first single drops in March, with a full-length to follow later this year. Paint Fumes play Motorco on Saturday, March 3, with Drunken Prayer and Midway Charmers. —Jordan Lawrence