What is 286?

“What is 286?” was a question that entered my mind as I rifled through seas of band names that occur in a seemingly endless stream of advertisements on flyers and in the papers announcing upcoming shows late last month. Fortunately for me, the answer turned out to be something not only worthy of note, but down right entertaining.

As it turns out, 286 is the mantra for an up and coming energetic rock and roll act that is making a splash on the Los Angeles club scene. With a cast of two brothers from Argentina, a drummer from Jersey, and a vocalist from Pittsburgh, 286 has secured a place in the new resurgence of good old fashioned in-your-face rock music with choruses you can’t seem to get out of your head.

Their presence on and off the stage is remarkably similar and the band prides themselves on being consistent regardless of what their doing. While the cliché, “Keeping it real,” is ridiculous and almost void of meaning in most contexts, it strangely makes sense when describing 286. In a recent interview I dug up about the band, bassist Nikee Verry explains, “We are not posing, we are what we are…the rest is a consequence.

In a manner of speaking, that consequence is a dead on combination that the music world just doesn’t seem to be seeing enough of in the industry today. As 286 blew through a set that was void of filler, obligatory love ballads, or emotional angst, the band was having fun on stage and the vibes clearly spill over into the audience.

A closer look into the project reveals a more serious nature and thoughtful lyrics that people who aren’t looking will probably regretfully miss in the wake of the naked energy of the band. Lead vocalist Adam Joad explains, “We aren’t into perpetuating dogma, the music is for everyone and if you dig it enough to look at what we’re writing about, I think there’s some thought provoking ideas there.”

Whether or not those ideas are cleverly dealing with mass marketing, the tumultuous politically charged climate of 1968, or references to Molotov Cocktails, there’s more of a method to their stage madness than you’d see at a glance. The overall experience of 286 is a pleasant package all around. It’s nice to look at and enjoy, but at the same time, when you unwrap it, it’s equally as pertinent.

286 was one of those gambles that paid off, I could have chosen to give my money to many other shows in Los Angeles last month. While it was the number that piqued my curiosity (I still don’t know its exact significance) it was the band that delivered a new twist on a rusty void. Even if their style isn’t necessarily your cup of tea so to speak, you can’t miss with them for an evening inspired rock and roll.

By Billy X