Ever since I heard Cream when I was a little kid, the three-piece band has always intrigued me. To be able to get all that intensity and volume with just a trio is something spectacular. There is a new three piece band on my radar and I’m really digging what they are up to. Allow me to introduce you to Killer Hill, a new trio featuring two members of Helmet – guitarist/vocalist DanBeeman and bassist Dave Case – along with drummer Pete Beeman whose resumé includes Amphetamine Reptile greats Guzzard. These guys pack one hell of a punch. Taking their cues from bands like Mastodon, Red Fang and Helmet, it’s no wonder that Killer Hill’s new EP, Frozen Head rocks. The six songs on the EP are brute alt rock force. The riffs are chunky and groovy while the rhythm section grinds and pummels. The first song released “Bent” is a groovy/thrashy fun time that live will be a beast. Killer Hill is a pretty rad band and I’m very intrigued to hear what else they do!
Since the turn of the century the post hardcore genre has been at the forefront of rock music. Bands like Brand New, Thrice, Circa Survive, Underoath and Manchester Orchestra come to mind immediately. One band that has come on my radar that I’ve really been enjoying is, Down Again. Hailing from the California Bay Area, this these guys are making waves. These longtime friends have crafted songs that touch on the struggles of questioning faith, loss, infidelity, and mental health. Their latest song “Predisposed” is a post-hardcore banger! Down Again is the type of post-hardcore band that gives a sense of hope and in today’s world that is much needed!
I’ve long been intrigued by bands that take experimental chances to create something interesting. It can be hit or miss but when it hits, you know it immediately. Combining different influences and inspirations in music the end result can be pretty damn good. With that in mind, allow me to introduce you to the band of the week, Handle. Hailing from Southern California, this four piece band is just getting started but already have released a killer single with “Spirit Channeler.” Listening to this song you can pick up on bits of their influences like The Mars Volta/At The Drive In, Circa Survive/Saosin, some Glassjaw and a little Thrice. I look forward to what else Handle does. Definitely give them a listen and if you are in the LA area this weekend, get to The Federal in NoHo and see them along with Centershift, Arc Angles and The Tragic Radicals!
Canada, over the last few years have been pretty consistent on exporting good bands. One of those bands that I’ve really come to enjoy is Actors. This Post-Punk/New Wave esque band have really taken the genre by storm. Their new album, Acts Of Worship (Out Oct 1), is drenched in hard driving beats, huge hooks, and soothing atmosphere. Their modern approach to the classic sounds, are reaching new heights. The pop sensibilities that come via their influences really shine on the album. When you listen to the new album as well as their previous, 2018’s It Will Come To You, you can really hear the evolution of the bands sound and writing abilities. Actors is a band that will be at the forefront of the Post-Punk genre in no time!
It’s always fun and interesting when members of other bands you like team up to create a new band. When you take the certain members and they way they play and put it all together, the end result can be quite fulfilling and such is the case with the band of the week, Centershift. Centershift is the new band featuring Jasan Radford formerly of Onesidezero/Abloom on vocals/guitar, Ted Wenri from Bemus on bass and Michael Tarabotto who played in the last incarnation of Onesidezero. Together these three have created a tour de force of a new band. Speaking on the formation of the group, “Over the years, we got together, formulated songs and always knew we wanted to play together. Finally, through the stars aligning, we created Centershift,” says Radford. Inspired by the shared human experience, Centershift communicate the nuances of life through apexes of hearty, distorted guitar overlaid with intricate, mournful riffs and punctuated by biting, contemplative vocal-driven verses. “Everything comes from an emotional starting point,” explains Radford who shares lyric-writing with his bandmates to present a unified front. “When we step on stage, we want the three of us to be playing that song because we all feel it internally.” When you listen to their first single “9,” you can really get a sense of the passion and impact this band has. The future is quite bright for Centershift!
The synthwave genre is an interesting one to delve into. There are certain aspects of it that have been fully accepted by the mainstream like, the music for Stranger Things. Then there is a whole other level to synthwave that is even better and thanks to groups like the band of the week, we get to experience so much more that world has to offer. Allow me to introduce you to GosT. GosT is more like the exception to the rules of synthwave. Like many other peers like Perturbator (who I featured not too long ago) and Carpenter Brut, GosT channels many different vibes and sounds. Mixing a more metallic edge to accompany the post-punk, goth and electronic aspects, the new material from GosT is uncompromising. Founder and mastermind James Lollar, has really found his niche with the new album, Rites of Love and Reverence. The album itself is chock full of hidden gems and blistering sonic dimensions. It’s creepy and eerie in places yet has this really cool pop sensibility that gives the darkness the right amount of shine to really leave a lasting mark. GosT is well on the way to being a force to be reckoned in taking the synthwave genre to a whole other level.
I’ve always loved heavy music. Doesn’t matter the genre, I will find bands within them that I dig. Punk music is one such genre I’ve had an affinity towards for many many years. The aggression, intensity and energy that emits from this genre is what keeps me coming back. Which now brings me to the Band Of The Week, Deaf Club. Deaf Club is a band that takes no prisoners. Their savage sound comes with a blastbeat-centric hardcore punk assault channeling crust, thrash, and grind with a touch of metal. The band consists of Justin Pearson (The Locust, Dead Cross, Planet B), Brian Amalfitano (ACxDC), Scott Osment (Weak Flesh), Jason Klein (Run With The Hunted), and Tommy Meehan (The Manx, Chum Out!). The pace at which the band plays, delivers the goods in such a way that is at a breakneck speed with the right amount of space between to catch your breath before the onslaught continues. Their new single “For A Good Time, Call Someone Else” is exactly what I described and then some. Their album, Productive Disruption, was was recorded by Alex Estrada and Tommy Meehan and will be out January 6, 2022 via Three One G Records. Ironically, Deaf Club’s debut LP was recorded on the same day as what would become known colloquially as The Insurrection – January 6th, 2021. Deaf Club is a relentless and ferocious band that I’m sure will be decimating venues along their path.
Earlier this year I took a trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. While on an excursion out that way for some business, my biz partner and I wound up going to one of the popular spots out there to see a band and they really impressed us. The energy they were emitting that night was contagious as everyone in attendance was super into the band. Not to mention a few of their songs were super on the money. It left me and my friend quite interested in the band. Fast forward a few months and that band is really kicking ass in their area and making quite a name for themselves in the region. Allow me to introduce you to, NVision. These guys are a ferocious and energetic rock band that are kicking ass and taking names. Their most recent single “The End” is a banger. It’s deep lyrically and the music is catchy enough to stick in your head while at the same time promoting a positive message. Another of their songs that I really dig is “She Said.” This song is a deeply personal song about one of their friend. The story told in the lyrics are quite moving. The song even inspired the band to begin their own festival to help support victims of domestic violence and abuse. NVision is the type of band that is willing to take chances and experiment with their sound. When you listen to their other songs you can pick out bits of EDM, 00’s emo and even a tinge of hip hop in the rhythms. The honest approach to the lyrics are very relatable in that they explore feelings of loneliness, despair and depression while maintaining the positive hope of a brighter tomorrow. Currently, they are working on more music for their debut album. One other thing to note, NVision is the outlier in a scene that is heavily influenced by the early 00’s nu-metal/radio rock era. Having a band like NVision break out of that and really explore their sound is just what music needs. These guys are on the verge of breaking through their region. So take notice and play it loud!!!
For those of you that don’t know, The Cobalt Cafe was founded by Dave Politi in January 1991. One of the first cafe venues in the San Fernando Valley, the Cobalt was fashioned after coffee houses featuring live music and poetry more widespread in San Francisco. For many years, The Cobalt was most known as a rock venue, having become a regular tour stop for underground and up-and-coming touring artists, including many signed to indie and major labels.The Cobalt Cafe gave many bands you know and love their start. Bands like Jimmy Eat World, Hoobastank, Incubus, Save Ferris, AFI, Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and so many others. Sadly though, a few years back, The Cobalt had to close but, now in 2021 it is back in a whole new way. On July 17th, The Cobalt makes its return. This evening is going to be one of those shows you will remember as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Cobalt Cafe. Featuring an eclectic plethora of bands as well as artists, poets and more, this show is bringing back the vibes of the old Cobalt but, with a flair for today. Bands performing include No Advisory, Final Fall, Kiss The Scientist, Seven 40 Seven, Powder Pink & Sweet, Ryan Hahn & The Believers, Cannibal Valley, Sunset Ritual and Diggajigga. Tell all your friends, get out of the house and come celebrate a wonderful evening. A portion of the proceeds will also be going to benefit Cedars Sinai Cancer Research as well as the very awesome Valley Relics Museum. Buy your tickets at https://thecobaltpresents.brownpapertickets.com/!!!!
I’ve long been intrigued by solo albums. The solo album can be a little tricky but, if you have the right drive and vision for it, than the end result pays off in the end. Recently, I came across a band or what I thought was a band that peaked my interests. End You is the solo project of Philadelphia native Eric Smith formerly of The Catalyst. His first solo album entitled Aimless Dread is an sonic assault of heaviness. “Aimless Dread” tells a story common to a generation that watched thousands of people die on live television while still teenagers — the creeping realization that perhaps nothing good will ever happen again. Lyrically, the album darts artfully from the personal to the political and back again. From Smith’s struggles with social anxiety and substance abuse to ruminations on contemporary issues like rampant police brutality and the resurgence of international fascism, “Aimless Dread” takes stabs at various demons both real and imagined. Armed with a passion and fury, Eric Smith has delivered an album that is drenched with urgency as well as being pummeling and crushing. Aimless Dread crosses a few different genres including punk, hardcore and noise rock along with the right amount of melodic sensibilities to bring you an album that is very fitting for where we are at as a society in 2021.