The Viper Room

Live Review: Onesidezero, Minus Knives, Antenna The End, Satellite Citi & Heavy Machinery at The Viper Room

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Saturday night was one of “those” nights, where it was just meant to be. The perfect venue, a solid bill from beginning to end and an audience that was full of energy and packed the house. Since their return, Onesidezero has been back with a vengeance. The few shows they’ve played have all been something to remember but, this one, this is the one that had it all and really cemented their return.

Opening the night and setting the tone was the great Minus Knives. I’ve been really impressed with this band. They’ve got the right amount of heavy and melody to compliment their sound. Playing songs like “Cope,” “Shallow & Grave,” “Seconds Past,” and “Splntr,” it was evident that the guys in Minus Knives came out with purpose to rock the house and destroy. Singer Brandon Espinoza, was in control of the audience and delivered a vocal performance that was seething with passion and determination. Bassist Kevin Lewis held down the low end with extreme precision and a sense of reckless abandon that was invigorating. Guitarist Bill Schultz got to show off his guitar chops and nailed it each and every song. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in the pocket the whole show and his thunderous drums along with Kevin’s low end, created one hell of a pulse inside The Viper Room. I highly recommend you checking them out live and via however you listen to music these days. Minus Knives were the perfect band to get things going this evening.

Next up was Heavy Machinery. These guys continued to bring the energy that Minus Knives did. They brought a different flair to the night injecting a bit of funk into their music along with some cool prog influence to compliment their sound. You could tell by watching them, that they are super into their music and believe in it too.

After them was Satellite Citi. This band brought a really cool vibe to the night. Their spacey prog rock sound was perfect for the evening and time slot. Led by drummer/vocalist Anna Gevorkian  and guitarist/vocalist Shaunt Sulahian, they delivered a rocking set that kept the crowd engaged and dancing.

Antenna The End was on right before Onesidezero and they too delivered a set that was full of energy and rock. As Satellite Citi did, they had the crowd dancing a bit. During their set my friend and I were trying to figure out who they reminded us of and we came to the conclusion that if you mixed System Of A Down and Coheed and Cambria, you’d get Antenna The End.

The main event of the evening though was Onesidezero. As soon as the stage curtains opened, the roaring crowds attention was drawn straight to the stage and then it hit. Opening their set with a brand new song called “Preacher” everyone in attendance was immediately enthralled by the song. It’s one of those songs that when it hits, you know it’s Onesidezero. Throughout their set when the classic songs like “Tapwater,” “Shed The Skin,” “Instead Laugh,” “Holding Cell,” and “Eight” were played,  the audience was singing louder than the band. A couple other new songs were played as well. I have to say, when their new album comes out in the new year, these new songs are going to become instant fan favorites as well as be a very welcome sound to those that are missing great rock music with substance. Another highlight of the night was the inclusion of some really cool older songs that were never released but the audience knew like “U4IA,” Brocwurst” and “Chasing The Sun.” The latter of which will be included on the re-release of the bands self titled album (that never got the due it deserved). Closing out the night with the song “New World Order” was perfect. The lyrics to that song resonate ever so much to today’s climate and the crowd’s energy was so overwhelming that the microphone was passed into the audience to sing it. The band itself was absolutely on fire too. Singer/guitarist Jasan Radford was a monster this evening. His vocal delivery was top notch and the spirited audience only fueled his performance more and more as the set went on. So much so that during “Eight” the crowd was basically calling for him to jump off the stage and really get in the nitty gritty with the crowd. Guitarist Levon Sultanian is an absolute beast on guitar. He was playing with so much gusto that I swear I saw smoke coming off his fingers. Bassist Cello Dias really brought a roaring sound to the low end and kept that rhythm rocking throughout the night. I’d also like to mention that the backing vocals of both Levon and Cello were superb and are often overlooked. Drummer Michael Tarabotto really hammered his drums with rigor and brought it all together.

What a great evening all around. Every band on the bill brought something different and it all worked. I do have to say though that besides Onesidezero, Minus Knives were my other favorite band of the night. Nights and shows like this need to happen more in the area. This show was very reminiscent of what the Sunset strip used to be like. It felt alive through the entire night and that is something that the area is in need of. I’ve mentioned this before but, it’s true, having a band like Onesidezero back is very welcoming and actually refreshing. Knowing that they still believe in what they do, just shows that the power of music and especially rock music is alive and well.
Review By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Minus Knives at The Viper Room

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Over the last couple of years while doing Audioeclectica, I’ve been able to see and meet some really great bands. And over time I’ve been able to watch these bands grow and continue to get better and better. A while back I was informed about a new band that was forming with members of previous bands I really dug, and my curiosity was most certainly raised. Fast forward a couple months and that band would become Minus Knives. 

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Last night I had the pleasure of checking out Minus Knives live at The Viper Room and it was quite a gem. For it being only their second show, they really played with a sense of vigor and gusto along with an unrivaled belief and passion for the music they have created. Playing songs off their debut self titled album, heir 30ish minute set was chock full of hard hitting melodic riffs, soaring vocals and rhythms that pummeled all the while being bright and crisp. Songs like “Disfigurines,” “Seconds Past,” “Origin Of Fracture,” “Splntr” along with new song “Cope” were stellar and really showed what a great songwriting band Minus Knives is.

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Each member of this band brings something unique to the table in terms of their styles. Singer Brandon Espinoza sounded great live. He’s got this really cool voice that is a little similar to that of Daryl of Glassjaw mixed with a little Chino from Deftones in the Around The Fur era. Guitarist Bill Schultz was dialed in with the riffs and melody. Bassist Kevin Lewis really let it all out on stage while making sure the low end was steady and punishing. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in time and made sure those fills were tasty.

 

Minus Knives are definitely a band to be on the look out for. They have the songs and live show that will leave you wanting more. Rock is not dead and never will be as long as bands like Minus Knives are delivering the rock!

 
Minus Knives- Minus Knives:

 
Review By: Brian Lacy
Photos by: Joshua Guesford (@gues_vita)

Live Review: Cane Hill and Valor & Vengeance at The Viper Room

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One thing that I truly enjoy is getting to see a band in a club atmosphere. There is something really special about the intimacy of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big band or an up and coming band, club shows will always be some of the best shows a band will play. Last night I ventured out to the Viper Room to check out two bands that I’ve been wanting to see, Cane Hill and Valor & Vengeance and they both didn’t disappoint.

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Valor and Vengeance took the stage before Cane Hill and delivered a very mood setting performance. Their intensity and prowess on stage really draws the audience in and definitely gets the head banging. The bands frontman Adam Ryan is a beast, not only does he have that intimidating yet really nice guy factor, the guy can down right sing and scream with the best of them. The dual guitar attack of Tyler Morgan and Mike Muenzer shines when the heavy kicks in along with the more melodic nature of the songs. Bassist Paul Perry and drummer Josh Fresia are beyond locked in and deliver a pummeling rhythm live. Songs like “Devil’s Highway” and “Sinking Further” really stood out during their set. In a previous post about the band I said “I like to think of Valor and Vengeance as sounding like Avenged Sevenfold if the latter had balls and didn’t suck.” I stand by that  description but I’d like to add that they are definitely way better than Avenged. Check out Valor and Vengeance when they are playing at a town near you!

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The other reason I was out last night was to check out Cane Hill. I’ll admit I wasn’t too familiar with them until about a week ago but, when I heard their new album Too Far Gone, I knew I had to go see them. Their sound and style is reminiscent of early Slipknot (first 2 albums) with a bit of a metalcore and industrial vibe. This 4 piece from New Orleans really laid it out for all the fans in attendance. You can tell that these guys believe in their music and are in it for the love of music. The entire band are beyond tight and know how to deliver a show. Singer Elijah Witt has one hell of a set of pipes. I wasn’t sure how he’d be able to pull off certain songs live but he did and I genuinely think his voice sounded better live. Especially on songs like “It Follows,” “Erased,” “10 Cents,” and “Ugly Model Mannequin.” Guitarist James Barnett has one hell of a tone and is resonated extremely well inside the Viper Room. Bassist Ryan Henriquez and drummer Devin Clark are blistering as a rhythm section. Cane Hill is one of the best newer bands I’ve heard in a long time. Their album Too Far Gone is one of my favorites of 2018 and it’s only March. Do yourself a favor and check them out and go see them live, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Cane Hill- Too Far Gone:

 

Valor and Vengeance- Devil’s Highway:

 

Valor and Vengeance- Sinking Further:

 

 

Review and Photos (granted they are kinda crappy) by: Brian Lacy

Live Review: With Our Arms To The Sun, Socionic, MAL, Kolm @ The Viper Room

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One of my favorite things about going to shows is when the lineup fits. Each band that plays the evening fits the bill, and nothing is out of place. Especially when you have a night full of artistic and progressive bands. Last night at the Viper Room, was just that. With Our Arms To The Sun, Socionic, Mal, and Kolm all delivered. The theme of the night for me was passion, and each band had it.

First up for the evening was Kolm. Their blend of prog rock, and metal really set the tone for the night. As a three piece, playing that style is no easy task but they pull it off with passion and great musicianship.

Next up was Mal. Their sound is a mesh of prog rock and 90’s rock. The three guys playing have the ability to mix genres and make something genuinely creative and passionate, and extremely tight. Amongst the songs are heavy grooves and sensible melodies led by singer/guitarist Kris Jung and bassist PJ. Their latest album Aqua Macabre is one album you should definitely check out!

With Our Arms To The Sun was the third band of the night and they absolutely killed it. Playing a set of all new material from their upcoming album Orenda, they didn’t miss a beat and left it all on stage. Each member of this band understands the statement of “playing with passion,” and it shows in each song they play. With Our Arms To The Sun is epic by nature, thus allowing the songs to feel like a journey of emotions as you listen. Singer/guitarist Josh Breckinridge, along with guitarist Joe Leary, bassist Joe Breckinridge and drummer John McLucas, have a unity on stage that is unrivaled by many bands of today. The band live is a different animal. It’s something you should see and won’t regret. I’d even say that if you are a band that has to play after With Our Arms To The Sun, you best bring it all, because they are the real deal.

Closing out the night was Socionic. Their artsy and theatrical set was played with a great deal of passion (there’s that word again). Musically the band is tight and really work to deliver a show. The majority of their set was comprised of songs off their newest album Dividing Horizon. Socionic is one of those bands that seeing them live is the best way. Their album is great to listen to, but just like With Our Arms To The Sun, the best way to experience it is in a live setting.

All in all this was a great night for music and for Los Angeles based bands. The Viper Room is fast becoming a favorite of mine again to see shows. It’s intimacy really gives off a vibe of community, something that has been missing in Los Angeles, especially in that area, for a long amount of time. Every band was meant to be on stage this evening and did it justice. With Our Arms To The Sun and Socionic are gearing up to go on tour together for a few weeks. So when they come through your area, I strongly suggest you make it out to see them. As well as if Mal, and Kolm are playing in Los Angeles. Nights like this and bands like those that played, really give me hope for the music.

With Our Arms To The Sun and Socionic Tour Dates:

*9/07 @ Lowbrow Palace       El Paso, TX
*9/08 @ The Mix                      San Antonio, TX
*9/09 @ Scout Bar                   Houston, TX
*9/10 @ The Door                     Dallas, TX
*9/11 @ Stickyz                          Little Rock, AR
*9/13 @ Foobar                          Nashville, TN
*9/14 @ Melody Inn                 Indianapolis, IN
*9/15 @ PJ’s Lager House       Detroit, MI
*9/16 @ Ottawa Tavern           Toledo, OH
9/18 @ Riot Fest                      Chicago, IL (With Our Arms To The Sun only)
*9/20 @ Lee’s Liquor Store   Minneapolis, MN
*9/22 @ Lost Lake                    Denver, CO
*9/25 @ The Shredder             Boise, ID
9/27 @ High Dive                    Seattle, WA (With Our Arms To The Sun only)
9/29 @ Black Forest               Eugene, OR (With Our Arms To The Sun only)

 

Live Review: Socionic, Here Lies The Hero, Elixir On Mute At The Viper Room

Live shows are beyond powerful. There is something really special when you can have a deep connection with an audience no matter how big or small. Friday night was an evening that belonged to the very deserving Socionic. Their new album Dividing Horizon just came out and it is spectacular. Their performance this night was outstanding. I’ve seen a lot (and I mean a lot) of bands in my life and Socionic just left a mark in my mind. Just as With Our Arms To The Sun has been able to do, Socionic grabs you from the first note all the way to the end. As they were the highlight of the night, there were a few other bands that really hit it home.

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First up was Here Lies The Hero. This 5 piece post hardcore band similar to the likes of Letlive and Norma Jean, took charge to the stage. You could tell by watching them on the Viper Room’s stage that they are a very energetic band. I was waiting for them to lash out and go nuts, but they restrained themselves and focused on delivering a solid performance of mainly new material that sounded great. They really set the tone for the night.

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Next up was the very interesting prog rock band Elixir On Mute. Guitarist Jordan Ferreira is a shredder amongst the best. His command of the guitar is captivating. Joining them for their live set was bassist Matt Denis (also of Socionic). Their set was very free flowing, allowing for the music to do the talking. Granted I wasn’t a fan of the vocals from the recordings I heard before seeing them, this band live really kills it.

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The highlight of the night was Socionic. They are the real deal. They made the small Viper Room stage seem huge as they delivered on every song with tight precision and gusto. Singer Michael Meinhart, is so passionate in his delivery. Vocally he has range and personality along with solid melodies. Musically the band is tight and full of the prowess needed to deliver the lie performance. Their set consisted of songs from their EP Identity and new album Dividing Horizon. One of the coolest things I saw during their performance was the guy standing next to me. He had to be no older than 21 and was singing along to all the songs he knew. It was one of those moments that reminded me of myself when I was younger. Socionic has the music and live show to really leave a mark amongst all their peers.

It’s nights like this that make me long for the days of going to shows and being wowed by the bands I see. The entire night was filled with one good band after another. On an interesting note as well, The Viper Room is fast becoming the it place to play in Hollywood now.

Socionic:

https://www.facebook.com/socionic/

Here Lies The Hero:

https://www.facebook.com/Hereliesthehero

Elixir On Mute:

https://www.facebook.com/ElixirOnMute

By: Brian Lacy