On Friday night, I was back at El Cid for a show that ended with the craziest act ever, and I thought I had seen a lot.
The first act, Mad About the Boy, had a very morose tone with grungy to fuzzy guitars, lugubrious bass lines, and extended sprawling soundscapes. Their set was rather uniform, with slow songs mostly staying on the gloomy side, with a Kurt Cobain’s distant and mournful howl, several tempestuous guitar fights, and an epic one to end their last song. The trio (Walker Ashby on guitar and vocals, Samson Klitsner on bass, and Trapper Piatt on drums) has released an album, ‘Top Earner’, last year, and I am guessing it is just the beginning.
It was obviously not the first time I was watching Speed of Light perform, I have seen the sibling trio many times and seen them grow in sound and height over the year. Their music was even more ferocious and wild than I remember, they trashed the place with the spirit of a hardcore punk show, Cameron’s monster riffs, Tyler’s thunderous drums, and Riley’s impressive raucous howl. They were rocking so hard that Cameron broke a guitar cord after just 2 songs but soon they were back with a desert-rock-inspired song and another hard-spinning, hard-hitting tune with Riley’s banshee yell (she sings most of the songs) backed up by Tyler’s own punk-horror scream. While the three brothers and sister are still teenagers (they are 18, 16, and 14) their sound is raw, filled with distortion, and delivered with a confidence way beyond their young age. The pandemic gave them time to come up with new songs – they write their own material – so stay tuned… I have heard they have received the attention of several labels.
Psychedelic rock band DinoKale was next with a big sound inspired by stoner rock, metal, and beyond. With fuzzy guitars, colossus to infectious riffs, and songs going from desert rock to speedy punk bangers they kept the audience on their tapping feet. The band consists of Daniel Shapiro, Anissa Rodriguez, and pro-skater Ryan Reyes who was balancing his keyboard like a mad machine. The last song they played, ‘Possessed,’ a track off their first 2019 EP ‘The Salivator,’ was a perfect stoner rock number going with a bang, and it was particularly well received by the crowd. They are currently working on a new record.
The last act could not have been weirder and crazier: Captured! By Robots was a metal/hardcore act featuring two robots, one on bass/guitar and another one on drums, and a man, Jay Vance nicknamed JBOT, dressed in rags, enchained and mad as hell. If this sounds dramatic, it was nevertheless a fun act, aggressive in the most hilarious way you could imagine. It took several minutes to set up the robots – they are complex machines after all – but it was worth the wait, the theatricality of the performance was insane. Surrounded by his two robots, who could play thrash metal riffs and thunder drumming like the real thing, JBOT was screaming his hatred for about everything. Between the songs, his dialogue with the robots sounded like an X-rated amusement park act, and soon he was hurling his heavy death metal songs with lyrics and titles to support his suffering and disdain for humanity: ‘Suffer,’ Fuck it All, ‘End of times’ ’Fuck the USA,’… you get the idea. He dived a few times in the middle of the mosh pit, sprinkled a white powder on the crowd, ‘the new variant made by the robots’, and the whole thing could have been comedy metal at its best. However, I can assure you that this enchained man screaming his rage flanked by his two robots was not joking at all.
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music
his weakest album to date
hoedown, snappy , country slappy
two nights with Olivia Rodrigo at the Greek
classic rock or classic prog