Death metal and dirt-digging bandmates

I love it when an obscure, kickass band attempts to sneak in and out of Vegas, only to be caught in the white-hot spotlight of yours truly, the Soundscraper. So trust me when I say the first of four bands (which include Thrice, Kevin Devine and Bad Veins) playing House of Blues on July 18 (all-ages, 6 p.m., $17-$21) should not be missed. They’re called The Dig, and their 25-minute set of dark, brooding, synth-punched rock will be tighter than a gnat’s chuff. Here’s why:

Growing up just outside New York City, guitarist David Baldwin and bassist Emile Mosseri met in sixth grade. The two of them were introduced to Erick Eiser during a high school summer music program. Drummer Jamie Alegre joined last year. As a result, Eiser has less dirt on Alegre’s past musical, um, indiscretions than the other guys’.

“David, though, is still really into Dave Matthews, which is serious dirt,” confirms Eiser via phone. “Lucky for me, I met him and Emile at a Guitar Center during my classic-rock phase—Grateful Dead, Hendrix.”

When the band moved to NYC three years ago, they worked intensely—recording in basements, wallpapering streets with fliers and securing a top-notch manager, publicist and booking agent. Everything’s in place now—well, except for a good, old-fashioned record company.

“Right now it just makes sense for us to operate without a label,” Eiser says. “What we’re doing on our own is sufficient so far. Of course, if the right label or deal came around, we’d certainly think about it.”

So many mind-blowing summer music festivals, so little time. Las Vegas Deathfest II arrives July 16-17 (pre-Deathfest on July 15), at Yayo with a gruesome avalanche of the vilest underground death- and gore-grind acts you’ve never heard of: Pathology, Putrid Pile and Sarcolytic, to name a spew. Mark your calendar for Las Vegas Shakedown, Aug. 13-15 at Beauty Bar and Las Vegas Country Saloon. Every psyche-rock, retro-billy, goth-surf and gutbucket blues act from The Warlocks to Spindrift to Andre Williams is playing this monster (21 and over, $20-$25 per event).

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