For the Francophiles among us, the cheese-eating, wine-guzzling, slender-citizened country of France blesses buffet-gorged, football-beered, fat-touristed Vegas this month with two wild rock bands. They’re a little on the gnarly side, but this is a rare chance to sample what’s cooking in the French underground these days. There’s also a show chock-full of Japanese rock bands that you’d better not miss. Seriously, if I find out you weren’t there, I’m quitting this column to flip burgers.
First up, French industrial-metal militia Obszön Geschöpf (which I’m told means “obscene creature” in German) performs at Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N. Rancho Drive) on March 24 with a set of songs inspired by serial killers (listen to “John Wayne Gacy”) and old horror movies (check out “Bloodfeast”). In other words, fans of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson will probably enjoy the hell out of this, even if the band is more extreme than their American counterparts. Gloomily danceable yet viscerally headbanging, with songs that operate like sonic slasher films, Geschöpf is touring in support of their fifth album, Symphony of Decay. Opening the show will be Vegas’ own Corruptdata, a powerfully psychedelic electronic duo that once served as the official band of the DefCon hacking conference. Corruptdata disbanded in 2005 but reunited in ’09 to start playing a few select live shows. Harsh, unforgiving, yet still pretty accessible, this local crew is among the top avant-industrialists in the world.
Here’s an all-ages show you’re all required to attend. On March 25 at Count’s Vamp’d (6750 W. Sahara Ave.), starting at 8 p.m., the Japan Nite tour touches down in Vegas, featuring five incredible bands who barely made it out of their country in time to attend South by Southwest last week: Mo’some Tonebender, Lolita No. 18, Hystoic Vein, Zukunasisters and Josy. After the Austin fest, the bands descend on New York, Chicago and Seattle before playing Vegas. I’ve YouTubed each one of these acts and they’re fucking fantastic and bristling with the purest rock energies, and deserve some goddamn support during what must be an unimaginable experience as many of these musicians left friends and fellow musicians behind to fates unknown. I’ll be wearing a red Guitar Wolf T-shirt; come up and say hello so I can buy you a drink, fellow ’Scraper!
Indeed, I’m writing this as Japanese nuke reactors are melting down, well on their way to blanketing an already-devastated population with radiation clouds that will eventually catch a high altitude jet stream to the U.S. I’m thinking about the effects of contamination and what it means. Will we transform into mutants? Will zombies rise from the dead to eat our brains? As a precaution, I’ll be at the Double Down Saloon (4640 Paradise Road) on March 26 to absorb French garage-punk trio Le Mutant. The band, currently touring California during the last week in March with a stop in Nevada, is fiercely melodic, its just-released six-song self-titled EP boasting 13 minutes of knuckle-braising, skull-cracking, surf-tinged rock ’n’ roll that will convert local punk fans who give it a chance. Tracks like the thundering “Gisele” and drum kit-wrecking “Music for the Birds” will clear your sinuses even as the spring pollen (hopefully not radioactive fallout) rains down. Make sure you’re there because who knows when more kickass international acts will visit again, especially in an atom-ravaged future.