Sweet explosions, Saxon sounds and British metalcore

Your friendly neighborhood Soundscraper is keeping it loud and proud, and a bit Union Jacked this week. So grab some earplugs, down a pint of Newcastle and get ready for a rowdy British Invasion.

First, however, there’s a group of California girls (and guys) you need to absorb— Carlsbad quartet the Bombpops, primed to detonate Double Down Saloon at 10 p.m. Oct. 2 with Your Arsenal and Hands Like Bricks. The Bombpops wield a melodic-punk sensibility that recalls the Go-Go’s spinning the bottle with Juliana Hatfield before heading to a NOFX show. My favorite song by this female-fronted band is “Like I Care,” in which singer/guitarist Jen Razavi confesses “I’m a bitch and I admit it/I can’t quit, there are no limits” over a careening drumbeat and super-cranked guitars. The band’s debut EP of the same title drops this week courtesy of Chicago indie Red Scare Industries, and the tracks I’ve heard are aggressively tuneful. Sounds obscure but should be fun, so don’t miss it!

The Crown Theater at the Rio is finally putting together a show I can get behind—as long as I don’t poke anyone with my NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) erection. The genre emerged in the early ’80s as metal pioneers Black Sabbath and Deep Purple began to sag. One of the best—along with Iron Maiden and Motörhead—was Saxon, who were always much bigger in the U.K. than in America. Still, if you’ve spent any amount of time thumbing through record-store vinyl and admiring metal album covers then certainly you must remember the classic image painted by Paul Raymond Gregory of a Christian standard-bearer on horseback, his heathen enemies lying dead in the dust. If you love Reagan-era hesher music (check out Saxon’s “And the Bands Played On” via YouTube), you’ll dig this show. Saxon is slated to slay eardrums 10:30 p.m. Oct. 3.

England’s Bring Me the Horizon is frickin’ huge in the metalcore scene, and they’re a success stateside, at least if the avalanching walls of Hot Topic T-shirts are any indication. This crushing quintet released the pretentiously titled There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret this time last year to massive sales and acclaim—for an Epitaph-signed band, anyway. As much as I hate this particular genre of music, I have to hand it to these guys: They’ve made a truly incredible record, one that will reach classic status by decade’s end. Playing and re-playing the first single, “It Never Ends,” still gives me chills; the song is a harrowing, breakdown-jammed plea for release from addiction. The scary, delay-drenched guitars snaking through “Blessed With a Curse” are another highlight. Bring Me the Horizon blasts House of Blues at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 before riding off into the sunset.

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There are about as many ghost-hunting shows on TV these days as there are spooks in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, and the genre’s format is about as predictable as the ride: knock around in dark, creepy places with a night-vision camera and act frightened/surprised occasionally. So it’s good to know that our homegrown contribution to the genre—Zak Bagans and his Ghost Adventures crew—is at least bringing some Las Vegas swagger to the mix.