Anarchy, angst, asteroids, anvils

Hometown boys (four of the five members reside in Las Vegas) Five Finger Death Punch confuse the hell out of me. Given the title, I’d hoped their new album, American Capitalist—released last week and recorded right here in Grammy-nominated producer Kevin Churko’s The Hideout studios—would capture the zeitgeist of our Occupy Wall Street era, focusing on the soft terrorism inflicted by NYC’s financial district. Instead 5FDP adopts an ambivalent attitude toward money. Sure, the band takes shots at superficial lifestyles. (See the video for “Under and Over It,” with the lyric “I’ll take my sanity/You take the fame.”) But in “Back for More” singer Ivan Moody pushes us to embrace life’s inherent Darwinism and “reach down, dig deep and break down.” Um, OK, just as soon as the banks return our tax dollars, buddy. I don’t enjoy reaching down for the benefit of corporations. Regardless of what 5FDP thinks about the system, Capitalist still makes me want to bang my head—and to smack the salon-pampered skulls of greedy bastards in expensive suits. Anarchy!

Rant/review over; time for fun and fantasy. My hard-rock album of the year remains In Full Bloom by San Francisco’s Death Valley High. These guys have a highly unique prog-D.C. hardcore take on gothic doom-punk. Lyrically speaking, frontman Reyka Osburn draws inspiration from angst-fueled Japanese sci-fi-horror novels/manga such as Battle Royale. Melodic, angular and aggressive, Death Valley High will blow away fans of Foo Fighters, Fugazi and anything on the heavier end of the pop-punk spectrum when they play Boomers (3200 Sirius Ave.) at 10 p.m. Oct. 27.

Austin drone-gaze darlings The Asteroid Shop crash into Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.) at 10 p.m. Oct. 28. Indeed, this band boasts the seismic power of a minor planet, especially when they enter our sonic atmosphere with the cataclysmic splendor of “Destroyer.” I took this lovely yet crushing pop tune for a spin via iTunes the other day and almost felt vulnerable enough to don a spacesuit. If I get too drunk at this show, I might challenge these guys to a few rounds of the vintage Asteroids video arcade game at InsertCoin(s) across the street.

Finally, have you seen the acclaimed 2008 rock-doc Anvil! The Story of Anvil, about the Canadian ’80s heavy-metal band that almost (but didn’t) make it big? It’s a hilarious, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring story about becoming middle-aged, losing your hair and still wanting to rock people like a hurricane. The film did much to benefit Anvil, bringing them to people’s attention once again. Go stream the movie on Netflix now, then put on a scary costume and go see the band strike Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N. Rancho Dr.) at 10 p.m. Oct. 31. Oh, and bring me candy!

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Cadavers, Vibrators, Sheep (oh my!)


Cadavers, Vibrators, Sheep (oh my!)

By Jarret Keene

Like many Mac and iTunes users, I’ve been saddened by the death of Steve Jobs. But the loss of the music man responsible for technologizing my enjoyment of music in the last decade is something I’ll get over. While Jobs’ passing signals the end of an era in which I reconsidered my connection to digitized rock, this fact survives: Real music, live music, remains a sordid analog affair. As evidence, I cite this week’s offerings, which are dirtier and grittier and just plain stranger than usual.