The biggest local release of 2012? It looks to be the Killers’ tentatively titled Battle Born. Frontman Brandon Flowers confirmed during a recent BBC Radio 1 interview that a new album will be out the latter half of the year, the first full-length since 2008’s Day & Age. Flowers says the material, which the band has been assembling at Battle Born Studios here in town, is louder than his solo album, 2010’s Flamingo. And since that record is way louder than Day & Age, it can only mean that the Killers are finally going to rock in the proper sense of the term. About time, guys!
On the live side this week: Always a great (and gratis) rock show guaranteed at Double Down Saloon (4640 Paradise Road), where I’m eager to catch a set by Gloomsday, a noisy San Diego male-female doom-pop duo (guitarist/vocalist Justin Cota, drummer Lori Sokolowski), whose vicious song “Stab Your Love” always brings a wicked smile to my face whenever I hear it. Rowdy enough for the punk crowd yet sufficiently experimental to satisfy the hipster set, Gloomsday should brighten everyone’s outlook. The band brings heavy sonic weather to “The Happiest Place on Earth” at 10 p.m. Jan. 13, with the Tinglerz, Moosejaw and Trash Monsters.
Used to be whenever I left town to visit friends they’d invariably ask: Do you know the Killers? (Answer: Kind of.) Now college buddies, coffee baristas and complete strangers in places as far-flung as Colorado and Florida ask if I’m tight with an entirely different Vegas band, The Cab. Apparently, this pop-rock trio (who possess a Justin Timberlake-style R&B edge) is pretty darn popular outside of town, whereas here in Vegas I doubt they could even catch a, well, cab. I’ve never met them, only saw them play a few times at all-ages shows in long-since-defunct venues. After debuting with the Fueled by Ramen label, the band self-released its second album, Symphony Soldier, in August. The disc earned rave reviews, with tracks such as “Animal” and “Endlessly” co-written by Adam Levine (Maroon 5) and Bruno Mars, respectively. Far as pop goes, Soldier is a victorious effort. I’m looking forward to seeing what all the rumpus is about at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 13, at the Hard Rock Café on the Strip (3771 Las Vegas Blvd. South). The Summer Set, a pop-punk act from Arizona, opens.
If it seems every few months I have a new favorite Vegas punk act to rave about, it’s because I do. This time, it’s S.F.T. (The band’s actual name is Shitfaced Tattoos, but they rely on initials to keep from offending family members—seriously!) These guys have been kicking around town for three years, opening for punk legends such as Bad Brains and specializing in in-your-face, old-school, West Coast-style hardcore. S.F.T. is celebrating the release of its self-titled debut album—a dozen songs in less than half an hour, recorded at Digital Insight—with a 9 p.m. Jan. 14 party at Motor City Café (4080 Paradise Road, Suite 8), a pizza joint-cum-punk venue. My favorite tracks at the moment are “Reject,” about dressing how you want and fuck what anyone thinks, and “Humanity,” about being true to yourself despite what society tells you. Another highlight is the powerful “Domestic Violence,” which is about how abuse can really mess up a kid. S.F.T. kept it low-key in 2011, playing just a handful of shows, but they’ve got a new album, a new bassist and a brand-new drummer making his first live appearance for this show. Vegascendents and Break the Cycle open.