Space-monster rock, Boise hardcore, Vegas goregrind

LOOKING AHEAD AT the next few months of the live-music calendar makes my head tingle with anticipation. To paraphrase an old ’80s shampoo commercial, that means it (in this case, the assortment of bands) is working.

First off, the Neon Reverb folks have confirmed some terrific national indie-rock acts—Yacht, VHS or Beta, Crystal Antlers—for the music fest’s March 20-25 edition. Local bands Kid Meets Cougar and Dude City (the latter is slated to release a new CD during Neon Reverb) have also been booked.

Here’s something else cool: On-the-cusp-of-greatness synth-rockers Imagine Dragons return to Vegas for a 6 p.m. March 2 record-release party at Hard Rock Café on the Strip. The band’s latest effort, the six-song Continued Silence, arrives via Interscope Records. Since signing with the label back in November, the band has worked closely with hip-hop producer Alex Da Kid. They assured me they’re still gonna rock. (Look for my review of Silence in next week’s Seven.)

Speaking of mythological winged serpents, another similarly named but polar opposite-sounding band from Massachusetts, Problem With Dragons, plays Double Down Saloon (4640 Paradise Road) 10 p.m. Feb. 16. This molten sludge-metal trio doesn’t tickle my scalp but instead threatens to rip it completely from my skull. Sure, world-annihilating songs such as “Atlantis” boast heavier-than-tectonic-plate-shifting guitar riffs, but there’s also a heaping helping of melodic vocals. But that evening I’m actually more eager to hear Planetoid, who hail from the same state but have a predilection for dressing up like human-enslaving aliens from outer space. There’s a blue bassist/singer named Locrius, a green “plant-based” creature called General Ovatus Talieah, and a robot drummer that goes by Admiral Time. Planetoid’s blues-metal attack—their song “Step Away From the Controls” sums it all up is as good as anything KISS ever did, and the lyrics are clever and Blue Öyster Cult-grade.

Meanwhile, Boise, Idaho, hardcore-punk act Bone Dance joins Lustkillers and Lester Freamon to blow apart Yayo Taco (4632 S. Maryland Parkway) 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Bone Dance hasn’t released anything new since its 2010 Snakecharmers EP, which is excellent (and available for a mere dollar at, but by all accounts the band slays live. Prepare your eardrums for the eviscerating force of songs such as “Birds Singing (Wolves Licking Blood).”

I don’t know if you’re at all familiar with the death metal subgenre called goregrind, but Vegas offer a few bands that sit at the top of this revolting heap. (I use the word “revolting,” because goregrind songs—if you can call them that—have a lyrical obsession with necrophilia and pig-grunt vocals.) One such band is Cerebral Incubation, who play Bikini Bar (3355 Spring Mountain Road) with Paroxysmal Butchering, Necrambulant, SWDWIGT and Incongruous 8 p.m. Feb 19. I’m morbidly curious to see Cerebral Incubation live, so I’ll be there. Look for the guy holding a barf bag as he endures songs such as “Gastrointestinal Rape.”

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Boy Wizard  to Haunted Solicitor

Movie Review

Boy Wizard to Haunted Solicitor

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

Much as I like the Paranormal Activity pictures for their unfashionable minimalism and quaintly Victorian lack of gore, it’s nice to get back to something like The Woman in Black—not authentic Victoriana, exactly (Susan Hill’s novel was published in 1983), and certainly not afraid of a little muck and blood, but fully invested in the spirit and spirits of that era. The film, a handsome nerve-jangler co-produced under the storied Hammer horror banner, amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid. Success!



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