Metal month, goat sandwiches, Czech grind

Santa Fe Station declares June as Metal Month, which is cool. OK, the hotel-casino’s idea of metal is a bunch of tribute acts. Still, the shows are free, and I’m looking forward to this lineup: Arena (’80s glam-rock, June 2); Snakesbite (Whitesnake tribute, June 8); Jizzy Pearl’s All Star Band (classic rock featuring Ratt singer, June 9); Iron Maidens (all-female Maiden tribute, June 15-16); and Vinyl Tatto (vintage metal, June 30). Bands play Chrome Showroom, and all shows begin at 9 p.m. Must be 21. For more info, visit

Coming on like Frank Zappa humping Rush in Black Flag’s basement, The Bitters possess a high prog-aholic content for those seeking music with a kick. This trio—Jeff Murphy (guitar), Vinny Moncada (bass) and Frank Klepacki (drums)—wipes the floor with any and all elite musicians in town. The band has been writing new material in the aftermath of its last disc, 2008’s self-released Grudgement Day; The Bitters are only now beginning to play the songs live. One cut, “Goat Sandwich,” is among the most super-technical rock songs I’ve ever heard. “The Bitter Blues,” meanwhile, is a blues jam in an odd time signature; it’s against this progressive backdrop that the band renders an accessible, yet weird, tune. As their live set expands, you literally feel The Bitters pushing their capabilities to the breaking point. (Klepacki says a new full-length disc will be released later in the year.) The Bitters play Double Down Saloon at 10 p.m. June 4 for DJ Rex Dart’s birthday party.

In other Klepacki-related news, the audio director for local videogame company Petroglyph has a new score out for Rise of the Immortals, described as a “multi-player online battle arena” game. And look for the score he wrote for forthcoming End of Nations, a massive multiplayer online real-time strategy games. Indeed, not only is Vegas native Klepacki a drum wizard, he’s a prolific game composer.

Yayo Taco hosts a killer extravaganza at 7 p.m. June 7 starring Vancouver crust-punkers Massgrave. The band’s songs (if you can call them that) have titles such as “Human Plague” and “Mountains of Waste,” indicating they don’t specialize in feel-good music. The bill also includes Needful Things, an explosive grindcore act all the way from Czechoslovakia of which I’m honestly scared. Maybe I should, in addition to earplugs, don a motorcycle helmet to protect myself. Texas metalcore marauders Turbo Krieg and local decimators Vihan Rytmi also perform. They might want to rebrand Yayo as an International House of Pancaked Eardrums for this show.

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The Cult’s new classic and Vegas’ latest torch singer


The Cult’s new classic and Vegas’ latest torch singer

By Jarret Keene

For me, the top band of ’80s mainstream butt-rock was The Cult. Led by shaman Ian Astbury, the Brit group delved into different styles with every record—from goth-rock opus Dreamtime (’84) to biker-metal masterpiece Sonic Temple (’89). The Cult continues to release acclaimed albums, including 2007’s Born Into This. But the band’s latest, Choice of Weapon (released May 22), is arguably their choicest to date.