It’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a solid Las Vegas-centric punk-rock compilation. The last one was 2007’s Merry X-Mas Dammit From the Double Down Saloon, 16 tracks of reindeer-slaying tunes. (The Vermin’s “Santa Was a Cross-Dressing Nazi” is a classic Christmas carol at my house.) Since then, there have been a few digital-only comps done for charity. But SquidHat Records’ just-released Desert Rats With Baseball Bats is the best, most professional sampler in years.
SquidHat is throwing a party in honor of the CD at 10 p.m. October 11-12 at Double Down Saloon. Many of the bands on the 21 tracks on Desert Rats will perform—Battle Born, Burning Agrestic, the Dirty Panties, Geezus Cryst & Free Beer, The People’s Whiskey, the Quitters, the Seriouslys, S.F.T. and Surrounded by Thieves. Admission is free and you can purchase the compilation there. My favorite cut on the sampler is the throat-punching “As the City Sleeps” by skatecore group Aluminum Falcon (who won’t be at Double Down).
Hard-rockers Sin City Sinners have soldiered on in the casino bars despite losing frontman Todd Kerns to Slash’s touring band last year. With the band reduced to a trio, bassist Zach Throne took over vocal duties, doing a fine job. However, Kerns returns for one night only to lead the Sinners through a couple of sets at 10 p.m. October 12, at the Lounge in the Palms. The band will likely deliver their heartfelt ballad “Blow Up Doll.” OK, it’s not heartfelt and it’s not a ballad, but it is a great song about the artificial way some people approach relationships.
Fucked Up has been hailed for making two of the best hardcore albums—make that albums, period—of the last several years: 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life and 2011’s David Comes to Life. Their name sounds amateurish, but it’s no stretch to label them the Radiohead of the punk world, since they can do no wrong even as they take musical risks. (David is a full-blown, hardcore-punk rock opera.) Fucked Up performs at 8 p.m. October 16 at Triple B with Tony Molina.
The next night at Triple B, Vegas’ psychedelic art-punk outfit Candy Warpop, led by frontlady Amy Pate, sweetens the deal at 10 p.m. October 17. The band is still riding a sugar rush, having released its first full-length Transdecadence this summer. If you haven’t heard it yet, I encourage you to take a few licks on Warpop’s live set to get to the center of their tasty goth-glitter-grunge assault. The band opens for L.A. metalcore ensemble The Icarus Line, who are no slouches, either.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.