If you ever feel like the upcoming Life Is Beautiful festival (October 26-27)–crisp and cool as it certainly looks–is sucking the musical oxygen from the city, don’t worry, Soundscrapers. I always have your dirty rock ‘n’ roll nitrous right here.
This week’s huff is especially potent. First up, veteran Orlando, Florida, metalcore unit Trivium tears the roof off House of Blues at 7 p.m. October 17. Trivium toned down their technical prog-rock inclinations on just-released Vengeance Falls. Some of the credit goes to the album’s producer, nu-metal singer David Draiman (Disturbed, Device), who encouraged the band to hone their vocal hooks and guitar riffs to a razor’s edge. The first single off Vengeance is “Strife,” which, despite its commercial aims, packs a skull-concussing wallop and a ferociously intricate twin-guitar solo. Shoot, a few tracks here sound like vintage Black Album-era Metallica. Also on the bill: Royal Bliss, Trapt, Pistol Day Parade and Stars in Stereo.
Here’s an unusual treat. The Bones are a Las Vegas rock-covers band (transplanted from New England two years ago) known for taking cheesy pop songs and giving them the musical roughhouse treatment. Members of the Bones have served time in established acts. Drummer Scot Coogan was in KISS guitarist Ace Frehley’s band. Singer-guitarist Patrick Vitagliano collaborated with Nuclear Assault. Bassist Mike Wilson played in groups featuring members of Great White and Bulletboys. And lead guitarist Jeff Duncan is still in Armored Saint. The Bones have played the top rock clubs in town–Vinyl, Hard Rock Cafè, etc. They’ve also been busy writing and recording an album of “feel-good” hard-rock originals titled What Would Ginger Do? The release party takes place at 9 p.m. October 18 at Count’s Vamp’d (6750 W. Sahara Ave.).
Honestly, you’re more likely to catch me that same night (October 18) at the Surfer Blood show (10 p.m. at Beauty Bar). The Florida indie-rock band’s second album, Pythons, came out on a major label (Sire/Warner Bros.) this year, so maybe a backlash set in, but I love the slick production by Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters). Songs such as “Demon Dance” sound like a looser, less-uptight Weezer, and the guitars are big and loud, as they should be. Brooklyn indie-soul combo Team Spirit opens.
Back at House of Blues at 8 p.m. October 19, legendary fret board-pyrotechnician Steve Vai will undoubtedly blow minds with his jaw-dropping “shred” technique. In case you’re too young to recall, Vai’s the guy who helped make ’80s rock albums such as David Lee Roth’s Eat ‘Em and Smile and Whitesnake’s Slip of the Tongue instant classics. The 53-year-old wizard returns from overseas jaunts for another go in the U.S. in support of last year’s solo disc, The Story of Light, his most spiritually attuned, blues-based effort yet. Vai is among the few remaining titans of virtuoso rock musicianship, so if you care to experience the very limits of human six-string performance, here’s your chance.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.