Seems like whenever I scan the local club listings, another great show presents itself. This week there are almost too many cool underground rock shows to squeeze into my column. Let me apply the editorial K-Y.
Veteran industrial-rock renegades My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult infiltrate Cheyenne Saloon at 8 p.m. May 31. The pioneering band’s career dates back to the late ’80s, when they (and acts such as Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Revolting Cocks) terrorized dance floors and college radio with smashing grooves and evil lyrics. The Kult’s classic track “… And This Is What the Devil Does” does it for me, and it should for you, too. More interestingly, the Thrill Killers are touring in support of recently released Spooky Tricks, which is a goodie bag of sleazy musical fun.
That same night (11 p.m. May 31) at Gold Spike you’ll find indie-pop duo Toy Bombs playing the last night of their Downtown residency. Originating in Salt Lake City, the L.A.-based Cole Barnson and Brandon McBride offer infectious, upbeat and melodic rock that belongs on the radio and everywhere else. All their songs move me, but the ferociously anthemic “Free” is their best. I hope these guys make it big.
Meanwhile, Manchester, England’s Rook and the Ravens rip into the Griffin at 10 p.m. June 4 and then tear into Triple B at 10 p.m. June 5. This whip-smart alternative guitar-pop combo doesn’t mince notes, especially on the heart-searing cut “Little Rib,” with its plaintive vocals and charging beats. I could seriously listen to Rook and the Ravens’ psyche-rock-meets-gospel-blues “The Judge” all day and night long.
On a quirkier note, San Diego synth-punk trio Stalins of Sound is set to slaughter eardrums at my favorite Downtown comic-book retailer, HellPop!, at the Arts Factory at 8 p.m. June 5. These guys claim to strive for “dystopian aural landscape,” but in truth the Stalins’ sound is appealing and more like the Ramones colliding into Kraftwerk. “Pool of Piranha” is perfect background music for reading a Batman graphic novel.
Bits o’ music news: Avalon Landing made it into the Top 25 of Hard Rock Rising, which means the piano-poppers advanced into the final round of the international band battle. However, the Vegas band didn’t win and won’t be playing Rome. Still, this marks the first time a local rock band has reached the Rising’s final judging phase. Avalon Landing also announced Corey Surratt as their full-time bassist. (Surratt has been performing with the group since October.). … SquidHat Records has officially signed local skatepunk quintet Sounds of Threat. These hometown hardcore heroes are finishing up their debut record at Camel Hump Studios with a tentative October release date. Sounds of Threat were most recently featured on the SquidHat compilation CD Desert Rats With Baseball Bats 2.
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