Some absolutely deadly underground rock acts are touring through Las Vegas this weekend. Too bad they’re mostly crammed into the very same evening, August 8. You’ll need to pick your poison—punk, goth, psyche-rock—based on what I tell you here. Still, you can’t make a bad decision given the lineup.
Ferocious Phoenix punk quartet Scorpion vs. Tarantula crawls into Double Down Saloon at 10 p.m. August 8, and I’m already preparing my eardrums for a thorough sonic bludgeoning. Led by towering warrior-woman vocalist L Hotshot, the band specializes in hammering guitar riffs and shout-along choruses, such as those found in the song “Don’t Waste My Rock ’n’ Roll,” which is pure adrenaline lashed to the dirtiest speedball. The band is touring in support of its just-released third album, Claim to Fame, a rollicking ride that includes ’70s-inspired, bong-huffing, KISS-cribbing tracks such as “Your Girl Ain’t Nothing Like Me.” Scorpion vs. Tarantula is going to leave me drained and sprained, I bet.
If that’s not theatrical enough for you, Texas-spawned goth-pop duo One-Eyed Doll will stare you down in Dive Bar at 9 p.m. August 8. Singer-guitarist Kimberly Freeman comes on like Amanda Palmer with a sense of humor and a preference for heavy, loud power chords and demented schoolyard raps. Their song “Be My Friend” renders the skewed desires of a childhood serial killer, while “Committed” captures the bizarre angst of a straitjacketed, padded-roomed lunatic. Freeman is a fun, funny, frenetic frontwoman, too, and certainly no slouch on the six-string. She has charisma in spades, which should make this an unusually haunting event.
Adapting their name from the late Richard Matheson’s sci-fi novel I Am Legend, Wilmington, North Carolina, psychedelic-rock quartet He Is Legend leaps into LVCS at 8 p.m. August 8. The band is releasing Heavy Fruit on the Tragic Hero label this month, and it’s a doozy, including the bluesy, hallucinatory, hurricane-grade groove of “Something, Something, Something Witchy,” which somehow manages to reference Great White’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and Aleister Crowley’s Diary of a Drug Fiend. Also on the bill: Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Wilson, Quantium, Ignismei and Within the Cochlea.
Indie-rock group the Silver State, comprising at least three Las Vegas musicians (drummer Alex Stopa, bassist Ryan McIlvane and guitarist Taylor Milne) has released a new album with Tacky Records called Outside. Stereogum recently featured the track “The Colorado,” and it’s a stunner, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse at their ragged, glorious best. If you haven’t bought this record yet, do it right now.
Your Vegas band releasing music soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.