If you want a no-fuss rock and roll band in the vein of Soundgarden or Queens of the Stone Age, with heavy riffs, pounding rhythms, and soaring vocals, Spiralarms
is your perfect choice. Spiral Arms is a party on wheels -- infusing classic rock, metal, and some of the best elements of 90s hard rock into songs like "Drugs & Alcohol." Fancy riffs, virtuoso solos, and a lot of hair (beards, included) make Spiral Arms a fun yet inspiring live act. These dudes aren't exactly spring chickens, instead they are masters of hard rock with every single band member (and there are six of them!) using his instrument as if they were born with it in hand. They are calmly rocking your face off, with the composure of music veterans but energy of a just out of college rock and roll band. You can tell Spiralarms has been all around the scene and back again -- and age has done nothing but make them a better band: clean, tight, and fully able to work an audience. The band goes for broke live; Spiralarms won't hold back on the heaviness and neither should you. Expect some raucous fist pumping and head banging from your fellow audience members.
The Devil in California
: Where else would the devil be, really? California is paradise and a black hole all mixed into one -- and The Devil in California seems to understand that. Classic southern-fried rock with a biker look, you know exactly what you're going to get when you first see these dudes: hard rock, attitude, impeccable musicianship, and low growing vocal that soars for emphasis. They've been playing shows for about a year now, and in that short time they have carefully crafted their fledgling band into a mystical, hard, and heavy rock band -- playing shows throughout the bay. Catchy tunes mixed with some insane live energy is a recipe for success for any heavy rock band - for such a relatively new group The Devil In California are already so good at perfecting this, which leads me to believe they are seasoned veterans in rock and roll. If they've already done this much in one year, who knows what's in store next! I have a guess: the band is working on a debut record right now, so I'm sure we will soon hear more from The Devil In California.
The Ghost Next Door
: Goosebumps-named band The Ghost Next Door plays an intense Alt/Metal blend that is almost as intense as the Goosebumps novella it was named after. Alt/metal is a genre that not everyone can keep up with. Dark, restless metal imbued with the spirit of rock and roll past. That's the type of band The Ghost Next Door is. Their influences span a huge distance in the many sub-genres of rock and roll: from alternative rock to extreme metal. The rhythms are complex and the music is heavy, but don't be surprised to hear a jazzy element in there now and again. The Ghost Next Door can use a classic, crooning metal vocal at one moment, and then switch to a guttural scream for the ultimate kick in the pants. It may not be predictable, but that keeps The Ghost Next Door interesting. The band is intense, perfect for listening to in a dimly lit bedroom. Live, these four bay area boys bring your metal-tinged rock and roll -- straight up. No theatrics, no funny stuff, just pure heavy music.
Nothing says heavy friggin' metal quite like a German sounding name, an animal skull and a stylized name in a Motorhead-esque font. Blackwulf
sure knows how to play the game, and they back it up with dark doomy riffs that any metal fan would be proud to listen to. Melodic metal is not a game for the weak -- it takes strength to make a slow sludgy song that breaks into a rhythm that is actually interesting, and Blackwulf can do it. This is metal for metal lovers -- it's intricate, modern, and yet holds true to those who came before it. And did I mention Blackwulf has some of the coolest art we've seen recently? Vocals are reminiscent of 90s hard rock acts and the music is perfect for lighting a doob and cruising through the streets. Blackwulf is psychedelic at times but never turns its back on heavy, sludgey, metal and brooding lyrics with the occasional long scream to really get your blood pumping. Imagine a Soundgarden, but for people who might like to play Magic The Gathering and study pagan history. The live show is a dark wonderland of energy, hitting all the right spots for a good time -- screaming, head banging, and metal for all. Don't forget to throw up the sign of the horns eagerly and often.