Twas the day after Christmas ...and the local scene was buzzin' with more holiday spirit! Santa Claus left an extra special gift for all of the lil good rocker girls and boys to unwrap at the Bottom Lounge. This gift, blogspot readers, featured five hot rockin' performances by Athel (from Crown Point, IN), Trainwreck Symphony and The Action Blast with The Passing and Beyond Words opening.
SouthSide highly recommends checking out The Passing (http://www.myspace.com/thepassing) and Beyond Words (http://www.beyondwordsband.com or http://www.myspace.com/beyondwordsband) at their next respective shows. During The Passing's set, she thoroughly enjoyed the haunting electronica/dark rock sound which was quite explosive (due to keyboard sound fx) for that thunderous feel. At times, this band's music could be symphonic as well as dramatically epic that spotlights the poetic imagery woven inside the lyrics. Performing songs like Simple Things, Stake Out and Friends, this reviewer found herself lost amongst the dynamic vocal power heard from The Passing's front man. Meanwhile Beyond Words rocked the Bottom Lounge with a loud thunderous BOOM pulsating throughout the venue. This band's head-banging rock vibe also highlighted the emotional depth within the front man's vocals even while hitting those unattainable high falsettos. He truly emitted some powerful angst and pain from the words especially during Can You Still Hear Me and My Life. This reviewer also enjoyed the energetic hardcore rock with plenty of wicked electric licks heard at the intrumentals - check out new single, Sunrise. Blogspot readers can expect full reviews on both bands mentioned again in 2011.
Athel's Chicago debut was (in a nutshell) one WILD ...HOT rockin' ride not only of music but also of stage presence. This band (from Crown Point, IN) certainly had this audience feeling its exuberant hardcore energy when the trio burst onto the stage. There was so much to see (watch out for Cameron's swing around with his bass or Justin's wicked fingering behind the next and more) and hear (twitterpating guitar riffs and unexpected chord changes) that this reviewer was quite breathless already from the show. And Athel was barely knee-deep within their opening song, Desperate Question. Then with a head-banging finish, they moved quickly into Paranormal Abstract of Everyday Living (track 2 off their current CD - to society Part II) and Radio (track 1) not lose the momentum vibe that was felt amongst the audience. Athel's song Radio received the biggest response (as well as the others performed) due to the realistic point of view about life and society woven inside the band's lyrics. This trio wowed the ears with plenty of rock music covering all aspects of the genre (from alternative to metal) ...sometimes happening within the same song or at the same time. Even while slowing the tempo down (during Their Shoes and Oceans - SouthSide's favorite off Athel's to society Part I CD), there was still a vibrant head-banging rock to be had until the end. Blogspot readers, check out this rising rock band as they make their debut on the West Coast during NAMM in January 2011 with back to back shows at the world famous Whiskey A GoGo! Plus Athel will be opening the stage at Congress Theatre for Buckcherry on Feb 1st as well as other shows planned throughout 2011. Visit http://www.myspace.com/athelmusic for more information.
Meanwhile, Trainwreck Symphony rocked the Bottom Lounge with its ultra dynamic rock sound in front of a crowd of their diehard fanbase tonight. It's been a long while since SouthSide's last review yet she noticed a few changes occurring within the band and music. Trainwreck added more umph into the core sound such as a hint of Latin rock influence and more guitar riffs give that dark moody music a bit of metal definition. However this reviewer didn't care for the heavy metal-screamo combination during one particular song towards the end of this set. It didn't seem to mesh well for Xavier's vocal style and the band's central music theme though the song did have plenty of energy and sound. Vocally, he also seemed to be straining a little when it came time for the screamo to switch back to his natural voice for singing. SouthSide still enjoyed hearing the depth of emotions and range of falsettos emtting some heartfelt sentiments in the lyrics. She hopes to see more of the lyrical rap venting about the ills of society (as heard in another particular song) incorporated with more of Trainwreck's songs. Blogspot readers are encouraged to check out this local band sometime in 2011 by visiting http://www.myspace.com/trainwrecksymphonymusic.
Closing out this festive rock show was the explosive blast of music and vocals by The Action Blast. The Bottom Lounge was filled with instanteous hardcore guitar rock which pumped an energetic vibe amongst the audience. During Action's headlining show, there was nonstop head-banging sound but it had moments when the vibrant energy was put on hold to highlight the front man's vocals. SouthSide enjoyed hearing the emotional depth he emitted through the lyrics like in the new song - Final Solution (off upcoming album to be released next week). Hardcore fans will also like the screamo which was intricately woven around the chorus within certain Action songs ...used merely as lyrical emphasis. Plus one could easily get lost amongst the wicked riffs during the instrumentals which does curdle the rock blood flowing in the veins (listen to Only Seconds). SouthSide highly recommends checking out this top unsigned band when they perform at House of Blues on Jan 29. Visit http://www.theactionblast.com or http://www.myspace.com/theactionblast for more information.
Until next time, support your local scene,