Wednesday, May 25, 2011

20 May 11

...totally reminded you of a chia pet, didn't it...
Venus In Furs

Those who are about to rock (this weekend), SouthSide salutes you! Hey, blogspot readers, welcome to another rockin' weekend of fun and music happening around town. And as always, this busy reviewer was ready to party. Tonight, she's at Lakeview's popular local hot spot, Elbo Room to see her good friends, Along The Parallel and Sonic Pistol perform on stage. Also joining them on the linuep was Helium Fuse and Gemini Syndrome (CA) with gal-powered rockes Venus In Furs (WI) as the opening act. SouthSide recommends checking out these bands at their next regularly scheduled show.

...who likes boobs ...or boots...

Far from the sunny Californian coast, these gals captured the essence and sound of surfer rock-n-roll but with a slight twist - feminine-powered punk. Southside recommends grabbing your boogie board and rock to the lively thundering blast of energetic surfer punk by Venus In Furs. This trio packed their opening debut Chicago performance with plenty of twitterpating guitar riffs while channeling strong female angst sometimes felt as well as heard not only in Venus' lyrical songs but also in the instrumentals. For example, SouthSide suggests checking out Roy Orbison Is Rolling In His Grave (yes, blogspot readers, that's the actual song title) in which she felt the heated angst (unspoken and spoken) throughout this particular song especially within the guitar riffs. Coincidentially, the song title also doubled as the only lyric you hear at the end. Or gnash your teeth into the estrogen-filled rant fest about a girl named Stacy (let's just say, someone's seriously jealous about her) before realizing Disco Is (still) Dead amidst the fiery punk rock sound (with some cowbell beats woven inside the song). This reviewer recommends cruising the waves on Venus' new song Crimson Tide and don't disturb the Sleeping Little Chia Pet ...and if you're lucky, guys, you just might see bassist Nat rockin' out the stage in her bra. Visit or find these surfer gals on Facebook for more information and where they will be performing again.

This next band to hit the stage performed an unique spin on the post-psychedelic/rock sound that featured hardcore metal guitar riffs. Local guys, Helium Fuse wowed the audience with an invigorating combination of melodic rhythms and high vocal falsettos (which sometimes were overpowered by the music during their set). Yet, SouthSide enjoyed how dynamic as well as emotionally charged front man Andy's (also on keyboard) vocals could get despite thinking his voice didn't truly compliment Helium's music. There were moments when she heard the angst and pain wafting over the microphone (that's when Andy truly shined) amidst the funky psychedelic/rock sound. This reviewer does suggest toning down the guitars a bit to really allow his high (yet soft) voice being the focal point of Helium's performances. She suggests listening to the wicked guitar riffs coupled with Andy's emotional angst in Ghost and the psychedelic downtempo feel of the meditative Opinion (tune down the piano so the audience can hear and feel the vocals more). With a little more work (and shows), SouthSide sees Helium Fuse breaking ground within the post-psychedelic genre in this local scene. Visit or find them on Facebook for more information and music.

SouthSide has seen this next local band rise amongst the ranks within the hardcore metal scene over the recent months especially after performing their very best show to date at Elbo Room back in February. However, she wondered if Along The Parallel could top that show tonight when they took the stage, blogspot readers. The band wasted no time rockin' the audience with hardcore guitar riffs and front man Mike's emotionally charged screamo in the opening song, Nexus, which was dedicated to the impending event of The Rapture (more about that later in SouthSide's May 21 review). Fans would be quite intrigued that though pumping the basement lounge with fiery yet vibrant energy, ATP can at times be a melodically metal band which truly highlights their front man's dynamic vocal style especially during Mercury In Retrograde in which his voice brought out the vivid imagery behind the almost poetic-like words. Yet, not to worry, metal fans, even while in the melodic sound, ATP will thoroughly blast your eardrums with plenty of headbanging riffs and energy to ignite your need for shredding in your soul. A good example of this band's rip-roaring guitar rock would be listening to Marmoset as well as Messiah's Anthem. Although not truly topping their CD Release show, Along The Parallel still thrilled and amazed the ears with another fine performance. Visit or for more music and information about the band.

...has anyone lost any clothing yet...

Now it's time to ride the rockin' rollercoaster of the emotionally charged metal-tastic guitar rock sound and energy as they kicked off their Good Girls Love Bad Guys Tour (just don't tell SouthSide's guy about the truth to that statement), blogspot readers. Sonic Pistol, like Along The Parallel, thoroughly soaked the ears with its hardcore guitar sound while front man Kurt lit up the stage with his animated presence and raspy vocals within the lyrics (adding some screamo angst too). This band was literally on fire while performing fan favorites like Ambitions (...if you first don't succeed it again...) and Still Breathing (...she makes me cry at night, f-in bitch...), Sonic impressed this reviewer with their new song, Enduring Freedom in which she noticed the band going (gradually) into a different music direction though retaining Sonic's heavily powered guitar sound yet allowing more of Kurt's emotionally charged voice be the focus of the song especially when singing "...I'm only human ...not made of steel..." You literally felt the angst and frustration dripping from the words while rocking to the band's wicked trio of guitars. And as an added bonus for specially tailored for this reviewer, the band performed her favorite Sonic song, 9 Miles, in which they totally rocked it out for her ...ah, she was basking in the angst of "...walk this mile with me...", blogspot readers. It doesn't get any angstier than Kurt immersing himself emotionally into the lyrics with such earnest fervor of these days, he's going to shed a tear while performing this song. Visit Sonic Pistol at for more information and music.

Under a cloud of dark mystery away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, this touring band enticed the audience with its metal theatrics (of fog machine and lighting fx of their own) in a hardcore style. Gemini Syndrome took a commanding lead of the Elbo Room stage however SouthSide wasn't truly impressed overall by this band's performance, blogspot readers. She's not saying it was a lackluster show simply wasn't what she expected after listening to them on Myspace. This reviewer enjoyed the metal-tastic vibe coursing her veins from the thundering riffs (which actually shook the basement lounge) and energy which could be melodic at times as well as hardcore to fire up the soul especially during the songs Left Of Me and Babylon. However, the problem didn't lay with Gemini's music but with their front man, Aaron, on vocals. This reviewer felt this dynamic singer was holding back vocally and emotionally throughout the headlining set. She wasn't really feeling any emotionally charged vocal energy (like the other front men from the bands before them) ...sometimes it felt as if he was straining to be heard over Gemini's guitars. And when he did release some primal angst within his screaming, it really didn't sound like what he wanted to project to the audience in order to feel that angst and frustration. SouthSide recommends rocking within the mind of Gemini's Imaginary if you dare or take a non-scenic ride down their Nile. Visit or for more information and music.

Until next time, support your local scene,


  1. Thank you for the review. The Sound on stage was a very bad mix. The guitars were to loud, the keys were so loud you couldn't hear anything else and we could hear the vocals at all. It was a very disappointing show as far as a stage mix. It actually was one of the worst I have had in years. I also hear from the fans that seen us before that vocals were to low. To me Andy is the perfect fit and when the mix is right you will probably agree. The mix was bad on and off stage. It wasn't our best show so please come again and see for yourself in a few months. It was our third show so we really haven't got our wings yet :) Again Andy is perfect for Helium Fuse, I love what he does and what he does with the music. We are going into the studio so I will send you the music when it is done so you can see what we are trying to do. Thank you for coming it was awesome to have you there!

  2. Oh I shall be at your future shows, Jimmy. I like the music and vibe but as you said the sound mix wasn't the best for you guys ...and I do agree that Andy is perfect for Helium ...he adds that vocal melodic balance to your post-psychedelic sound. See you soon. SouthSide

  3. Thank you for your kind words, SouthSide! We had a blast in Chicago and are hoping to be back yet this summer!


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