Thursday, June 16, 2011

11 Jun 11

The Villains are now in control of this review, blogspot readers! Hordes of them were running rampant at Bottom Lounge on Saturday for the exciting debut of new band, V Is For Villains featuring the dynamic duo, Mr. Agitator and Fallon Flynn with Ava Vice and Foster Von Troxx. Also rockin' the same stage with these Villains was Paragon, The Branded and Hail The Horizon with Exempt opening the lineup during this Chicago Acoustic (actually Electric) Underground showcase. SouthSide ...oops - not tonight, it was Villain Eva Trix who rocked the all night long to hot electrifying as well as intense performances full of wicked guitar riffs and sound.

Rockin' their last show before heading to the recording studio, Exempt opened the night with a mix of covers as well as their own originals - some new and old for the Bottom Lounge audience. This band was somewhat on fire having plenty of momentous guitar rock for this reviewer to enjoy however she was expecting more vocal angst to fully charge up the emotions felt off the lyrics. Even while covering songs by Rise Against the Machine and Foo Fighters (the new song by them in which was one of two Exempt moments the band had to restart due to mistakes and miscues), SouthSide didn't hear any vocal excitement or energy to pop the words to life. It didn't really generate any type of enjoyment effect she was hoping from the way this band rocked the stage. She did enjoy Exempt's melodic (though sounding a little distorted) electric riffs intricately woven in the song, The Truth, as well as the vibrant hardcore with a melodic psychedelia sound in Brain Surgery. There was a highlight of this opening set but after messing up one minute into the song, this reviewer concluded Exempt didn't prepare well enough for tonight's performance. It was very sloppy ...lacking excitement vocally and musically despite putting on a halfway decent show. Visit or find them on Facebook for more information about this band.

...thank you, Double Door, for having us...

What an interesting shout out to kick off this rockin' set since that's where SouthSide first met Paragon six months ago. This band once again rocked the stage with a spontaneous fireball of energy amidst its melodic metal-tastic music especially during the opening song which featured sounds of reggae/ska. There's plenty of headbanging rock for you metalheads to sink your teeth into its twitterpating riffs while hearing front man/guitarist Nate's emotionally charged vocals heard in songs No Reply and Fire Inside (literally melted the mic during this particular song). Paragon kept its fans and audience within the rockin' momentum without slowing down one bit between songs in order to encompass them with their rhtyhmic vibe. And what a vibe it was, blogspot readers. At times Paragon seemed quite intense as well as ferocious amidst the hardcore metal sound meanwhile in others, this band rocked the stage with a downtempo sound that wonderfully highlighted Nate's dynamic falsetto style. SouthSide highly suggests visiting or for more information about this local band and when they're rockin' the stage again.

...everybody hates me...

No, Villains, there's much for you from Eva Trix (SouthSide's alter villain ego) after witnessing your ultra intense steampunk/industrial debut performance tonight. She certainly felt the excitement before you, Mr. Agitator, and your villainous crew - Fallon Flynn, Ava Vice and Foster Von Troxx, hit the stage when Papa Villain (Carlos Santiago) rocked the stage while helping set up for the show. The fan reception was at an all-time high as most (including Eva Trix) came fashionably dressed to impress in their best villain-wear. Overall, Eva says - it's definitely nothing like no other show ever reviewed even while in your Digital Mindy stage days. V Is For Villains was a complete turnaround pounding the stage with such spectacular lighting effects (sometimes running in sync with a pulsating heartbeat to Villains' songs), ferocious energy and hardcore techno sound that this reviewer missed a few details happening because there was SO much happening all at once. And she loved that the most about your Villains' debut. The entire band had immersed itself into their villain characters and hardcore steampunk/industrial vibe featuring two guitars and keyboards - no drummer would ever be able to match that intense energy and sound felt and heard from the stage. Performing songs like All About The Flesh and Rise Above as well as favorite Evolve or Die (all off Villains' 4-song demo), the villainous throng of fans rocked along to the same momentum wafting over the stage while feeling Mr Agitator's dynamic (sometimes angsty) vocals featuring Ava Vice's feminine touch on backing. Eva Trix wishes to thank you for performing the non-Disney friendly version of Pink Elephants on Parade - under the new sound it's even creepier than before. Eva highly suggests visiting V Is For Villains at or find them on Facebook for when these villains of the local scene will perform again ...dressing up in costume is recommend.

...I like the little devil horns over there ...reminds me of my childhood...

Over the course of one year (yes, they're only a year old as a band), The Branded has made a significant dent within the local scene here and elsewhere - rockin' two tours which included performing at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX. This reviewer has rocked with the band over seven times and each time, the show itself was nothing like the previous one seen (except the set list in which SouthSide suggests tweaking the song order a little). After an intro by Chicago Acoustic Underground's Michael Teach, The Branded immediately forgave everyone of their sins during Jesus Christ with a rockin' blast of hardcore riffs (by SouthSide's other "boyfriend" Mike on guitar and Shen on bass) and front man Brian's intense screamo (just for vocal effect)-vocal mix. This charismatic leader of The Branded (also sometimes sound guy, talent buyer for Elbo Room and more) truly worked the stage with his boundless energy on this stage ...enough room for one of his famous flying karate kicks. Despite having some technical problems with two of the four screens (used to display a montage of video clips from movies like The Fifth Element, Kill Bill vol 1, Sin City, Falling Down, Natural Born Killers, The Matrix - to name a few), fans enjoyed rockin' to The Branded songs Mother Got No Mercy For Ya, First Move (dedicated to all of the ladies, hot moms looking sexy and those wearing bras as clothes), Too Kool (the douchebag song) and Get Down (according to guitarist Mike, it's about blow jobs) as well as fan favorite the Merch Booth commercial (always a crowd pleaser). SouthSide highly suggests visiting or for when and where this band will be rockin' the stage again.

Opening with a digitalized crescendo of symphonic sound, Hail The Horizon did more than blast the ears with electrifying guitar riffs, blogspot readers. This band literally shredded SouthSide's face off while she listened to the intense ...ferocious twitterpating guitars mixed with hardcore screamo vocals that rocked the stage especially during Hail's opening song. How intense, you might ask ...let's just say the vocals emitted a raw venomous feel to the lyrics as the band melting the monitors with some of the hardest metal-tastic sound this reviewer has ever heard ...and it's the only way she could describe it without giving too much away, blogspot readers. Hail literally screamed, thrashed and everything else in between during their headlining performance that it can get their diehard fans to react wildly near the stage - so watch out for the moshers and slam dancers around you. This local band rocked the stage with songs like Conscience Calls (plenty of headbanging action during this song and others ...loved the venomous screamo vocals on the lyrics and band energy), Mind Over Matter (this was where Hail boasts its "melt your face" metal sound even with an electrifying downtempo rhythm) and The Hooker, The Highway and My Knife (watch out for the many chord/riff changes as the band takes down that dangerous road trip with them). SouthSide also recommends listening to new song (still untitled by cleverly titled as Brandon's Big Foor Stick) as front man John screamed down the stage amidst the vibrant thrash metal sound which certainly had their fans going extremely wild, Mirrors (another new song) - don't let that "calm" intro fool you, blogspot readers, plent of metal-tastic sound to get your head banging and Not Good Enough - though "slowing" things down a bit, John truly showed how dynamic his vocals can get sans the screamo for a moment. If you're looking for that "melt your face ...lose your hearing" metal-tastic sound, this reviewer highly recommends visiting or find them on Facebook for more information on when and where Hail The Horizon will be rockin' the stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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