"On the night of November 6th, 1979 Black Sabbath was at their most drug addled and explosive standing. They were on tour supporting their newly released Never Say Die album and had a night off in Los Angeles. After knocking back a few drinks at the infamous Rainbow Bar, they decided to check out the local rock scene at the Whiskey A-Go-Go. Arriving late, they caught the tail end of a set by The Circle Jerks. Feeling intimidated yet inspired, they rented a rehearsal space and spent the rest of the night jamming. For an unknown reason they exclusively played Thin Lizzy material and Keith Moon was sitting in… These events never took place. But if they did, the results may have sounded similar to Los Angeles's The Shrine. Formed in 2008, The Shrine play a houserocking breed of heavy, psychedelic, riff based Rock n' Roll. Their debut, recorded on vintage reel-to-reel tape, by local hero Dave O. Jones and under the auspices of the notorious Chuck Dukowski, is the perfect soundtrack to any debaucherous gathering of longhairs. If you and your rag-tag group of riff-raff friends are planning a road trip to Humboldt County to "Score", this is the album you need to be listening to on the way. The Shrine is Josh Landau on guitar/vocals, Courtland Murphy on bass, and Jeff Murray on Drums. Dig It. "-Harley Rother
Plague Vendor (aka PLG\VNDR) is a young, raw, rock n' roll band hailing from Whittier, CA. Their infectious drumming, snarling guitar chords, rhythmic bass are accentuated by eccentric lead singer Brandon Blaine's howling vocals. With one of the most exciting front men in the LA music scene, Plague Vendor's high energy live performances have been whipping crowds into a writhing frenzy at all the bad boy venues in LA.
Mike Watt and the Jom and Jerry Show
In the year 2014 in the ruins of the city once known as Los Angeles, three underworld dwellers with one job, one hot tub and one unkillable riff between them knew they had to make a ripping record—or die trying. This is their story.
Guitarist Jed, bassist Patrick, and drummer Bobby started in a room lit by a single green light, which changed them from humans to Zig Zags in the summer of 2009. Within the next five years, they’d record a song with Iggy Pop and an album with Ty Segall and go from playing house parties for pizza to staring off the stage at the Fillmore West. But back then that was still in the future. Before them had come giants—bands like Kiss and Sabbath whose names were carved into desks in detention for decades. Before them had come mutants, heavy metal and punk bands like the Dictators and Pentagram that spun into the void of history after failed orbital rendezvous with the fame they’d deserved. And before them had come freaks, one-known-copy private press insanities like J.T. IV, White Boy and the Average Rat Band, the bands that happened when someone with a guitar thought FUCK IT loud enough for the tape to pick up. Those were visionaries, each of them, even if most of them paid—or never got paid—for it. And Zig Zags had a vision, too. It was a dark and weird one, the kind of thing you see flickering on the monitor when your stolen spaceship wakes you up from cryosleep, or the kind of thing that flashes across the inside of your forehead when you wake up hungover from sleeping in your van. Theirs was the nightmare of the insane and the all-too-normal, the Bermuda Triangle between sci-fi and lo-fi and no-budget, the Twilight Zone twist ending where it turns out everyone ELSE was an alien the whole time. When Cliff Burton wore that Misfits shirt—Zig Zags. When the Emergency Broadcast System interrupts that John Carpenter movie—Zig Zags. When a soggy pile of Thrasher mags and Jack Kirby comics spill out of a dumpster behind the Sunday School—Zig Zags. When the Ramones were scared of the basement and the Angry Samoans couldn’t find the right side of their mind—Zig Zags. When a kid breaks his elbow copying a WWF heel’s piledriver and starts laughing instead of crying—Zig Zags. And when the electricity goes off forever and torchlight reflects off chrome—Zig Zags. All of this and more becomes real on the Zig Zags’ self-titled debut LP, recorded and produced by Ty Segall for In The Red. In 12 songs, they chainsaw through weirdo film and caveman rock and space noise and make smart sound so dumb it turns inside-out and becomes brilliant. Their very first 7” had a song scalled “Scavenger” cuz that’s what Zig Zags do—dig through garbage to find genius. In 2014, it turns out they did make their ripping record. But it’s up to you to figure out the twist ending.
Here Lies Man
What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat? In short, that’s the underlying vibe to the self-titled debut by Here Lies Man. The L.A. based quintet is founded and conceptualized by Marcos Garcia of Antibalas, bringing his erudite experience of West African rhythms and music to the more riff-based foundations of heavy rock.
The results are an incredibly catchy and refreshing twist on classic forms, without sounding forced and trite like some sort of mash-up attempt. Here Lies Man merges and expands musical traditions organically, utilizing the talents of drummer Geoff Mann (son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) and a host of skilled musicians to make Garcia’s vision a reality.
“The repetitive guitar figures that happen in Afrobeat music are very close to heavy rock guitar riffs,” Garcia explains. “ This music is based on the clave. It’s the musical algorithm that the rhythms revolve around. It's what gives it integrity and provides the basis for the musical conversation that's happening. I knew I wanted it to be psychedelic and heavy, and I wanted to be expanding on a musical tradition rather than pretending to be creating something new.”
And that expansion is the brilliant, hazy, psychedelic, hook-laden 8-song masterwork Here Lies Man, available on LP, CD and download via RidingEasy Records.
(Written by Dave Clifford)
The Red Pears
Just 3 dudes from El Monte making some noise.
Debut full length "Tension" out now.