Thursday, April 12, 2012


104.1 The Edge is holding a cattle call, the local band that gets the most votes will open on the main stage at Edgefest, while five others will play the local stage.  Besides the usual suspects fresh from whatever Northeast Heights garage they spawned from, there's some well known bands in the mix. Battle tested groups with an album or two under their belts (Lousy Robot, Vertigo Venus, SuperGiant, Red Light Cameras, Anesthesia, Indemnified) are joined by some unlikely entries (The Noms, The Glass Menageries, Next 2 the Tracks,  Bat Wings for Lab Rats,, The Harlow Defense, La Junta, Gusher)

 For the record I'm voting for  Lousy Robot, The Echoing Green,Tom Nevers Field, The Glass Menageries & The Sawmill Dandies.  Actively campaigning for votes is encouraged because just like American Idol, this isn't about talent it's about who gets the most peeps to vote for them. Episode 26 of That Dirt City Sound podcast will give you a preview of the top twenty bands vying for the six slots (by my estimation) and if you're so inclined, log on to 104.1 The Edge's website and cast your vote.

 While it's referred to as  "Edgefest" there's nothing cutting edge about it.  Incubus (from the mean streets of Calabasas) is headlining, they'll be joined by  Bowling Green's Cage the Elephant and the wildmen of Winter Haven,  Anberlin.  There's no shortage of gruntcore metal amongst the entrants,  which proves once again that no matter how much locals try to guzzy up the old señorita with trendy dives and hipster boutiques, at heart 'Burque is just an uncouth, mullet wearing  ingrate.

So who makes the playlist of That Dirt City Sound Episode 26?  Knucklez Deep is some real knuckle dragger metal, but get this! they champion the environment... ecogruntcore? Blazin' guitars, a drummer that sounds like he's beating on five gallon paint buckets and a singer that you wouldn't want to fuck with, so i WON'T.  The next entry, Atlas is all grunting aggro vocals backed by  tightly synchronized numetal. It's top notch and if these guys can stay out of jails & institutions we may hear from them again.  15 Polk St. delivers a wicked Ian Anderson meets Capt. Beefheart tune, "can a creepy motherfucker be the scariest man i've ever met"

Scream Machine channels White Zombie, solid fucking guitars with nifty pigfucker vocals. The song cuts off abruptly just as the singer starts to say "fuck" which is a crying shame. That heavy handed attempt at self censorship is a total fucking buzzkill. SuperGiant has refined sludge rock down to a science, while a little diversity would be nice (everything they record sounds like it was produced by Fred Flintstone) it works just fine for this crowd.  While we're on the subject of muddy vocals and bottom heavy sludge metal, Supercabra is either a SuperGiant tribute band or SuperGiant sneaking in a second entry.

Gusher comes through with their Ritalin fueled take on the Archers of Loaf, user friendly noise rock without the nasty aftertaste. Bat Wings for Lab Rats, have their own peculiar sound, they put the fart in art and the ass in class. The Glass Menageries, The Echoing Green & Tom Nevers Field blow everybody else away, but they won't get many votes. Lousy Robot does what Lousy Robot always does, they rock you in a quiet passive aggressive manner. The Sawmill Dandies are too good to hang out with most of this rabble. This is a fine group of accomplished musicians, if I didn't know better I would say it was from Frogville.

The Noms take the proceedings to a higher level, with their track "Rest in me" which is from a live show at L.A.'s Viper Room.  Anesthesia, still groggy from the surgery brings a heavy dose of the heavy. Indemnified's brand of metal is cerebral and progressive, especially when compared to the tub thumpers that they're up against.  Five Minute Sin gives us that rarest of songs, the  showstopper, the curtain dropper...  the hard rock opus.  Red Light Cameras, Next 2 the Tracks and La Junta showcase some cool uptempo tunes but they  have to be considered longshots at best.

To subject most of the novice bands that submitted entries, to the same standard of review as professional bands would suggest that they're not the pink slime of rock music. But, let's not forget that at one point the Beatles were just a local Liverpool band.  Whoot there it is!, log on to 104.1 The Edge, vote now and vote often, or as SuperGiant suggested, if you live outside of New Mexico just use an Albuquerque zip code, 87104.