CASINO MADRID, TALIO AN FUROR, WE’RE NOT FRIENDS ANYMORE, SANTA ROSA IN FLAMES, Cobalt Café, January 28, 2011
TwoHearts Promotions has been booking some of the best shows at the Cobalt Café, and the last Friday night in January was no exception. Four unsigned bands shared the stage, all of them very promising and from various parts of California.
Even though there were no major names on the bill, the kids showed up anyway ready to sing along and mosh it up. It is great to see local audiences supporting the scene, especially with so many choices of venues and bands throughout the Los Angeles area.
The first band, Santa Rosa In Flames, is not from Northern California at all. Based out of the Gardena area, these young musicians presented a solid set of post hardcore that really sent the Cobalt into action. The opening position is never the ideal place to be in a lineup, but Santa Rosa In Flames pulled it all off admirably. This collective has some pretty terrific songs, with Ronnie The Daredevil and Dear Mom, One Day I’ll Be Famous being highlights of the show. Rigo Estrada on screaming vocals exuded a good deal of passion and conviction, making a thoroughly impressive front man. Josey Lopez made for a winning contrast to their screamer on guitar and clean vocals. Fine musicianship was also delivered by Alejandro Ruiz on bass and Mario Juarez on lead guitar. A scorching shows from a band we’ll be hearing a lot more in the future. Keep on the good work!
Why We’re Not Friends Anymore isn’t signed to some hotshot indie label is beyond all comprehension. The Stockton based band has been paying their dues, managing to acquire quite a following all across the country due to their online presence and dynamic live shows. At the Cobalt Café, the band kicked it into supersonic high gear, mesmerizing the crowd with a short but rollicking selection of tunes. Mostly culled from their recent You Are Television self-release, some of the top songs performed included Purity, Allegations, and Reflections. The two lead vocalists are especially remarkable. The clean vocals of Mariano Lopez absolutely soar in the grand tradition of the singers from Circa Survive and Chiodos. Marking a stunning contrast is the brutal screamed vocals of Mike Cast, whose aggressiveness and quirky personality really make him a stand out performer. The rest of the band is absolutely first rate, including some fine dual guitar work from Dom Sacco and Alex Casillas. The rock solid rhythm section consists of Nicholas Coleman on bass and Anthony Hampton on drums. Here’s hoping this band shows up to play in the City Of Angels more often. It was terrific see that a few folks in the crowd who already knew all the words to their songs.
It’s been quite a few months since Talio An Furor has been on the scene, but this Van Nuys based collective made a return to the Cobalt Café with an all out vengeance. One of the very best of the local hardcore metal bands in the area, Talio An Furor was on fire when they launched into their set. Many of their fans were chanting “Talio, Talio” throughout the night, and they certainly showed a lot of love and respect to the band with a thoroughly rabid pit which continued on throughout their entire evening. One of the best new songs was called B Sides and Branches, which really had the audience riled up. And then there’s Talio An Furor’s closing tune, a stellar hardcore anthem entitled Copy And Paste, where everyone in the room sang along to the “A graceful fall is all that we ask for” chorus. Definitely one of the most inspiring songs out there by an unsigned band today. Myk Mariano is a super charismatic front man who knows how to convey the impassioned songs to an audience. Herb Rosales and Mark Mariano really shred it up on guitars while bassist Carlo Endicio and drummer Josh Gomez make for a tremendously tight rhythm section. 2011 is going to be the year Talio An Furor becomes signed! Always an exhilarating show from these super talented musicians!
Headlining the show was Casino Madrid, a band from the San Diego area who seem to be making a name for themselves all across the nation. Performing songs from their recently released For Kings & Queens EP, Casino Madrid really had the late night crowd paying a good deal of attention throughout their set. After a brief intro, the band launched into the aptly titled The Rocky Mountains Aren’t As Rocky As Us – and yes, it definitely rocked the walls off of the venerable Cobalt Café establishment. Defining themselves as “trancecore,” Casino Madrid thrilled the audience with their astonishing mixture of hardcore, rhythmic keyboard work, and even a dash of metal. Songs that shook up the crowd included a new one entitled Fightin’ Words, the sonic reveries of The Ugly Tree and their thrilling closing song Running With Scissors.
Joe Demaio is a dynamic performer, conveying the lyrics with a strong sense of passion with plenty of charisma to spare. Also notable is the synth work of Robert Cesena, weaving a subtle sense of magic and vitality throughout the songs. Armani Sanchez (playing even spite of a broken foot – this guys is a trooper!!!) and Don Vedda displayed some fierce guitar work while Johnny Cruz brought it all home with a vengeance on drums. Jeff Davis filled in admirably on bass and vocals. Demonstrating a mass appeal in their music and a willingness to transcend the metalcore genre, Casino Madrid is a gamble well worth taking. Hard working and immensely talented, expect Casino Madrid to ring out like a winning slot machine in the New Year!
Another night of musical discovery and adventure at the Cobalt Café courtesy of the twoHearts Promotions team. Be sure to support all of these bands as well as your own local music scene.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)