CLOSE TO HOME, LIONS! TIGERS! BEARS!, The Cobalt Café, March 9, 2011
Twohearts Promotion was at it yet again, bringing some of the very best up and coming bands to the Cobalt Café. It was a Wednesday night mid-week show, but plenty of kids ventured out to see Close To Home and Lions! Tigers! Bears! on the same bill, unleashing devastating upon the Canoga Park, CA venue. After a night of promising locals acts and a touring band from Riverside, it was time for the co-headlining acts to take control of the stage, and both bands would certainly make a lasting impression.
First up were local favorites Lions! Tigers! Bears!, a local band from the San Fernando Valley who were recently signed to Tragic Hero Records. Scheduled to leave for the The Young Guns Tour with Scarlett O’Hara and Ten After Two, the Cobalt set was a special one off night for L!T!B! that really sent the entire room spinning. L!T!B! present a truly unique amalgamation of screamo, hardcore, metal and trance, coming up with a stunning wall of sound that is wondrous to behold.
The set kicked off with ominous chants of “Tell them that we’re dead, but we’re only sleeping” before exploding into the dynamic strains of Courage Wolf. Vocalist Josh Wallace possesses a good deal of fire and magnetism, really letting loose and conveying the lyrics with a deep sense of passion and conviction. The dual guitar work of Vince Fearing and Troy Gappa is fiery and intensive while Dorian Ford on bass/vocals and Alex Rincon on drums make for a thunderous rhythm section. And slamming it all home is Chris Wolf on keyboards, whose driving melodies and infectious performance really is fun to watch and hear. Some of the songs that really stood out in their set included The Grey Fox, Seahorse Seahell and 12 Years And 2 Spoons Later. Look for their debut album Shallow Waters, Endless Depth to be unleashed released on April 26th!
Close To Home from Cincinnati, Ohio were in the Valley one day before kicking off their tour with Dance Gavin Dance at the El Rey Theater. Although it was late, the Cobalt still had quite a few heads left ready to rock it. The band recently released their debut album entitled Never Back Down on Artery Recordings.
After a brief introduction from vocalist Nick Stiens where he spoke of Chipotlé and its aftermath, the band kicked it into supersonic gear with the explosive Chuggin Is For Choo Choo’s from their self-released EP Let It Be Known. Then the band segued into the anthem-like Count The Ways, a powerful song where Close To Home mix in the sounds of melodic punk and hardcore with tremendous results. Nothing Lasts Forever was a topnotch cut showing just how effective the band is as both songwriters and performers. End Of An Era was another winning tune that is sure to become a staple in the Close To Home set as the years go by. The band is exceptionally tight, and no doubt will be acquiring a whole lot of new fans when they make their way out on the road. Although they are currently doing support slots, expect these guys to be headlining their very own shows all across the country by this time next year.
In addition to the charismatic Nick Stiens on vocals, the dynamic Close To Home lineup consists of JJ Cooper and Josh Wells on guitars and vocals and Travis Hartman on drums.
Be sure to catch Close To Home and Lions! Tigers! Bears! when they show up to ravage your neck of the woods. Thanks to John at Twohearts Promotions and Adam Baum and the staff for another excellent night at the Cobalt.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)