Three to See | 03.06

Soul Descenders | Soul Descenders is something of a misnomer; its members do not actually play soul music. They play heavy metal, and they play it well. What’s amazing about this band is not so much the style of their music, but the fact that they are able to do it so well at such a young age. The five members of this group are all in their teens but there is certainly no shortage of great guitar work and a super solid rhythm section. The sound is heavy with screaming guitar riffs and fast-paced drumbeats that make it impossible for anyone to watch sitting down. Singer Ben Walters does a great job of taking center stage and providing the perfect-sounding, angst-filled vocals that blend perfectly with the group’s music. He also does a good job engaging the crowd, inviting audience participation on such songs as “When in Doubt, Kill Everyone.” The band is currently working on a CD but will be booking more shows as soon as they finish.

Side of Fives | Side of Fives is a local band with a sound that is truly addictive. They’re the type of band that plays a strong set that really takes the listener somewhere. This quintet brings a solid, two-guitar sound to the stage that shows influences of ’90s grunge and early rock ’n’ roll. While the group plays with plenty of volume and guitar distortion, good melodies can still be heard in the mix. Singer Sam Goodrum actually used to be the band’s rhythm guitar player before switching to vocals. His voice is truly distinct and strong. He also has a way of distancing himself from the audience a bit as he performs, something that is rare at local shows. In addition to the overall satisfying sound, Side of Fives write interesting lyrics. The result is a take-home product that makes for good driving music.

Bear Hug Jersey | Bear Hug Jersey hails from Madison County in Illinois, and they bring a fresh, original sound to the world of modern rock. All four band members play their instruments well, with the songs they play consistently striking. Singer/guitarist Aaron Kellim and guitarist John Webb do a great job of coming up with strong guitar hooks and neat riffs that really capture the audience’s attention. They make full use of their two guitar players, with each musician contributing something different for every song. While the music is consistently tight throughout the set, Kellim sings well and never ruins a song with flat notes. This is one band that is well worth making the trip to see.

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