Three to See | 06.06

Here are just three of the great original St. Louis bands that play around town on a regular basis. Check them out as soon as you can.

Sunmotel | Tom Petty once sang that “good love is hard to find.” Sometimes, good rock is hard to find, too. Anyone who has noticed this will no doubt appreciate Sunmotel, the new side project for singer/guitarist Javier Mendoza, and it’s a great project at that. The four-member group has strong musicians who combine to bring guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums to the mix. There’s no denying the fact that this is a hot act and the sound is quite appealing. Mendoza sings well and plays smoothed-out, clean guitar rock that sounds great blended with Sweet Jane Jane’s keyboard melodies. It’s great to hear a band with such a sophisticated sound, and the actual songs are lively and fresh sounding, which makes picking up one of their CD’s a must. Just watching them can be a rewarding experience in itself, as there’s certainly no shortage of energy and lively stage antics. Where there was once a vacancy in the local music scene, Sunmotel has certainly filled it.

Our First Summer | It was a nice spring evening the night I saw Our First Summer. I have to say the band is worth seeing regardless of the season. This four piece pop-punk band from St. Jacob, Ill., has something that separates them from many of the others: charisma. Lead vocalist/bassist Joey Uhldivich has a strong presence when he takes center stage, and he certainly gives the kind of performances that are hard to forget. The group’s sound is solid and strong with plenty of good, catchy guitar parts in the songs. Uhldivich adds good vocals to the mix as well, and songs such as “Kick Me When I’m Down” are a treat to hear live.

Chloe Day | Chloe Day was once asked who her musical influences were in an interview on the 101.1 The River Home Grown show. During the segment, Ken Williams didn’t seem fazed by her response: “Always the Beastie Boys.” Not only is Day’s music good, but she performs it quite well. Her gigs are literally a one-woman show, with pre-recorded electronic music complete with drumbeats and various other sounds in the mix. The overall sound is quite haunting, and the songs’ grooves are nothing short of striking and catchy. Day has a natural stage presence and sings in a distinct voice sure to catch the attention of the audience. The songs’ melodies are powerful, and things get even more interesting when she plays her acoustic guitar. Chloe Day is one St. Louis native who is a true original. (She’s also currently a resident of Los Angeles, so catch her in town when you can.)

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