Three To See | 07.05

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

Rend | Many people in St. Louis are unaware of the level of talent that exists in our local music scene. Too often, good bands perform on a regular basis and do not get the recognition they deserve, and Rend certainly belongs on that list. Rend is a five-member band that plays super-heavy music. But Rend’s sound is not your typical screamfest, as James Nichols and Dan Semar both bring a fresh and exciting guitar sound to the stage. The group claims they are willing to “earn their record deal,” which is fitting; they seem to have worked hard to create their own sound. Singer Kyle Bova keeps things interesting as well, giving lively stage performances that make the band’s sets all the more interesting.

Bitch Slap Barbie |
I don’t think Barbie deserves to be bitch slapped, nor do I think Pat Sajack should have thrown a pie in Vanna White’s face. But I do think Bitch Slap Barbie is a band that deserves to be heard. This great four-piece was started by singer Brigitte Sheridan and guitarist Lisa McMichael, both formerly of the local band Book of Lies. The new band certainly has a punk-rock feel to it, with heavy guitar parts and strong power chords. There’s plenty of energy and strong hooks in the mix and Sheridan sounds great over the distorted guitar melodies. It’s nice to hear a band with a roughed-up guitar sound as well as a strong vocalist. As the name of the band may imply, this is certainly not a group with an overly sweet sound, but it’s certainly one with a sound that is lively and satisfying.

Wydown | Chris Sutton, guitarist of the local band Sofachrome, often comments on the fact that when grunge and pop replaced a lot of the metal bands in the ’90s, there weren’t as many good guitar solos in popular music anymore. This observation certainly applies to a lot of pop bands because they don’t use a lot of lead guitar in their songs, but Wydown is an exception to this rule. If there’s anything that should be said about Wydown, it’s that they can really play their instruments. This four-piece mixes strong keyboard with great lead guitar to come up with an intelligent and pleasing sound that separates them from other radio-friendly pop bands. With their melodies and vocal arrangements, the songs are haunting enough to stick with the listener. It will be interesting to see what the group does in the future as they continue to play shows and refine their sound.

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