Three to See | 12.05

The Bureau, Lojic and Tobi Kai and the Strays


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.

The Bureau | It’s pretty easy to get hooked on this band, especially if you grew up listening to early ’80s new wave and appreciate a fresh approach to the sound. The Bureau is made up of four members who do a great job coming up with strong guitar/keyboard melodies that are consistently good. Mike Cracchiolo, the band’s lead singer/bassist, does a great job taking center stage and singing with confidence, while providing some distinct-sounding bass lines to the mix. These days, there are several bands that are heavily influenced by Joy Division and the Smiths; the problem is that a lot of them just aren’t very good. Thankfully, that is not the case with the Bureau—and they’re local.

Lojic | Lojic has managed to mix a variety of musical styles in order to come up with sound that is strong and unique. Their sound incorporates bits of reggae, rock, and hip-hop, with a consistently great bass/guitar groove and a solid live show. Their musicianship is nothing short of impressive. The four members are all animated onstage, especially Will Betts, the band’s charismatic lead singer, who never has a shortage of vocal power or raw stage energy. Though the audience enjoys dancing to the catchy songs, they also get just as much pleasure out of listening to the commentary between tunes, alone worth the price of admission.

Tobi Kai and the Strays | Good guitar rock bands keep turning up on the St. Louis music scene, and Tobi Kai and the Strays is certainly one of these. Lead singer Tobi Kai is a vocalist who really knows how to put on a great show. She has the ultimate strong voice, perfectly suited for a heavy rock band, and she sings over distorted guitar parts perfectly. Her overall presence onstage is equally as strong, and it’s fun to listen to her address the crowd between songs; she is consistently entertaining. Of course, the Strays are great musicians, as well; the energy and hard-hitting guitar sound they bring to the stage is quite impressive. It’s hard not to get hooked on the catchy guitar riffs and solid rhythms. You won’t want to miss the band’s cover of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades”—truly a delight.

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