Three To See

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

Final Drive—Final Drive belongs on the list of best bands to come out of the St. Louis area. This five-piece is armed with a great new metal sound that is sure to satisfy people who don’t even listen to metal. While the band’s explosive, two-guitar sound is nothing short of thrilling, singer Jordan Gaw brings an incredible energy to the stage. While his vocal ability is perfectly suited for the super-charged guitar riffs and beats, his performance style is nothing short of spectacular. He seemed to have no problem swinging from the rafters at Mississippi Nights, or standing on the edge of the stage, singing into the audience with so much confidence and energy that the crowd erupts into a mosh pit. Guitarist Chris Nanny is noticeably good, as well, and contributes background vocals in addition to his strong guitar work. While I can’t say that I have watched this band on MTV’s Battle for Ozzfest show, I will say that their live performances are exceptional and you will be hearing more and more about this band in 2005.

12 oz. Prophets—Over the past year, 12 oz. Prophets have been playing gigs with a new lineup. Nick Thompson Jr. still plays bass and contributes background vocals for the band, but singer Joe Orcino and guitarist Eric Powell are both new and the sound has changed, as well. What was once more or less a jam band has evolved into a great bar rock band with a solid set of songs and catchy guitar hooks that not only capture people’s attention, but inspire them to leave their seats and dance to the best of their ability. There’s no shortage of strong guitar solos, and Orcino is perfectly confident standing center stage with the microphone and giving the audience a taste of his smooth vocal style. In addition to the band playing many shows in the St. Louis area, they are also working on a five-song CD that is sure to be a great treat for anyone who has attended their performances over this past year.

Panic Attack—
Fans of good, strong guitar rock should not be afraid to attend one of Panic Attack’s shows. Not only will they get a good guitar show for their money; they’ll also see a band that is not afraid to take chances with their set. Singer/rhythm guitarist Lisa Huffman has no problem “rocking out” and belting out good songs over layers of distorted guitars and heavy drumbeats. Fans of Joan Jett and early Pat Benetar records will no doubt enjoy the feel of the heavier songs, which are well delivered by all four band members. In addition, the group is not afraid to attack the audience with a series of somber ballads with powerful lyrical content that draws the audience in. Though the ballads tend to deal with heavy topics but the result is quite good and Huffman delivers every song with ease, showing a natural stage presence and versatile vocal ability. I haven’t heard any of the band’s recordings, but my guess is the CD would be quite good and would hopefully contain a lyric sheet to get the full effect of the band.

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