Outside of San Diego, is there a better place to see Hot Snakes (above) and Night Marchers (below) than Alex’s Bar in Long Beach? Two world-class rippers in one world-class dive bar. We arrived at the unusual, awesome, and sold-out matinee on Sunday just in time to see Night Marchers (1/2 or 3/4 of Hot Snakes, depending on who’s drumming for the latter) finish setting up their gear and start their set at the ungodly hour of 4:37. Lots of simmering new stuff from the upcoming album and some fave older roots-garage rockers (“I wanna deadbeat you!“). Everyone’s obsessing over the RFTC reunion happening around Easter, but don’t sleep on the January release featuring the hard-rocking pipes of Swami John Reis.
Four shows in six nights. At the core were stops by RAD (above), a Sacramento-based thrash revival band that happens to feature my cousin Anthony on bass. On either end of the RAD sandwich were some old favorites… Last night was Ian Svenonius with Chain and the Gang and kicking off the run was Hot Snakes, who reunited for All Tomorrow’s Parties and Fun Fun Fun and is now in the midst of a victory lap for the fans who don’t do festivals.
Opening up the Hot Snakes’ sold-out gig at The Troubadour was Spider Fever. The San Diego band puts the Snakes’ Mario Rubalcaba right in front. If you have any taste in music whatsoever, your innards have already been shaken by his powerful, ruthless drumming (411, Clikatat Ikatowi, Rocket From The Crypt, Earthless, OFF!) and it turns out he rips on guitar and vocals, too. (The other guys ain’t bums, either, coming from The Heartaches and The Widows.) Think MC5 meets DMZ and you’re heading in the right direction–right off a cliff into punk rock ‘n’ roll oblivion. This is no goofy side project but a fully realized unit on a mission to corrupt your soul with two flame-throwing 7″s and a brand-new LP–all great ways to wear down a needle.