BOULDER BREWS It’s 2 p.m. on Sunday at a Boulder City banquet hall next to a police station. It’s an odd locale for small-town singer-songwriter Justin Mather’s album release, but when I get inside Forge Social House, it’s packed, and I’m once again surprised by the camaraderie this tight-knit scene has here in the southeast. The sound is crisp and pristine, more so than most Downtown venues, and Mather’s calm twang resonates throughout the building. His five-piece live band, featuring Joel Ferguson (slide guitar), Rob Whited (drums), Steve Bonacci (bass), Carlos Guerrero (guitar) and Tom Denk (guitar), deliciously blends alt-country and sweet, soft folk. And that slide guitar is the cherry on top.
“I know a lot of you guys from the Brew Pub,” Mather says to the crowd, which today skews a bit older than usual. Until recently, Mather worked at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co., (referred to colloquially as the Brew Pub), where he acquired most of his fanbase. The show is almost sold out.
Mather performs his new LP, Old Records, in its entirety—sounding like a mixture of Wilco, The Eagles and Ben Kweller. He’s an everyman’s man with an addictive, foot-tapping flow. And though it took Mather a few years, collectively, to record the album at Vegas’ Tone Factory, the final product feels timeless. Mather says his next task is sending his album out to anyone who will bite, and hopefully booking a tour in the near future.
BROTHERLY LOVE New-wavey Vegas band Love Vendetta, led by brothers Charles (vocals) and Ahmad Earland (formerly of Lips Like Morphine), celebrated new EP Wilderness Friday night at the Bunkhouse. The six-song EP, released digitally in September, fits snugly alongside anthemic synth-pop stars like The Killers and Panic! At the Disco, and includes cuts “We Roam the Night” and “Alexa Starr,” which the singer (aka Charlie Danger) dedicated to all fathers at the show. Wilderness is available at iTunes and cdbaby.com.
END OF AN ERA Longtime local punk staples The Objex have broken up, the scene learned via a Facebook post from singer Melanie Troxler, aka Felony Melony. “I love and appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart,” Troxler wrote on December 8. “The Objex would not have been The Objex without all of you. So it pains me to say The Objex will no longer be having shows or new albums.” Troxler declined to comment on the news when the Weekly reached out last week.
SQUID TIME AGAIN Local label SquidHat Records has announced its annual two-night showcase and search for its next Vegas signing, set for January 23 and 24 at the Double Down Saloon. The lineup includes current SquidHat artists Sounds of Threat, Surrounded by Thieves, Guilty by Association, Attack Ships on Fire and six Vegas bands performing and competing for a distribution deal. Those bands include The New Waves, Eliza Battle, The CGs, Franks & Deans, False Cause and War Called Home. The chosen band—or bands—will be announced on February 1.
ALSO Topshelf Records, home to post-hardcore favorites Caravels, will co-release a split with Bridge Nine Records’ band Octaves on January 20. The four-song split will be available on vinyl and digitally, soon after the two bands kick off their European tour on January 14 in Germany.
… Garage-rock five-piece Same Sex Mary has tweaked its lineup, now featuring Cirque du Soleil percussionist Aaron Guidry on drums and scene veteran Brian Cantrell (Junior Anti-Sex League, Red Light School District, Bee Movie the Band) on guitar. The group is currently mastering its second full-length record, The Second Coming, and will kick off a two-week tour January 15 at Bunkhouse.
… Retro rockers American Cream recorded six new songs in two New York studios—the Bunker and the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU—last week for a record due out this spring. … Alt-rockers Avalon Landing have filmed a music video for an acoustic version of “The Cure,” a single off 2013’s Reside, available on YouTube.
… Electro-rock duo Payola Presley will premiere a new music video and perform an acoustic set December 19 at Inspire Theatre.