Eight Vegas music acts to watch in 2018

All photos courtesy. The Holy Bright by Christopher Mounts; Cordyceps by Missy Sans; The Social Set by Anny Ayala; Mike Xavier by Chris Horrell
Leslie Ventura, Ian Caramanzana

Child Support (surf)

From the moment you press play on 2017 EP Scum Babies, it’s clear this is a band worth revisiting. Formed two years ago by bassist Abraham Escobedo and guitarist Edgar Larios, Child Support changed lineups in 2017, forging a new sound and direction. The Chicano five-piece is at work on a new EP, honing its surf-punk psychedelia, bolstered by Vannessa Pedrego’s bold vocals, delivered in English and Spanish. “We’re always the band that doesn’t fit in,” Escobedo says. “We like to venture off and experiment.” elchildsupport.bandcamp.com –Leslie Ventura

Cordyceps (metal)

Scientifically speaking, cordyceps are parasitic fungi that attack their host, replacing their innards with new parts so they can thrive. That’s kind of what Cordyceps have been doing to Las Vegas’ metal scene. Formed by guitarist Jose Lopez in 2014, the band initially struggled to solidify a lineup before finding success in national metal circles with the release of debut EP Black Blood Butchery in 2017. Since then, the quartet has taken its brutal death metal from local gigs at the Dive and the Garth to regional tours and the Chicago Domination festival. Cordyceps plans to hit Asia in August and release a debut full-length before year’s end. cordyceps3.bandcamp.com –Ian Caramanzana

Faded Prisms (garage)

Loud, fast drumbeats and aerodynamic guitar riffs aren’t just the backbone of Faded Prisms—they are Faded Prisms. Comprising 17-year-old Thomas Tashoty and 20-year-old Angel Esquivel, the band formed after the two met at a high school talent show. They’ve since been playing the house-show circuit, including an annual gig they call Meat Slug Mania. “We invite our friends to hang out and watch us jam, and we thought it would be cool if we had another band come over,” Tashoty says. “A lot of people showed up.” Faded Prisms is writing the follow-up to last year’s The 40 Piece Man, roughly due midyear. fadedprisms.bandcamp.com –LV

The Holy Bright (punk)

Don’t call The Holy Bright a local supergroup. The quartet includes members of defunct pop-punk heavyweights Last Call and Narrowed, but supergroups often fail in execution—and so far The Holy Bright has been succeeding. Rather than resting on their punk credentials, the band forges into poppier, indie-rock territory, as heard on the band’s excellent 2017 debut EP, Sonder. It’s a lesson in intricate guitar leads fused with smooth, anthemic songwriting. We’re anticipating a big year in the Holyland. theholybright.bandcamp.com –IC

O Wildly (alt-rock)

There aren’t many active local bands that can say they’ve worked with the same producer as The Killers’ Mark Stoermer (David Hopkins). The alt-rockers of trio O Wildly recently finished up a National Southwestern Recording session with Hopkins that yielded three new songs: “Run From Me,” “We All Hope,” and “You’re Not Around.” “He brought a little more of a psychedelic vibe, which helped to expand our sound,” frontman Adam Smith says. He adds that O Wildly will further explore that new direction in 2018, with plans to tour and record more later in the year. soundcloud.com/o-wildly –LV

The Social Set (pop-punk)

Before The Social Set formed in 2015, singer/guitarist Justin Williams served in a shortlived Vegas band called I Can’t I’m Mormon, which more or less morphed into the bratty three-piece we know today. With poppy-punk tunes reminiscent of Wavves, Together Pangea and Fidlar, The Social Set has become a regular on the house-show scene, eschewing bars for backyards and living rooms. “There’s just a lot of love for the music,” Williams says of the local scene. “There’s so many great acts out here that are awesome to see live.” On the docket for 2018: recording a split with local punks Anti-Vision and a follow-up to 2017 LP 500 Days of Bummer. thesocialset.bandcamp.com –LV

Von Kin (indie)

Don’t let this trio’s moody, reverb-soaked guitars and somber lyrics fool you. The roots of Von Kin date back to the hardcore-punk outfit Urchin of the early 2000s. The three childhood friends from the city’s eastside moved in a softer direction when that band broke up in the early 2010s, and Von Kin has since released a number of promising tracks, several on 2016’s V for Violets EP, which presented a modern update on post-punk legends like The Smiths and The Cure. Von Kin has shared bills at the Bunkhouse with bands like Prayers and Moving Units, and plans to release a full-length in early 2018. soundcloud.com/von-kin –IC

Mike Xavier (hip-hop)

This artist is no stranger to these pages. Since the Weekly featured him last May, he has released a five-song EP, a live album and four singles. And that’s just the studio side of it. Xavier and his rapping son, Jaylyn Thai, have taken their uplifting brand of hip-hop from small stages like the Bunkhouse to large halls like Brooklyn Bowl. Xavier hopes to expand his reach even further in 2018 by submitting his forthcoming album to the Recording Academy for Grammy consideration, a sign that this might only be an early chapter in the hungry emcee’s music story. soundcloud.com/mikexavier –IC

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