New bands worth scouting on the local music scene

Leslie Ventura
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      Where punk meets indie and rock you'll find Deadhand. See them June 8 at House of Blues


      Sounds like: Green Day meets Less Than Jake’s In With the Out Crowd.

      Backstory: From the ashes of one-time scene mainstay Lydia Vance comes this pop-punk power trio headed by singer/guitarist Brendan Scholz. “We’ve always kind of been an odd fit,” he says. “Not punk enough for the punks, not indie enough for the indies, and not rock enough for Nickelback [fans].” That hasn’t been a problem for Deadhand, which has already gained a large local following, in part through participation in Royal House tributes to the Pixies and Nirvana. For the full experience, make sure you see them live.

      Listen to: “Places” (

      See ’em: June 8 at House of Blues.

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      Alaska is straight outta Nevada. (See Facebook page interest No. 1: Capriottis.) And their sound? Emotional hardcore.


      Sounds like: Emotional hardcore. Fans of bands like La Dispute, My Fictions and local favorites Caravels will fall in love with March EP Palcaptain.

      Backstory: Don’t let the name fool you; the guys from Alaska are Nevadans through and through (Capriotti’s is their No. 1 Facebook interest). And while most are still in their teens, they already have an appreciation for the scene. “What really got us into the scene was seeing local bands like Caravels and Oranges host their own shows, tour and focus on writing good music,” guitarist Joel Kirschenbaum says. “We love and respect all those dudes for doing what they want. We hope to be that role model for bands coming up in the local scene.”

      Listen to: “Palcaptain” (

      See ’em: June 29 at Yayo Taco.

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      Like a fresh Tom Petty, Zach Ryan and the Renegades pack cool vocals, powerful guitars and hip-swaying harmonica.

      Zach Ryan and the Renegades

      Sound like: A bluesy, fresh take on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

      Backstory: After The Rooks disbanded almost two years ago, singer Zach Ryan had a stockpile of new material but no solid lineup with which to play it. “That’s all I do with myself: sit in my room and write songs in my spare time. That’s really what I’m into.” Now, Ryan’s slow star search has paid off. The Renegades feature Dan Conway (drums, formerly of Gold Boot), Aly Unna (bass, formerly of The Objex) and Danny Wiedenbeck (piano, organ), paying homage to influences like Neil Young and Bob Dylan with cool vocals, powerful guitars and organs and hip-swaying harmonica solos.

      Listen to: “Let the Wind Blow” (

      See ’em: June 20 and 27 at the Griffin.

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      The Civilians stay true to their roots—think influences like TSOL, The Damned and Cock Sparrer. They play Double Down on July 6.

      The Civilians

      Sound like: Working-class punk. Think: Social Distortion and Rancid, Vegas style.

      Backstory: The Civilians haven’t even been around a year, but as of last weekend, they can say they’ve opened for classic punk bands like Youth Brigade and The Generators. Influenced by bands like TSOL, Cock Sparrer and The Damned, The Civilians are all about staying true to their roots. “We do our best to keep our music really honest,” says guitarist/vocalist Antonio Lopez, formerly of Viva Valhalla. “We’re a very honest band and just try to play the best rock music that we can play.”

      Listen to: “Company Man” (

      See ’em: July 6 at Double Down Saloon.

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      Dark, psychedelic indie with shoegaze and surf-rock influences.

      Restless Suns

      Sound like: Dark, psychedelic indie with shoegaze and surf-rock influences.

      Backstory: The four friends—Tre Amethyst (vocals), Jose Torres (guitar), Steve Cooper (drums) and Lafe Kartchner (bass)—have played together for years under various band names and styles before finding their niche with the Suns. “The common misconception about psychedelic music is that it’s solely based around a hippie vibe and atmosphere,” Kartchner says. “We play psychedelic music, but with more of a driving force.” The quartet is currently in the studio at Chrome Werewolf, with plans to release an EP. And if the droning guitars and hazy vocals on a demo version of “Creature” are any indication, it should be good.

      Listen to: “Creature” (

      See ’em: June 27 at Beauty Bar.


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