By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
Releases: Angels and Inbreds (1995)
BTW: Sepulveda's stage persona, Earl C. Whitehead, is a tribute to his late grandfather.
Quote: "The main thing people don't know about me is I'm a dedicated family man. I have four kids and they come before anything and anyone."--Ronnie Dye
BTW: Dye is the celebrity spokesmodel for Perryman Western Wear. Check out his fashion layouts in KNIX Country Spirit.
Note: The song titles say it all: "Hard Luck and Heroin," "I've Seen the Light at the End of the Bottle," "Even Hookers Say Goodbye." Hank Williams country for the millennial transition, this band's got a visceral kick.
Quote: "That simple, old music has always hit a stark note with me."--Bruce Cannole, lead singer
BTW: This band's country cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" somehow makes perfect sense.
Note: Pack-a-wallop funk/metal laced with thick harmonies and odd-time meters. Alice in Chains meets 311 meets Helmet. This trio's muscular rendition of "Carol of the Bells" is a favorite Yuletime spin on hard-rock station KDKB-FM 93.3.
Quote: "Everyone in the band has a split personality. We're all mellow, laid-back guys in person but when you get us onstage, we lose control."--Christian Henry, lead singer/guitarist
Note: Super hard-core with funk and hip-hop in the mix.
Quote: "Everything in Oil is as cool as the other side of the pillow."--Anthony Mclain, lead guitarist
Releases: Lubrication for Your Mind (1996)
BTW: In January, Oil was ranked No. 8 on the Top 10 AZ bands list compiled by Zia records. Last month, it was No. 5.
Note: Agro rock with accessible melodies. Think Deftones, Korn and Tool.
Quote: "Being in this band is kind of like having three girlfriends, but you don't get the sex thing. You eat together and you get the arguments, but that's about it."--David DeVere, lead singer
Releases: One Ounce Short (1996)
BTW: Trudge also has a Web page (www.primenet.com/~trudge). DeVere swears he will answer all e-mail, "especially if it's erotic in nature."
Zig Zag Black
Note: After its original lead guitarist died three years ago, this veteran Valley rock juggernaut took some time off, then came back strong with a second album of more precise, melodic material that trades in the sledgehammer for a scalpel.
Quote: "Our ambition became to quit buying beers and start selling records."--Mark Morrell, guitarist
Releases: Dose (1996) and Zig Zag Black (1993)
BTW: The vixen on the cover of Dose is described in the liner notes as, well, "a sexy love chicken." Larry Flynt would be thrilled.
Note: This three piece does the loud, melodic emo (short for "emotional") punk thing kids seem to dig so much these days, accented by sudden speed shifts.
Quote: "We are not pretentious. We are Bullyrag."--band mantra
P.S. The New Times standards and practices department heaved a sigh of relief when this band recently changed its name to Bullyrag from "Fucking Thunder."
Mad At 'Em
Note: Grrl-dominated (three XX chromosomed members, one XY) p-rock foursome that plays catchy, estrogen-fueled pop-punk tunes.
Quote: "We have a message for Slugger: You guys better be ready to slug it out at the award showcase."--Kim Smith, lead guitarist
Releases: Debut seven-inch due out this summer.
BTW: Mad At 'Em songs concentrate on "important women's issues," like how hard X-Girl clothing sucks.
Note: Three guys, one grrl who kick out brooding punk dirges laced with static guitar leads. Lead vocalist Yolanda Bejarano's piercing, emotive wail will break hearts along with eardrums.
Quote: "We're all about crushing bands like Mad At 'Em. We hate 'em."--Yolanda Bejarano
Releases: "Girl" b/w "Fixerupper" seven-inch (1997)
BTW: This feud is serious. At a recent show, Slugger challenged Mad At 'Em to a mud-wrestling charity event in Hayden Square between sets.
Note: Booty-shakin' blend of '70s funk, Tex-Mex and Sanchera-style dance music, with bilingual Rick James covers and a tightly choreographed stage show.
Quote: "We're hard to categorize because we're sort of a bilingual crossover-type band. I don't think anyone knew exactly what category to throw us in."--Mary Hurtado, co-lead vocalist (Editor's note: She is correct.)
BTW: Straight Up's members are 10-year veterans of the Valley club scene.
Note: This group's dance music is all over the floor, from America covers to salsa to regional Mexican folk and contemporary Latin pop.
Quote: "We know over 250 songs. Whatever you want to hear, we can play."--Andy Gonzales, bass and vocals
BTW: Signature cover: Kool and the Gang's "Get Down On It."
Note: Quick Spanish brushup: "Caliente" means "hot." This salsa sextet also plays everything from ballads to dance tunes, traditional Latin to modern Tex-Mex.
Quote: "We play because we like to, not because we have to make a living at it. It shows onstage. We have a lot of fun."--Jesus Jaramillo, keyboards/vocals