By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
Anarbor: Signed last year while their members were still in high school, Anarbor is sort of The Maine Lite. The Phoenix band boils down guitar-based pop rock to its plucky core, making music that'd sound nearly as good on synthesizers as on a six-string. The singer, who answers to Slade, has the sort of joyously even-tempered vocals you need to make the type of songs played in the background on episodes of MTV's Room Raiders.
Authority Zero: Stalwart Mesa punk act Authority Zero has to be one of the busiest bands in town, between side projects and a tour schedule that'd shame Willie Nelson. Musically, they're about as close as you'll find on this year's tour to a trad-punk band from the Warped Tour's early days. This year's tour is heavily hair-sprayed and maybe even a little eyelinered.
Kinch: Kinch is one of our favorite local bands for good reason. Their piano-driven and occasionally fuzzy-guitar-infused take on Britpop and contemporary indie rock is chock-full of ear-grabbing melodies. Though they're going by "kinch" on the official Warped Tour bill (an effort to seem hipper to the kids?), we're confident they won't use too much guy-liner in their efforts to mimic the look that today's teens love.
Peachcake: Though you may not realize it, this confetti- and candy-tossing Phoenix dance-pop band has drastically expanded its fan base, even taking its peace-and-love message overseas this summer. We're sure their dynamic live show (and the candy) will be as big a hit in Norway as it is here, provided they toss out a few melkesjokolades with their standard American jellybeans to make sure the Nordies get the idea.
Scary Kids Scaring Kids: This six-piece melodic punk act from Gilbert is oft labeled "post-hardcore," but we think their pairing of fantastic riffs with serviceable vocals is reminiscent of early Metallica. Certainly, thrash is back — but not with kids this age. So they tend to claim more fashionable influences, and when the super-catchy refrain of "Snake Devil" hits, we have to admit they do owe a debt to bands like At The Drive-In and Blink-182.
The Maine: Ah, The Maine. So young, so MySpace famous. We're not sure this five-piece bunch could grow beards if they wanted to but, luckily, they're from Phoenix, not Portland, so their clean-cut looks and boyish pop songs are appreciated. Two-dozen Warped Tour dates should only increase the standing of this band, which writes the sort of piano-and-acoustic-guitar-based love songs Plain White T's rode to the big time — the sort of songs only a true punk curmudgeon could hate. Yes, they'll make the UK Subs (an '80s punk band who somehow found their way onto this year's tour) look a little sickly and pathetic on the California dates the bands play together. But that's the vibe this year's Warped Tour is apparently going for.
The Word Alive: Out of Peoria, The Word Alive does more than most bands to show "melodic" and "hardcore" are compatible. Sure, the growling is mostly for show, as the super-glossy refrains quickly push it aside, but this long-haired six-piece makes sure to throw enough pummeling percussion and trudging riffs to avoid ending up categorized with The Maine and Phoenix's other pop-punksters. Singer Telle Smith looks like a star, and the band's rough edges don't really seem to preclude some sort of major fame, given the way younger audiences are willing to embrace even death-metal grunts provided they're soon followed by catchy choruses.