The band that go to middle school together, stay together.
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Well, that’s true at least in the case of Los Angeles-based five-piece alt-rockers Night Riots. The friends learned to play music together before they started high school, and still maintain that original lineup, minus a switch in drummers years ago. Keeping a solid and straightforward rock ’n’ roll foundation, Night Riots have enhanced their sound with slight changes since they started dropping releases in 2010. At times, their blend of rock leans more toward ’80s synth, while at other times their rolling intros that launch into edgier, driving songs are reminiscent of more recent acts like The Killers.
What does thread through the band’s music is a sense of nostalgia that comes more from the lyrics, and an ever-present wistful vibe, than from sharing sounds of bands that came before them. 2013’s “Loyal Blood” from their Young Lore record examines youthful recklessness on a tune about one of those unforgettable, unplanned magical nights, “Stayed up all night long / Hellfire in our bones.”
Their most recent release, Love Gloom, goes deep into the well of love and desperation with a collection of brooding tunes that offer enough hopeful sentiments, and poppy beats, to keep you elevated throughout the dark journey.
Night Riots perform Friday, June 1, at Valley Bar. Tickets are $15-$18 at ticketfly.com.