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The Oxford Coma: The World's Heaviest Jam Band

As 2012 draws to a close, we'll be looking forward to the 2013 and spotlighting 13 Phoenix bands that will be making a mark on the Southwest throughout the new year. Prog rockers The Oxford Coma just so happen to be featured in this week's issue, in a story written by Mr. Glenn BurnSilver that outlines exactly what makes this band stand out.

If ever there was a break out band in the making, it's The Oxford Coma. A little more than a year old, the band recently released its debut album, Adonis, and it's sure to get noticed. An amalgam of modern rock, prog, nu-metal, grunge, garage and funk punk, The Oxford Coma -- guitarist/vocalist Billy Tegethoff, bassist James Williams and drummer Casey Dillon -- amazingly harnesses the best of these disparate styles into massive soundscapes that don't sound like any other band out there.

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"That's kind of what we were going for," Tegethoff says.

It takes a few listens, and some deeper focus, to find the core of this band, but among the quiet/loud passages, guitar sections that chatter, chunk, skitter, sear and thrash, atomically-driven bass riffs and drums full of nuance and determination there are Tegethoff's vocals, which alternately push the harmonic boundaries of pure release and shift into guttural death metal screams.

Considering the strength of the album's 13 tracks as a whole, and radio-ready songs like "Last to Die," "Seven" and "Ellipsis," it's quite possible a record label or alternative rock tour will come knocking. That could mean big things for The Oxford Coma.

In the short-term, the band's plans remain grounded and realistic: to develop a regional following and perform as frequently as possible. For music aficionados on the lookout for something hot, best see this band live while the shows remain intimate affairs (maybe even with some fishhook suspensions) as it won't be long before Tegethoff, Williams and Dillon's improvisational impulses and crafty songwriting carry the band ever higher -- possibly right out of the Valley.

The Oxford Coma is scheduled to perform Saturday, December 22, at Monarch Theatre.

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