American Sharks

American Sharks, the Well, Ditch Witch, and Vomettes

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Jan. 10, 2014

American Sharks
American Sharks
Photo by John Anderson

American Sharks, Ditch Witch, the Well

Hotel Vegas, January 4

A Free Week show should give you killer sets by a well-known act, fast-rising up-and-comers, and brand newbies. That's exactly what the packed house at Hotel Vegas got. The Vomettes, from Redondo Beach, kicked things off with a set of brief, two-to-three-chord punk rock songs with titles like "I Like Your Pussy but I Love My Penis." Houston's Cool Piss raised the bar with droning punk containing actual tunes, especially in the Wipers-channeling "Infiltrators." Austin's the Well hit harder and tighter than ever, its cosmic swamp metal luxuriating in mighty bottom-feeding riffs and coed vocals. The trio released a debut EP in 2013 after a brace of 7-inches. With an LP due this spring, 2014 should be its breakout year. Young quartet Ditch Witch still hasn't figured out what flavors it likes best – punked-up thrash, boogieing NWOBHM anthemry – but the locals garnered the most intense pit, so it's obviously doing something right. American Sharks, meanwhile, capped off a triumphant 12 months with a blasting set that put its challengers to shame. The local power trio's punk-cum-metal blazed like a comet scorching the earth.

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