Free Week Live Shots
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Jan. 10, 2014
American Sharks, Ditch Witch, the WellHotel 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.