Bonus bands

Seven more Chico bands making sound waves in ’11

photo by joey moshiri

Hail the Sun

Missing the noisy dynamics of the local rockers Secret Stolen? Hail the Sun is here for you. Donovan Melero, Aric Garcia, John Stirrat and Shane Gann are four youngsters with insanely high energy and a dizzying progged-out, emo-ish approach to power-pop that sounds as if they’re reaching back for those glory days when At the Drive In did it all better than anyone.

—Jason Cassidy


Three lifelong friends from Weaverville (the brothers Jones and Nathaniel Gravette) reconnect in Chico to form the still-active jazz trio Ripe, then recruit Dash Weidhofer (of Live Assist) and drummer Galnadgee Joe to explore their hip-hop and pop leanings as Peach. Especially notable is Gravette’s masterful fluteboxing—flute playing plus beatboxing.

—Ken Smith (search “Peach”)

Brass Hysteria!

Brass Hysteria! are the life of the party whether they’re plugged in or busking in the elements. Adopting the finer moments of punk, ska and bluegrass this eight-piece machine—and 2010 CAMMIES winner—released its debut EP Rural Sexual in 2009 and is currently working on a new platter. Hard to go wrong with a band that includes a member named Queasy Weasel.

—Mark Lore

photo by elias perez


Chico doom-metal crew Amarok has the power to slow pulses, rattle glasses off tables, and on a good night liquify listeners’ innards. These dudes churn out glacial sludge by the rusty spoonful on their debut record, released last year. Recommended in heavy doses.

—Mark Lore

Steve French

The first of two newer local bands to surround a voice from the local theater scene with players from other local bands (see also Hot Mess). Steve French has settled into a heavy indie-math-rock-pop lineup that includes former Hedwig Matt Hammons on vocals, La Fin du Monde’s Dan Elsen (drums), The Shimmies’ Stephen Galloway (bass), and Jack Gingerich and Brendan McDonough on guitar.

—Jason Cassidy

Hot Mess

Vocalist Storey Condos has one of those musical-theater voices/personalities that people describe as “powerhouse,” and with Hot Mess she’s putting her pipes to some sassy rock/pop with former Puke Boot (and her current fiancé) Marcus Anderson on lap steel; guitarist Ryan Maker and keyboardist Daniel Nelson (both of Mute Witness); That’s What She Said’s Hypatia Runcie on bass; and drummer Pete Parada from the Offspring (yeah, that Offspring).

—Jason Cassidy

The Great Good

Three of the coolest cool kids in town—artist/drummer Dan Wooldridge, drummer-turned-bassist Robert Smith, and indie-folk-singing guitarist Fera—make loose, dreamy and noisy indie rock that’s more unique and interesting than just about anything else in town.

—Jason Cassidy