Local rock report

Amden, Fenix Down, Lurgee

Exactly 49 people were scattered throughout the long and narrow Riff Raff club, leaving all too much space for foot tapping or even gymnastics if so desired. The popular pub is keeping a tight watch on its legal capacity, thanks to a visit from the boys at Alcoholic Beverage Control.

This night, the young bucks in Yuba City’s Amden kicked things off with their high-energy, poppy alterna-punk. The bright-eyed guitarist possessed the look of a noise-making newcomer until deep into the set, when he successfully took over vocals and his fingers and strings melted into a furious blur of picking. But who needs talent when your front man has perfectly colored and coifed rock star hair and jutting cheekbones?

Does a lead rock vocalist need to play an instrument? Not if you’re Mathew Petyo, emotionally charged crooner for the moody local band Fenix Down. The group’s first songs served as a sort of warm-up, but once this crew got comfortable, it was hard to look away from the heart-wrenching singing layered over a beautiful mesh of quickening then slow rock theatrics.

It’s not uncommon to catch the talented Lurgee on the same bill as Fenix Down, but Chico’s own version of indie Siamese Twins will soon face the knife, as this performance was its last. Three guitars, along with bass, keyboard and drums, gave the group a meaty alterna-rock sound reminiscent of late Smashing Pumpkins. Its second song proved a favorite, with its fluid instrumental breaks and suspenseful showmanship. The musicians rode the melancholic melodies like a roller coaster, eager to get to the hard, racing chorus.

Those who missed the Lurgee ride can likely look forward to a reformed version of the band in the future.