Fri., April 26, City of Vain
Blue Lamp, 9 p.m., $8
Local band City of Vain plays a deceptively unique offshoot of pop punk. Its sunny hooks catch one's immediate attention, but underneath it are more complex songs that sound like an upbeat Titus Andronicus (who themselves sound like an amped-up, energetic Bruce Springsteen). There is, however, a gruff quality underneath the cheery melodies, particularly with lead singer Steve Ross' old-school, hoarse punk-rock voice. City of Vain's meaty, amphitheater-friendly chord progressions instantly get the heart pumping. The keyboards are a nice added touch. It really just pulls from a little bit of every punk subgenre, while always keeping it moving and keeping it rockin' 'n' rolling. 1400 Alhambra Boulevard, www.reverbnation.com/cityofvain.