I went to my first Stay True show about a year ago. I had met the progenitor of the project, Mitchell Prizzi and his mission statement resonated with me. Let’s stop clumping shows into one genre, let’s make a scene of people and diversity instead of separating people and music. Let’s work together. With that in mind I headed to Camarillo to meet the band he was managing and check out their record release party and the bands that opened. The headliner, Yearbooks, I was super excited to see, I’d listened to their new record and frankly fell in love with it. I’m literally listening to it as I write this article. My girlfriend and I packed up the car, bought some beer and prepared ourselves to a night of eclectic rock music.
We walked into the venue, Rock City https://www.rockcitystudios.net to the pounding sounds of a very tight psychobilly band. There’s something very charming about seeing a band that is just having a fantastic time on the stage. The Osteoblasts not only sounded tight but, they were obviously having a good time. I was particularly impressed by the vocal hooks of the singer, Ernesto. The stand up bassist and drummer Mark and Steven locked in hard, psychobilly is a tricky genre and it’s super important to have a killer rhythm section. They were tons of fun and definitely a band I would watch again. You can get a hold of them and check their music here: https://theosteoblasts.bandcamp.com/
The Image You Claim
Pulling off two singers is an incredibly difficult thing to do but progressive metal band The Image You Claim absolutely did. Julian Thoos has a powerful voice and a presence pretty hard to ignore while the second singer Justin Olsen handles the clean vocals and the two of them have worked out how to do that without one really taking away from the other. Guitarist Chris Banuelos and Bassist Carlos Cruz combined with hard hitting talents of the drummer Francisco Gaxiola put together a really solid rhythm section, combined with some interesting ambient noise as intro and between songs you end up with a very intense experience. I’m not going to pretend that this particular sub-genre of metal is my favorite but, I will say that if you’re into progressive metal or metalcor than this is a band that delivers and does so very adeptly. I see good things for these guys in the future. Check them out @ https://theimageyouclaimband.bandcamp.com/
Now I’m going to be bit biased for this next bit for a couple reason, the first being that I have a real huge soft spot in my heart for pop punk and emo, the second being because Neverlyn were just so fantastic. I get to see a lot of bands, it’s something that I absolutely love about my life and sometimes in getting to do that you see very special bands by no means I’m I down playing the talent of any of the other artists, there was an immense amount of talent but, Neverlyn definitely reached me. Singer Anna Neitzel not only has a beautiful and powerful voice but, her stage presence is amazing, she OWNS it. She has that special quality of someone who was born to be on stage and preform. Bass player Samantha Zeager was super solid, bass is super important in a four piece, handling basically the entire bottom end leaves no room for mistakes and she was way steady. Guitar and second vocalist Nisha really added so much in the texture of the band, and the harmonies were so good. I’m really picky about singing but, no one was every flat or sharp, the harmonies were tight. AJ Wright the drummer is a heavy hitter that adds a lot to the over all energy of the band which isn’t an easy thing to do behind a kit. As a full package Neverlyn is a band I literally can’t stop talking about. Check them out @ https://www.neverlyn.com/
I was really excited to see these guys, they have quite a buzz about them in the Ventura area and I had heard tons of good things and I wasn’t left disappointed at all. They’re kind of indescribable. Max Dickenson- guitar and vocals plays more like a force of nature than anything else, Dylan Cerminaro, bassist was so much more than that. It almost sounds like the band has six people in it, the wall of sound they produce is not only beautiful at times but, heavy and drummer Robert Thomas keeps the pocket tight and clean. These guys are putting together very interesting songs and doing it with a skill that is beyond impressive. They also have THE most pedals I’ve seen in my entire life. Two Brothers is most assuredly a band that everyone should experience. Check them out @ https://twobrothers1.bandcamp.com/
I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was to see these guys live, I’d listened to the new album Peer Pressure and was extremely impressed. Kevin Lietz, Brett Lietz, Chandler Keeton, Carlos Esparza and Miguel Encisco have put together a fantastic set of songs. While the band is clearly influenced by a lot of the early 2000’s pop-punk emo scene they do it in their own way, they are a very original band that wears the bands they love on their sleeves. They’re stage performance was impeccable, you can tell they work hard and it shows, they’re super tight, with songs that almost seem made to sing along to. Fists raised in the air, call back vocals and just so much goddamned energy it was hard to contain it all. They’re a fantastic band and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they blew up. They definitely deserve it. For more music check them out @ https://yearbooksband.bandcamp.com/album/peer-pressure
The whole Stay True event was fantastic, you can’t go and not have a good time. I would love to see some of these bands down here in out beautiful city, and I would love if some of us went up there a little more. Having a community of musicians is a beautiful thing and we all benefit by sticking together and believeing in each other, I’ll know I’ll Stay True to that, and I hope you do to.