Local rockers Arapyma unveil their new CD, Victory or Death, Saturday at Covington's Mad Hatter. The CD release show also features performances from Gerald's Rainbow, Black Tractor and Dayton's Once-ler. Showtime is 9:30 p.m., and admission is $5. The show is open to those 18 and up.
Arapyma have elements of varying forms of hard and heavy Rock & Roll in their music, which makes them either the kind of versatile band that could fit easily on a wide range of bills and draw from a diverse pool of fans or a pariah due to their aggressive eclecticism. Fans of brawny Hard Rock who are not caught up in the genrefication of music will simply appreciate Victory or Death for the creativity, solid performances and pure Rock power. The band constructs a neck-snapping conglomeration of influences on the album, from vintage wiedle-wiedle Metal (in the form of dual guitar harmonies and shred-worthy solos) to gut-punch Punk (evident mostly in the energy and the Clorox-gargled, yet impressively melodic, vocals) to more modern adventures in Hard Rock. There's also an element of progressiveness in the band's writing style, which brings together the winding, unpredictable structuring of today's Prog Metal heroes with the epic-ness of yesteryear's long-song purveyors (Maiden, et al).
After a classic Metal intro, the album thunders into "All For What," a volatile anti-hard-drug screed with trademark intensity, multi-faceted riff textures and a rousing chorus hook that has the hair-raising effect of an old Punk anthem. Elsewhere, "Lining Your Pockets" shows the band's wise use of space, with roomy chunking that allows the band to breath fire between the pulsating barrage, while "So Pure" dials back the energy slightly but keeps the explosiveness on high for a ballad-esque slow grind that wouldn't be out of place on commercial Rock radio.
It's one thing to have such contrasting influences; it's another to successfully reassemble them into something melodically memorable, non-cheesily dynamic and consistently compelling. Arapyma thrives in their exploratory habitat by not only never wholly committing to one style over the other, but by doing so with a careful eye on clever, impacting songwriting and craftsmanship. (myspace.com/arapyma)
More Local Notes
· The folks behind the "Rivertown Music Club" benefit/local music series launch a new monthly, acoustic "happy hour" showcase this Friday at the Courtyard Café. The inaugural gig features performances from singer/songwriters Brian Miller (of The Junior Revolution), Ryan Mallot (500 Miles to Memphis), Sam Nation (The 13s), G. Burton (Hyde Park Outrage), Bob Cushing, the Visceral Elixir Trio and RTMC founder Kelly Thomas. Music starts at 4:30 p.m., and there is no cover charge. The Rivertown Music Club has also begun accepting applications for the Red MacCormack Memorial Grant, which doles out money for recording projects by local acts (G. Burton, Kristen Key and The Turnbull ACs received the grants last year). Deadline is March 31 and the grant will be awarded in July. For more info, go to myspace.com/therivertownmusicclub.
· The John Lennon tribute show scheduled for Dec. 8 but cancelled due to an abrupt snowstorm has been rescheduled for this Saturday at the Rohs Street Café. "The 25 Year Echo — A Tribute to the Legacy of John Lennon," presented in conjunction with Blue Jordan Records, features Lennon tunes played by local performers Rob Fetters, Mike Helm, Ric Hordinski, Maurice Mattei, Janet Pressley, Ashley Peacock, Jayne Sachs, David Woflenberger, The Sweeneys and Kim Taylor. Proceeds from the 8 p.m. concert go to the Foster Children Enrichment Council.
· It's a different kind of tribute show on Saturday at the Southgate House, as the local band Leisure (formerly known as The Bees) performs a song-by-song cover of David Bowie's entire The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars album. The group — who've expanded to a six-piece for the show to capture the album's arrangements as accurately as possible — will follow the Ziggy performance with a set featuring other Bowie faves and some original songs. The Infinity Ball, Hyperstatic and Hayes Shanesy open the night.
· Newcomers GhostMonster — featuring singer/songwriter Mike Goetz, former The Hill bassist Jeremy Gould and drummer Rory Sandhage — play their first show Friday at Stanley's Pub, opening for Grand Oversoul. The trio is also releasing its debut CD, Hair-Raising Adventure, at the gig.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com