The year was 2011, the place was Hollywood, California. It was a rough time for the metal scene. A significant portion of the local-band-friendly clubs had closed down in the last year and opportunities to play in this once-glorious rock town were dwindling. Among the casualties were The Knitting Factory, The Black Castle and The Key Club.
It was into this environment that some buddies and I attempted to buck the trend by starting The Hollywood Metal Concert Series at a small cafe called The Green Room on Hollywood Blvd, close to Musicians Institute. Over 25 bands turned out and the series ran for 10 weeks in the first half of that year. Among those bands was Sinicle, led by Reno-born Drew Zaragoza, now an adopted child of the LA rock scene.
While not one of the typical, epic-themed bands that we usually cover, I’m damn happy to feature them here for drawing the largest crowd during our 10-week experiment. With Justin Miller on bass and percussionist James Gepner, Sinicle is known for being a sure-fire way to turn your average live music event into a memorable party. Their music is a bit of a gateway drug comprised of equal parts catchy riffage, congenial melodies and ardent vocals. It’s ideal for the target market which is aptly described on their bandcamp page: “Somewhere between Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal there is a grey area where Sinicle can be found.”
This year, Sinicle released an EP titled “Still in Mind,” available to stream here. It’s a solid 17 minutes of tight three-piece musicianship and classic rebellion. “Battle Born” and “Still in Mind” are standout tracks. The former having a pleasant but angsty vocal cadence while the later keeps the pace up with a speedy punk sound not unlike something from The Misfits.
So hey, maybe take a break from the depths of Norwegian black metal and give it a spin. Or don’t, whatever, Sinicle will just keep tearing shit up…
Album: Still in Mind (EP)
Released: March 10th 2014
Score: 7/9 Hammers