Dennis Lluy's Top 5

Koos Cafe, formerly Santa Ana, now Long Beach

Photo by James Bunoan1. BIG DRILL CAR "The Cruz showcases in the early '90s featuring All, Chemical People, and Big Drill Car were very tasty. Frank Daly and Mark Arnold were originally in MIA. In Big Drill Car, they created a recipe of pop, funky bass, and melodies that left you breathless."

2. FARSIDE "Popeye, the singer, is an Orange County native. They can be best described as Elvis Costello meets Black Flag with subtle traces of metal-influenced guitar by Kevin Murphy."

3. INSTED "They pretty much headed the straightedge movement in OC. Going to their shows felt like hanging out with family—even in Reseda, when they'd play with 7 Seconds and there'd be over a thousand kids there. And when kids didn't have enough cash to get in, the singer Kevin always had a scam. They were one of those bands that always gave back to the scene."

4. SMILE "Every show they do is like they're playing in front of a stadium crowd. No other band in OC were as popular with the ladies as Smile. They defined cool in the '90s. My favorite rock band in OC."

5. DEATH BY STEREO "I've known Efrem and Paul Miner for a long time. I've seen them kick ass through all their previous projects, and this incorporates the best of all mediums. Metal, hardcore, all different decades of influences."

 
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