By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Metal Is Their Business
Forgive the crass anatomical reference, but it’s nice to hear an Orange County band with some balls. In an area flooded with so many folksy, sensitive types producing finely honed but ultimately innocuous pop, the deliberately old-school heavy metal of Costa Mesa quintet Pistolero sounds practically cutting-edge.
Instead of approaching vintage ’70s and ’80s hard-rock fundamentals with smirky tongues in cheeks (see Probot, the Darkness), Pistolero offer up unironic, unapologetic metal that borrows from some of the genre’s best. On “Hail to the King,” lead singer Donnie Deschenes shrieks, “I wanna go where eagles dare”—a shout-out to the Misfits, Iron Maiden or both. (It’s also a pleasant reminder that heavy-metal songs once had discernible vocals.) “Metal Gold” goes a little further down the time line, with hints of “Seek & Destroy.” Pistolero may not be much more than an homage to the days when rock bands weren’t ashamed to be hell-bent for leather, but it’s a good one.
Active since 2003, Pistolero have been relatively quiet on the local scene recently, but that’s changing: They have a monthlong residency at Detroit Bar, sharing the Monday-night spot with the fellow hard rockers of Fullerton five-piece Sederra.
Pistolero guitarist Parker Macy has caught attention and acclaim for his decidedly different solo project, Parker Macy Blues; he just released a new record under that moniker, Hope for the Revolution. These gigs give fans a chance to check out the usually acoustic Macy cut loose as Deschenes instructs on “Stumpgrinder” to “run those fuckers down.” Sounds like fun.
The band sum it up pretty well on “Just Let It Happen”: “Don’t pretend like you don’t like it,” Deschenes (kinda) sings, “’cause you’re asking for more.”
Pistolero with Sederra at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600; www.detroitbar.com. Every Mon., 9 p.m. Through July 27. Free. 21+. Visit Pistolero online at www.myspace.com/pistolero.
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and upcoming show dates for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to firstname.lastname@example.org