By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Nothing says “fuck you” to the Man like a band with their own portable power generator. And given the scrappy, DIY ethic of Garden Grove punks AM, of course they have one—and they’re not afraid to use it. Whether thrashing beneath the ominous hum of an electrical tower in LA, or howling gang vocals in the dusty parking lot of Coachella ’07, AM derive much of their appeal from the way they unapologetically force their sound on you—and make you love them for it.
Screeching lead singer Fonzi Heredia fronts a volatile trio: guitarist/vocalist Brad Robertson, drummer Mozez Karapetian and guitarist John Collier. Formed by Heredia and drummer Karin Jancuk in 2005, the band earned a following at places such as Anaheim art co-op AAA Electra 99. With a stable of anarchic jams such as “Brad City” and “Feedback,” their fiery brand of punk eventually became fodder for their debut cassette (remember those?), 1998, released by LA punk label Paper Made—the band were savvy enough to insert a free download card for those not blessed with a car built before 1992. Their aesthetic feels more like 1982, with its caustic blend of wild strumming, edgy snare and unleashed angst wrapped up in Black Flag-esque minute-long increments. An ideal sound for a band of guerrilla headbangers who strike without warning, but it also works inside such clubs as Proof and Detroit Bar.
Besides 1998, the band released their Alma Mater LP on vinyl, CD and cassette in April 2009, along with a 2008 split 7-inch with Riverside compadres No Paws (No Lions). After shaking up their roster and rehearsing some new material, AM are poised to once again fire up the generator and let ’er rip.
AM can be found online at www.myspace.com/amalmamater.
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 email@example.com.