What's Humming Through the Skulls of Orange County

Photo by Jeanne RiceROSS RICKS

My influences as a musician range from Agnostic Front to Slayer, but as an engineer, I listen to everything under the sun and some stuff that isn't under the sun. In the past five years, I've worked with many talented bands from the OC/LA area including Lit, the Offspring, hed(pe), System of a Down, Snot, Static-X, Zebrahead, Los Lobos, John Doe and Ozomotli. This list could go on forever, but to keep it current, I've decided to list my favorite local club performances of the past six months, in no particular order:

> Burnin' Groove. These guys have been playing together forever and it shows: they're in a groove.

> 20 Dead Flower Children. Fresh off the Insane Clown Posse tour, tight as a snare drum. Great stage presence.

> One Way Ride. Talk about captivating an audience—these guys bring in the girls by the truckload and melt them with a barrage of great songs.

> The Bredrin Daddys. Hip-hop/reggae/heavy with a blunt. Plenty of crowd participation.

> Mickey Way of Mickey's Big Mouth (performing acoustically). This guy has a phenomenal voice with or without his band. The band's great, but I prefer the purity of just the acoustic and vocals.

> The Gasoline Addicts. Pull up a barstool, and get your drink. Tune after tune, these boys rock.

> The Redliners. Engineers beware! Nate will pester the crap out of you, but he more than makes up for it when he finally hits the stage. Solid music, vocals and songwriting. Definite radio potential.

> The Freeloaders. Buddy Holly meets Jerry Lee Lewis, a very refreshing approach. Suits and ties, these guys can really play.

> Flogging Molly. I never thought Irish folk music could kick so much ass. These guys stole the show at Mountain High's Boarding for Breast Cancer benefit.

> Sexual Mayhem. As if the name doesn't say enough. I've watched these guys mature musically a lot during the past several months, but the real hook for me is their lyrical assault, more offensive than a toilet full of puke. Ya gotta love it!

Honorable mentions go to Alien Ant Farm, Split Decision, Drove, Element 17, Amerikan Made, Dayke, Magalene, Honeyslide, Mention, Mind Driver, Bargain Music and Sloth

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