Razorblade Monalisa play guitar-driven, catchy deathrock (yes, deathrock can be catchy!) you can dance to, which is awesome in and of itself, but when you throw in vocalist Bino's energetic performance you find they've sailed right past awesome into the realm of "new favorite band".
The band gave 150%, effortlessly working the crowd into a sweaty frenzy, finishing with the song "Eyes", which someone in the audience specifically asked for. Even though I'd never heard this band before, I left with their songs stuck in my head - and not in that bad, I'm-going-mad kind of way.
Razorblade Monalisa are definitely a must-see live act, but they also have a release available at their Bandcamp page which I recommend checking out if you can't get up to Sacramento to see them. Besides, they have a song based on the Dark Tower series, so that alone should be worth at least 1,000 EXP. So, hie on over to Bandcamp, and keep an eye on their Facebook page for news on upcoming shows (I hear there's one coming up in the first week of October...of course I'll be going!).
SLOW MOTION DIVE
Singer/guitarist Letitia Garcia's ethereal vocals are used sparingly throughout the songs, providing a delicate counterpoint to the sonic wall of music. I felt like she didn't have quite enough volume as it was at times difficult to hear her over the music, but it's possible my hearing's just completely wasted after so many years of loud music (yeah, yeah... don't even start in, I'm not hearin' it. Hah, see what I did there?).
THE COMMON MEN
The band clearly felt at home during this set, tearing through both old and new songs with an energy that rose to a fever pitch and crescendoed in a frenzied finish during which it seemed the guys might destroy - or at least seriously injure - their instruments (note that no persons nor things were harmed during their performance, with the exception of the bow used during "Over My Body").
The Common Men are planning to focus on securing more dates in the Bay Area, so definitely keep your eye out for news and upcoming shows.