Rhino Bucket Rocks Paladino’s

Written by on June 3, 2010 in June 3, 2010, Live Reviews - Comments Off on Rhino Bucket Rocks Paladino’s

Crunchy quartet rattles rafters, with Junkyard & The Generator

For aficionados of the head-bobbing pleasure that good old three-chord boogie can bring, few hard-rock outfits could exceed the satisfaction provided by the mighty Rhino Bucket. A charging wild rhinoceros is a force to reckoned with, and a righteous reckoning certainly took place in the wilds of Tarzana on Friday, May 14th, when Rhino Bucket charged up Paladino’s nightclub for a high-voltage midnight show.  Led by raspy-voiced guitarist Georg Dolivo, who sings in a sly, wry way that eerily echoes AC/DC’s Bon Scott, Rhino Bucket blazed through two decades worth of down-and-dirty ditties that would have done the late, great Aussie proud.

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Opening with the title cut from the band’s latest studio album, “The Hardest Town,” Georg and company delivered a power-packed fistful of no-frills rock-’n’-roll for a houseful of metalheads. “Street to Street” was another track showcased from that recent release, but most of the set relied on nuggets from two earlier disks, “And Then It Got Ugly” and “Get Used To It.”  The anthemic drive of “Welcome to Hell” was followed by the raucous glory of “Beat to Death Like a Dog,” a hard-rock gem that sounded just as fresh at Paladino’s as when it was premiered on the now-defunct KNAC FM radio station in the early Nineties.

As has always been his custom, Georg stuck to playing rhythm, while former Kix guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe laid down barrages of knife-edge solos. Slender and elegant, focused throughout the set, Brian came across like a polished-up Angus Young without the leer, relying on both raw talent and practiced expertise to flesh out each primal offering. Neither guitarist displayed an array of stomp-pedals and gizmos on stage, sticking to bare-bones electric power cranked for full effect through a full-value set that included bob-along hits such as “Monkey Boy Highway,” “She Rides” and “Bar Time.”

Longtime bassman Reeve Downs had his turn to shine during “She’s a Screamer,” which also featured a drum solo from touring percussionist Anthony Biuso, who’s known for his stints on the skins with punkers (hed) p.e., T.S.O.L. and others. Rhino Bucket has worked with several drummers over the years, all competent, yet one could hardly hope for stronger support than that shown by “Tiny Tony,” who could be seen singing along, mostly off-mic, with practically every lyric. When Georg introduced “Smile,” calling it a “love song,” Biuso smiled as well, holding down the beat like a battle-ready linebacker.

The song called “Word” hung on a vintage blues riff, channeling a taste of Delta swamp-water by way of Van Nuys, Rhino Bucket’s home base. The band has been on the road a lot lately, and the show at Paladino’s was touted as the only So-Cal appearance for Rhino Bucket this year. But there is talk about yet another studio album to come from the group in the not-to-distant future, and when that happens, local headbangers can hope for a return visit from the rampaging Rhino Bucket.

www.myspace.com/rhinobucketmusic

Junkyard is another Southland band that has been plugging away for many years, maintaining a devoted core fanbase while gaining moderate airplay over the years. A little longer in the tooth and shorter of hair than Rhino Bucket, the group’s sound is rooted in the glittery yet gritty legacy of the Sunset Strip in the Eighties. This sleaze-rock heritage is perhaps best exemplified by a Junkyard song called “Hollywood,” keynoted by a manic central riff that is countered by sweeping power chords. The tune, ably belted by singer David Roach, elicited solid sing-along support from fans, complete with a chance to repeatedly shout out, in time-honored tradition, “Hey!” Audience input was similarly strong during “Simple Man,” a Junkyard track that charted back in the band’s early days. Harmonies on stage were solid, complemented by a devoted chorus from the faithful in front, chiming in for the Dixie-flavored melody. Another good-time tidbit with a down-home accent was “Clean the Dirt,” heading from mellow to rocking in grand power-ballad tradition. Great guitar work was consistent from veterans Chris Gates and Tim Mosher, exemplified by their bluesy trade-off riffing during songs such as “Shot in the Dark” and “Texas.” The sound was propelled by the rhythm section of bassist Todd Muscat and Patrick Muzingo, keeping the hands-on vibe alive through “Misery Loves Company,” “Blooze,” and “Life Sentences.” When the band closed with “I Don’t Care About You,” it sure looked like the ladies crowding up near the stage really cared about them, the still-standing troupers of Junkyard.

www.myspace.com/junkyard

Preceding Junkyard was a Ventura-based quartet called The Generator. The band features the father-and-son team of Joe and Kaden Valdivieso on guitar and bass, who are backed by drummer Mark Icenogle, and fronted by a strong, gravelly singer named Diego Garcia. Kaden’s attire and equipment sported a couple of references to the Straight Edge lifestyle, bespeaking an outlook that finds full, chemical-free satisfaction in the power of The Generator’s music, which is heavy yet clever rock, played hard, fast and loud.

The set included a potent, riff-intensive piece called “Powerslide,” accented by a sweet wah-wah lead from Joe. And again in “We Walk the Line,” the guitarist’s intimate feeling for his lead-work was seen, Joe being one of those axe-slingers who looks like he’s “singing” his way through his solos, his mouth seeming to mirror the licks he’s playing.

The Generator’s set closed with “United,” a thrashy track in which Diego urged listeners to “Stand with me, united, standing tall!” And at Paladino’s, all in attendance were standing tall and strong, and rocking hard, all night long.

www.myspace.com/thegenerator1