High Desert Rock Report by Doug Deutsch

Written by on August 25, 2011 in August 25, 2011, Live Reviews - 2 Comments

Sick Life: Could They Be The Next SoCal High Desert Breakout Band Since Sublime?

Sick LifeSick Life front person/lead vocalist Jerry Moran (far left, holding microphone) had The Big Rock jumpin.’

Photos by Jacobo Vizcarra

Based on a recent show we attended, Cali rock/rappers Sick Life are poised to be the next big thing to come out of SoCal’sHi Desert since Hesperia’s Sublime. And man, that’s saying something!

Musically, I had heard good things the five-member band (Jerry “Sicko” Moran, vocals; Jason Hathaway, vocals; Jessee Coll, guitar; Joe Langolis, bass; Javier Gutierrez, drums), but had never seen them before a recent gig at the Big Rock in Pinon Hills. I had also heard that they were temporarily derailed due to some “personal stuff” and that this was to be their Reunion Show. The Big Rock filled up with people to a point I had never seen before (way more than even when guitar ace/Hi D fave Joe Walla played here). So there was a serious buzz in the air (or was that a waft of funny cigarette smoke I detected?). Either way, it was packed, ya get my drift. But damn, we digress…

After two non-memorable sets by a couple of local acts, the Moran Mob took the stage hard, loud and fast. Why do I call ‘em that? Because as talented as each member is, they’re nonetheless centered and led by their colorful frontman. Musically, Sick Life reminded this Old-Skool reviewer a lot of Cypress Hill, with some Kottonmouth Kings and perhaps a dose of Pantera thrown in for good measure. The shaved-head of Moran and long dreads of Hathaway were a striking contrast to one another visually; musically, however, the two vocalists connected with their rhymes and songs as if they were one person. Throw in the tight Langolis/Gutierrez rhythmn section and some well-placed guitar leads by Coll, and the result was one of the hottest, tightest, sweatiest, and rocking-est sets we’ve seen in some time. And that’s really saying something! And did we mention the crowd? A sure sign of a band on the rise is Sick Life’s Jerry Moran extolling the High Desert Hotties to take off their tops at the count of three! 1,2… when their crowd has a substantial number of female fans. They repped huge in this area, as a virtual sea of High Desert hotties (most sporting skin-tight Sick Life tank tops) crowded the front of the stage, dancing (and a few even moshing) from the first song to the very end. Whew, Dude! It was off the hook cool.

Sick LifeIn a time where so many bands attempt to craft their image via slick-looking imagery, Sick Life – who have previously played the House of Blues, Whisky, and other big L.A. rooms – are doing it through community and long-time friendships. Indeed, the many people who came to see them on this hot July evening were mostly friends the various band members had grown up with and continue to be friends with today (in fact, Kat and I will be at their “Wet & Reckless” bbq party up here later this month – we feel the love…).

Asked about the band’s long-range plans in an interview a few days later, Moran said, “we would simply like to pay the bills and buy our mamas all homes someday doing what we love with the people we love.” And how can you not like guys who want to do right for their Moms?

(Sick Life performs at Anaheim’s House of Blues on August 23; at The Whiskey (during their “Project Independent Tour”) September 4; at Angel’s Road House in Apple Valley on September 10; and at an After-Party at The Glasshouse in Pomona on September 16. Go to www.myspace.com/sicklifesoldiers or


for more info.).

All Systems Go For “Rock The Arts 2011:” One of the most adventurous music events to be staged in the Hi D in some time takes place when “Rock the Arts 2011” happens Saturday, September 17 at the Pioneer Events Center in Lancaster. Headliners Unwritten Law are supported by a strong bill including Against All Odds and Death By Stereo; there’s also a performance by the MXPX All-Stars and (wait for it)… the Playboy Playmates, among many others. A burning question here is: will they (Playmates) get lost coming up the 14 Freeway from L.A.? (they are blonde, after all. Okay, relax, just joking!!). Our favorite: a guest turn at the event by colorful heavyweight boxer James “Lights Out” Toney. He definitely BAD! Info: www.rocktheartsconcert.com.