California bands: 2016 record releases


Promotional photo from Saosin. Photo credit: Brandon Sloter

If someone wants to consider themselves a fan of heavier or alternative music and is sick of hearing about the Billboard top releases, Hollywood hits and the ongoing discussion of Kanye West, rest assured they’re not alone.

Much like Chico, cities all over the Golden State are riddled with an underground music scene flourishing in unexpected places. 2016 is a great year to discover new music with many of the forthcoming album releases throughout the year.

Here is a list of some of the bands that have played shows in Chico in their formative years at venues that may no longer exist or were once located a few blocks away from your front doorstep.

Deftones – “Gore”


The biggest band to come out of Sacramento, Deftones has been consistently putting out great albums for the last 20 years. This year’s release, “Gore,” represents the evolution and progression of the band’s diligence and relentless creativity. Having gone through numerous hardships over the past few years — the loss of its original bassist and numerous member changes — “Gore” is one of the best releases since the 2006 release “Saturday Night Wrist.” This new record is so heavy and riddled with the low-tuned guitar riffs — the lifeblood on any Deftones record — but also includes atmospheric moments of eerie but catchy clarity.

Saosin – “Along the Shadow”


Anthony Green has returned to Saosin. Seriously. The Southern California alternative outfit band has been posting new videos of music over the past few months and have finally announced the LP entitled “Along the Shadow” scheduled for a May release. This album lends itself to a heavier but still melodic Saosin we haven’t yet heard. The energy — the raw emotion from a band that hasn’t released any new material for over seven years — is a driving force behind the songs on the impending release, and we will hear more as these guys begin to regularly tour once again.

Dance Gavin Dance – “Tree City Sessions”


A live album is rarely seen in the alternative scene, but Sacramento band Dance Gavin Dance recorded a stellar live album of fan favorites from past records set to be released May 13. The album will include classics like “Alex English,” “Lemon Meringue Tie” and newer tunes like “Death Of A Strawberry.” Dance Gavin Dance proves the melodic and chaotic dynamic they have on the studio records carries over to the stage. Next time you find yourself in Sacramento, be sure to see if these guys are playing the Boardwalk or Ace of Spades. You won’t be bummed.

Pierce The Veil – “Misadventures

Misadventures Album Artwork from Pierce the Veil official website.

Also being released on May 13 is Pierce the Veil’s fifth record “Misadventures.” Hailing from San Diego, PTV has played numerous shows at the Senator Theatre opening for big bands, but those days are no more. These San Diego boys are now a headlining act, filling arenas and stadiums across the United States. “Misadventures” combines the heaviness of classic PTV guitar riffs while still featuring the vocal melodies of Vic Fuentes, a mainstay the band has stuck to throughout the years.

Fallujah – “Dreamless”

Dreamless Album Artwork from Fallujah official website.

It was only a few years ago that the experimental grindcore all-stars, Fallujah, played 1078 Gallery. Now, the Bay Area locals are one of the main acts of the Summer Slaughter Tour, probably the biggest tours for fans of the heavier genres. “Dreamless,” released April 29, is a record of frenzied brilliance, a clashing of guitar virtuosity and instrumental breaks that pull away from the typical sounds heard on a grind record.

Matthew Manfredi can be reached at [email protected] or @matthewmanfredi on Twitter.