LOS ANGELES, CA- A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the up-and-coming rock band HVNTED by LA Rock Collective. Back then, I knew they had the potential to break into the big leagues, and after attending their single release and EP launch party at The Viper Room on November 10th, 2023, I’m more convinced than ever that these guys are are going to be impressing a lot more people in the coming year.

The anticipation for HVNTED’s forthcoming self-produced EP, aptly titled Shapeshifter, has been building steadily, and from what I witnessed at The Viper Room, this band is about to take the music world by storm. With their hard-hitting, intense sound and a charismatic frontman in Will Swanson, HVNTED has all the ingredients for a breakthrough year in 2024. They kicked off the evening with their latest single- released that night- from Shapeshifter titled “Fiend.” It was a high-octane, unapologetic rock anthem that left us hungry for more. The accompanying music video is below:

As the band tore through their setlist, it was clear that they had been working hard on honing their craft during their absence from the live scene. Will Swanson, the enigmatic frontman, was in his element, captivating the audience with his energetic stage presence. Freed from the burden of guitar playing for this performance, he moved effortlessly around the stage, engaging both the crowd and his bandmates on a level that befits a true rock frontman. Swanson took full advantage of the catwalk that the band had brought into the venue. Strutting down the extended platform, he got even closer to the audience, creating an intimate connection that sent waves of excitement through the room. 

Of course, let’s not forget the other talented members of the band who were equally captivating. While the name of the new guitarist may elude me, there’s no doubt that he absolutely shredded throughout the performance. His fiery guitar solos added an extra layer of intensity to the music. And Seamus Neal, the band’s drummer, deserves special mention for his rapid-fire kick drums during the finale. The thunderous beats had the women around me perking up with wide-eyed excitement, highlighting the band’s ability to create moments of pure adrenaline and anticipation.

With “Shapeshifter” set to be released next year and more tantalizing drops on the horizon, this is a band that’s poised to make waves in the music world. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for HVNTED because they’re about to take the rock scene by storm, and you won’t want to miss a moment of their meteoric rise.

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Since their formation in 2020, Los Angeles-based band Mechanical Roots has been on a mission to reignite the explosive energy of heavy-hitting, melodic alt-rock in Southern California and beyond. Their presence in the local music scene has been noticed and they are digging their heels into the L.A. scene.

From the moment they took the stage, Mechanical Roots exude a raw, unapologetic energy that harks back to the glory days of alternative rock. Their explosive soundscapes are driven by powerful riffs, melodic hooks, and a palpable passion for their craft. Lead singer Kev O’ Brien’s vocals soared with emotional intensity. I’m not familiar with who are current members or hired hands, but the band as a whole was great. The bassist’s enthusiasm, in particular, was infectious. While this was my introduction to the band, it was evident that Mechanical Roots is a band that not only understands their genre but also possesses the skill and charisma to carry it forward.

As live shows continue to make their triumphant return, Mechanical Roots is a band that should be on every alt-rock enthusiast’s radar.

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While the name “Aurora View” might not have been a familiar to me, this band left a really favorable impression on me and the rest of The Viper Room at this gig. Identifying themselves as a fusion of metalcore and hardcore punk rock, Aurora View has carved out a unique niche for themselves, and their performance at this Los Angeles venue was a revelation.

Based on what I could find on the internet, Aurora View was founded Aaron Handrich and Dylan Handrich and has been quietly making waves in the alternative music scene. Originally hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, the band now calls Los Angeles home, and it’s clear that their journey westward has fueled their creative fire. Longtime fans may remember Aurora View under a different moniker, “Failure On Her Lips”.

Aurora View’s live performance was solid, with a heavy-hitting sound that commanded attention from the very first note. What struck me most, however, was their most recent album, SHMR. SHMR showcases their ability to seamlessly blend aggressive metalcore elements with the raw intensity of hardcore punk, resulting in a sound that is both punishing and cathartic.

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