By Mabel Suen
By Cassie Kohler
By Evan C. Jones
By RFT Music
By RFT Music
By Tom Finkel
By Ryan Wasoba
By Roy Kasten
Although Long Beach, California's The Valley Arena is merely two years old, its list of accomplishments resembles that of a veteran band. After self-releasing an EP in 2003, the group met producer/engineer Jason Cupp and recorded an album, Take Comfort in Strangers, while still unsigned. Through a series of fortuitous circumstances, the disc landed on the radar of Thursday's Geoff Rickly -- who subsequently signed the Valley Arena to Astro Magnetics, the label he co-owns. Smart move, as Strangers is tailor-made for the mosh pit: Angular, zig-zagging guitars hurtle themselves around as violently as a sapling caught in the wind, while spiky rhythms and Warren Woodward's vocals -- a cross between Q and Not U's strident, peacock-strut yowls and the Cure's Robert Smith with a head cold -- battle for supremacy.
Tickets are $5; call 314-771-1096 or visit www.lemp-arts.org for showtime and more information.
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