“Santa Ana Gets Down with Residual Kid and Electric Six”

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
Photos by Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy & Matt “Rabit” Martinez  of RED HARE IMAGES

The first kind of rock ‘n’ roll I listened to when I first got into it was grunge. I loved the distorted guitar sound and complex lyrics associated with grunge music. Recently, it has seemed to be making a comeback of sorts. Both grunge legends Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are going to put out new records. Not only are those bands still at it, but a new group from Austin, Texas is gearing to bring grunge to the new generation. They call themselves Residual Kids, and they just released their first EP with Warner Bros. Records, Salsa. They were on the road with disco punk masterminds Electric Six. Matt Martinez and I got to attend their show at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, Calif. This was my chance to see what these young kids had to offer.

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Residual Kid consists of the Redman brothers, Ben (drums) and Max (bass), Deven Ivy on vocals and lead guitar, and David Ziolkowski on rhythm guitar. Their style of grunge rock consists of a mixture of punk and garage rock. When they hit the stage, the room quickly took notice at just how good they were. Ivy was up there looking like Noel Gallagher of Oasis and playing like Kurt Cobain, with his distorted solos. His voice is very smooth and melancholy. It’s like I’m watching a young Billy Corgan pour out his heart to the crowd. The Redman brothers performed a top-notch beat to the music, especially on the crowd favorite “Scentless Princess.” Ziolkowski is the newest member of the group, and he gelled in nicely with his solid rhythmic riffs.

Though the attendance was light, they played like they were performing a sold-out show at the Staples Center. If they keep rocking out with good tunes like “Tidal Wave” and “Lightspeed,” Residual Kid is sure to be grunge music’s newest spokesperson. Cobain would be proud to jam with these kids.

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Following Residual Kid was a band I never heard of before, called Electric Six. Hailing from Detroit, Mich., Electric Six is a band that blends funk rock with punk rock, disco, and new wave. I personally call it “punk with a dance beat.” Leading the charge is longtime vocalist/founder Dick Valentine. I do not particularly like disco music, but they do a really good job making their disco sound very funky. Valentine has a set of pipes on him, singing harmoniously to their classic hits “Danger! High Voltage,” and “Rock and Roll Evacuation.” The member in the band that stood to me the most was bassist Rob Lower. His bass beats really infected my ears. Combine that with the awesome guitar riffs of Da Ve and Johnny Na$hial (John Nash), I was dancing to the groove. I hardly dance to disco music, but Electric Six inspired me to do the impossible. They are also known for their comedy rock, especially with their smash hit, “Gay Bar.” That song was funny as hell and rocked very hard.

The night was filled with extravagant dance tunes with a hard rock feel. Each band came to Santa Ana to rock the house. Residual Kid is great on record, but they are much better live. They have shown me that rock ‘n’ roll will survive, as long as their generation keeps coming up with awesome rock bands. Their alternative grunge sound really touched me, because grunge music holds a special place in my heart. Electric Six made the fans dance the night away as well as rock out. It is amazing how much fan appreciation they have. I cannot wait to see what Residual Kid will come up with next, and Electric Six has gained a new fan. To both bands that performed, I salute you. Horns up!!!

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