by KATIE PEIFER & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & S & lt;/span & chool's almost out for the summer, which means it's time for local teen musicians to leave their academic worries behind them, channel Alice Cooper, and participate in some good old-fashioned band battlin' at BOBFest, one of the biggest local amateur music contests in the Spokane area. The talent scheduled to perform has been handpicked from demos submitted in January, and the bands will be playing throughout the day in hopes of being voted one of BOBFest's top three winners. Here are a few of the groups you can expect to hear, alphabetically:
BEAF | Not to be confused with that cow meat you're eating, BEAF is a four-piece hard rock band. Also, don't be confused by their angry death-metal sound either, because they rock for Jesus.
Blak Curtain | It's no secret that Spokane loves its classic rock, and Blak Curtain aims to keep it that way. With a sound reminiscent of '70s rock torchbearers like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and Ted Nugent, as well as a dash of '90s grunge for good measure, it's clear that these guys have been delving into their parents' record (and tape) collections.
Catacomb | Finally, a black metal band whose name corresponds to its genre! Catacomb likes to rock out, scream loud, and basically give you good reason to head-bang until you're either dizzy or it hurts.
Isenheart | Just in time for summer, another emo-pop band to remind us that there's nothing to worry about. If a syrupy serenade in the grass (a la Dashboard Confessional) sounds like your cup of tea, then Isenheart will do just fine. Plus, love the bizarrely ironic Lord of the Rings reference in the band name.
Mike Allen and the Allstars | Despite the fact that none of its members are named Mike Allen, this band's musical style is quite straightforward and basic. Heavily influenced by the pop-punk first made popular by Green Day and Blink 182, Mike Allen and the Allstars use simple chord progressions and harmonies to express the frustrations and joys of youth.
Starflight Ambush | It's a good sign when a band's sound is hard to define. Starflight Ambush combines a variety of influences, leaning toward a more ambient, chill, and progressive (albeit rocking) aesthetic. Like Tool, if they took some downers.
To No Avail | This five-piece metal outfit from Rathdrum, Idaho, claims to play the music your mother warned you about. If all the screaming is any indication, then it's clear that these guys are pretty angry about something. Still, at least they're channeling it through a creative and artistic conduit, right?
Vax Lavala | Named after their fictional musical muse, an alien bent on saving the world from the formulaic and everyday styles that frequent our soundscapes, Vax Lavala manages to create a style that is both familiar and fresh. It's kind of rock, kind of ska, kind of punk, and pretty damn fun.
TGRK, Waggy Plank, and AMS will also be competing. They didn't have any music to share, so we'll be just as surprised as you to hear what they sound like.
Chase Youth Commission's BOBFest at Riverfront Park in front of the Clock Tower on Saturday, June 16 at 1 pm. Free. Call 625-6440.