A LITTLE TWANG
No reason Volume can't serve as a good reason to throw on your cowboy boots and shine up your belt buckle. On Friday night you'll have a tough call to make as both SILVER TREASON (Lucky You Lounge, 6:15 pm) and MEAT SWEATS (River City Brewing, 6:15 pm) get things started early. In fact, the whole lineup at River City Friday night — which includes the DAPPER DEVILS (7:15 pm), SANTA POCO (8:15 pm) and MATT MITCHELL MUSIC CO. (9:15 pm) — should make for some quality boot-scootin'. CHRIS MOLITOR (9 pm) hits the Bartlett with some folksy goodness Friday night, too, and he goes down smooth as a fine whiskey. And on Saturday night, you won't want to miss the alt-country stylings of NICHOLAS MERZ & THE HUMBLERS (10:15 pm) at the Big Dipper.
"Rock" music has been divided into so many subgenres it can be hard to read about a band and even know if it sounds like something you'd like. "Honey, do I like lo-fi orchestral shoegaze emo with a '70s Australian punk twist?" Never fear — if you like your rock 'n' roll straightforward and delicious, we got options for ya. Friday night at the Pin is a great place to start thanks to the presence of DEER (7 pm), OH, ROSE (8 pm), VANNA OH! AND THE ANYS (10 pm) and INDIAN GOAT (11 pm). SPIRAL STAIRS (9:45 pm) occasionally plays it straight among his trippier experiments, so his show at Lucky You Lounge could work, too. And don't sleep on ATARI FERRARI (7 pm) or FROTH (8 pm) on Friday at the Washington Cracker Co. Building. Saturday options include BALONELY (9:15 pm) at the Big Dipper, THE EMILYS (10:15 pm) at Red Room Lounge and FAT LADY (9:15 pm) at River City Brewing.
HEAR SOME HIP-HOP
On Friday night, get over to the Red Room Lounge for THE MARSHALL LAW BAND (9:45 pm), and stick around for KUNG FU VINYL (11 pm), who fuse hip-hop influences into their funk-rock sound. But Saturday's really where it's at when it comes to hip-hop: The evening's lineup at the Washington Cracker Building is stacked with local and touring acts. Start with TOPP at 6:30 pm and then just stay put — he's followed by WRANQ RAMONE (7:30 pm), T.S THE SOLUTION (8:30 pm) and JANGO (9:30 pm). YUNG CROWN keeps the whole night moving as resident hype man. And if you still need to scratch that itch, head back to the Red Room for SUS at 11:15 pm.
DRENCHED IN SYNTHS
Friday's schedule offers DEE-EM (7:30 pm) at Berserk and SMOKEY BRIGHTS (8:30 pm) at Lucky You Lounge; both bands employ synths in interesting ways. Once 10:30 pm rolls around, you'll have to choose between DYED at Berserk or BLACK MARBLE at the Washington Cracker Building, both taking their respective stages at the same time, and both very much worth checking out. When Saturday rolls around, you have a lot to see. Start at nYne with LAVOY (7:15 pm), who brings a synth sheen to their catchy pop, or at Berserk, which hosts PORTABLE MORLA (7:30 pm). Mootsy's is set for a night of local electronic acts, including CONFLUX REDUX (8:45 pm), SIMMENTALL (9:45 pm), BITWVLF (10:45 pm) and BLVCK CEILING (11:45 pm). Over at Berserk, BANDIT TRAIN (10:30 pm) goes full-on chiptune, while CHONG THE NOMAD closes the night out (12:15 am) at Red Room Lounge with quirky soundscapes you won't soon forget.
UNLEASH YOUR INNER PUNK
The state of the world being what it is, we're all in need of a little primal scream therapy every now and then. These bands could help you with that. On Friday night, get warmed up with TABLE SUGAR (9:15) and their wiry post-punk at the Baby Bar, then crank it up with the howls of CONTROL TEST (9:30 pm) at Berserk. It doesn't get more punk than a name we're not even allowed to print: WRETCHED F—- (6 pm) kicks off Saturday's shenanigans at the Pin. The Idaho skate punk quartet BETTER DAZE (7:15 pm) are up next at the Big Dipper, while GAG (9 pm) hits the Pin and local stalwarts PERU RESH (9:30 pm) take over Berserk.
BUST A MOVE
You won't be able to stand still when SUPER SPARKLE hits the nYne stage on Saturday night (9:30 pm). And if you haven't exhausted yourself already, hoof it over to Berserk shortly thereafter where FLEE THE CENTURY (11:30 pm) will bring the DayGlo weirdness. You can also get your groove on at numerous end-of-the-night DJ sets: Friday offers up ROSETHROW (10 pm, Baby Bar), DJ PATRICK (10 pm, nYne) and DAETHSTAR (12:15 am, Red Room Lounge); Saturday, meanwhile, closes out with DJ ORANGE (9 pm, Baby Bar) and DJ C MAD (10:30 pm, nYne). And DJ UNIFEST is rocking both nights at the Red Room, keeping the party going in between sets.
BANG THY HEAD
As any metal fan will tell you, the genre never goes out of style, even as it evolves into ever more extreme realms. You can catch a few metal-tinged options this year, including SENTIENT DIVIDE (9:45 pm) Friday, followed up by Arizona metalheads HEADLESS/HEARTLESS (10:45 pm) and Seattle's throwback metal dudes in QUAYDE LaHüe (11:45 pm) at Mootsy's. On Saturday, the Pin is metal central thanks to the presence of SWAMPHEAVY (7 pm), LOWER SPECIES (8 pm) and THE BODY (10:15 pm).
REVEL IN R&B
It's a one-two punch of retro rhythm and blues at nYne on Friday night, when VERNITA AVENUE (6:15 pm) and BLAKE BRALEY (7:15 pm) take the stage and transport you back to the days of Motown. And don't miss the long-running outfit LEFT OVER SOUL (8:45 pm) at Red Room Lounge. Back at nYne on Saturday, the beguiling, R&B-infused sounds of MOOREA MASA & THE MOOD (8:15 pm) are a can't-miss. Over at the outdoor stage at River City Brewing on Saturday, FUNKY UNKLE (6:45 pm) and FAT LADY (9:15) bring the blues, funk and soul. You also won't want to miss ALLEN STONE, who's hosting — and singing along with — karaoke at Lucky You Lounge at 10 pm.
NEED SOMETHING QUIETER?
The temptation to rage full-on through Volume is real, but sometimes it's wise to step back and listen to some of the quieter artistry on display. The region has a slew of killer singer-songwriters who find beauty in simplicity, and we have a bunch on the bill this year. Two of the best are playing Friday at the Bartlett back to back: LIZ ROGNES (7 pm) and GABRIELLA ROSE (8 pm). On Saturday, get back to the Bartlett for LOTTE KESTNER (7 pm) and KEVIN LONG (7:30 pm), then bounce over to the Lucky You Lounge for EMMA LEE TOYODA, who brings a backing band and a lot of style to the proceedings.