Neurotic November, Words Like Daggers
Blackwater Music
Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
All ages

There was a schoolyard bully mentality among plenty of mid-2000s tough-guy hardcore bands — where breakdowns in tempo were considered “brutal” and guttural vocals were the industry standard, the equivalent of puffing out one’s chest. Neurotic November is undoubtedly a brainchild of this MySpace era, with songs and a stage presence that demand only a yawn.

For Your Consideration: “I’m From the Sunshine State, I Gotta Shine” starts clumsily and never quite catches its footing, as lead vocalist “Dirty” coughs out a lyrical fur ball over a wall of chugging guitars.

U.S. Royalty, Seahorn
Low Spirits
Monday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m.
Ticket price at door

U.S. Royalty plays it safe as most of their songs draw upon classic rock for an influence. Playing things safe isn’t always bad, however, as this D.C. quartet manages to garner a certain level of fun with their well-timed “whoa-oh’s” and guitar leads.
For Your Consideration: “Equestrian” is a catchy tune with a loud chorus and group “oh-oh-oh’s” — there’s a reason it received a healthy bit of play time on American Eagle commercials last year.

Immortal Technique, Brother Ali
Sunshine Theater
Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
All ages

Felipe Andres Coronel, the man behind Immortal Technique, is a self-made hip-hop artist if there ever was one. Paying for his first recorded album with the money he won during prominent rap battles, this Harlem-raised artist quickly made a name for himself as a politically active rapper.

For Your Consideration: “Harlem Streets” provides a lyrical look into inner-city violence, with Coronel focusing less on a catchy beat and more on packing an activist’s poetic punch.

Sunshine Theater
Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.
All ages

Wavves slaps together a messy slop of traditional surf-punk with twinkling lo-fi punk. While not the cleanest of ditties, these San Diego natives know how to churn out a catchy tune.

For Your Consideration: Sure, “Sail to the Sun” is drowned in distortion and unintelligible lyrics, but it still packs three minutes of fun.

The Skatalites, The Blue Hornets
Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

The Skatalites reign from the Jamaican dancehalls of the early 1960s and promote a relaxing vibe with their laid back ska tunes. Having performed internationally for the past 50 years, this aging group still stands strong amongst contemporary ska artists.

For Your Consideration: “I Should Have Known Better” is an instrumental rudeboy interpretation of the original song from The Beatles, featuring a heavy amount of saxophone and trumpet solos.

The Octopus Project, Paper Lions, The F**ing Adventures*
Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.
All ages

Joining the long list of artists with offbeat genre titles, The Octopus Project is an indietronica band that hails from Austin, Texas. Handclaps and electronic beats are aplenty as lead singers Toto Miranda and Josh Lambert trade verses.

For Your Consideration: “Sharp Teeth” begins with a short lyrical tirade against 21st century hipsters before leading to a slow burning jam track. Synthesizers meet strummed guitars meet cymbals meet keyboards in one long crescendo.