You gotta hear this band

Chico music heads give recs for new local bands to check out

Wiffle Hammer (photo by Ken Pordes)

This feature is part of the CN&R’s Live Music Guide special issue.

What’s on? What’s good? Anything new in the scene? Why, yes.

We asked some locals who pay attention to these sorts of things, and it turns out there are a lot of sparkling, dirty, beautiful, brutal, fun, gnarly sounds coming from local stages.

Here’s what they recommend:

Lorna Such. The last album she put out was to me the best thing to come out of Chico. It’s like a neo-soul-jazz record Jared Salsi’s band LEVEL. In my opinion, they’re probably the coolest thing happening right now as far as punk. They’re like our age and still doing it.”

Matt Garcia, DJ, promoter with Outpatient Records

Lorna Such

“Right now I have my eyes on a band called Debajito. They are a Latin-style rhythm band performing both originals and covers—[according to their bio] ‘a California-based band that makes multilingual, borderless, Latin music.’

Another band worth watching is Heirloom, a group of young talented players covering everything from rock, country and various covers with a bluegrass feel. Featuring a great violin player in Caroline Fairchild.”

—Ken Pordes, live music photographer

The Fed-Ups are such a solid rock band. They know how to engage the audience, put on a solid show, and sound so good. [Connor Finnigan] is a phenomenal frontman. They’re one of those bands that you just feel really good after you see them play.

Infinite Kamikaze: They make the silliest, oddest commercials to promote their shows. They’re so funny and really wonderful.

Melli Farias: She’s like an up-and-coming pop star. She has a voice, her lyrics are solid, and her band is really good. They’re like funky and dancey and so good. She posts a lot of things on Instagram with her playing a ukulele. But when they played the Winchester Goose she didn’t play an instrument at all and had a full band, and they were awesome to see.”

Aubrey DeLane, musician, booker at Winchester Goose


Knifes is awesome, a beautiful cacophony. It’s amazing how much noise just two people can make. I also like Wiffle Hammer. I saw them at an orchard show and was really impressed with the way they got people dancing, and their sense of humor. They play some originals and a really fun selection of covers.”

Ken Smith, musician (The Family Band, Ken the Revelator), CN&R staff writer

“Yesssss!!!!! [I] highly suggest Similar Alien, The Wind-Ups, Thin Air, Purity, Exposure Therapy.”

Acie Schiff (aka The Human Twitch), musician, Far From Normal Productions promoter

“The kids in Phantom Falls are really sweet people and I love that they play kinda slacker rock. It’s fun to see someone who’s like 22 do something like you listened to a long time ago.

Madde is cool; she’s gigging a lot after taking a long break.”

Jake Sprecher, musician (The Wind-Ups), promoter with Valley Fever

Blu Egyptian and Smokey the Groove. They’re both doing really well outside of Chico—in Nevada City, Redding and at festivals. Those two, I think they’re bound for glory, destined for stardom.”

Rick Anderson, promoter with Chico Concerts

Melli Farias

“There are a bunch of super-fun fresh sounds on the scene—Phantom Falls, Infinite Kamikaze, Purity, Seven Mills are all rad.

Even though they aren’t new any more, both Scout (my favorite local songwriter) and Tite Nauts (my favorite local band to see live) continue to make a ton of great new music!”

Jason Cassidy, CN&R editor, musician (Viking Skate Country, The Family Band)

Voyuer is my answer. They don’t play local often, but it’s all the dudes I grew up playing with—old-school death metal that no one else does around here. Seeing those guys play is always a spectacle, and a reminder I need to practice more.

Theres a bunch of new punk bands I haven’t been able to catch this year, but it’s rad seeing kids get back into music.”

Jake Hollingsworth, shredder (Aberrance)

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