By Dave Pehling
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — East Bay metal band War Cloud bids it’s Oakland home farewell on Wednesday at the Elbo Room Jack London, playing it’s final local show before guitarist/singer Alex Wein relocates to Texas.
Founded five years ago after Baltimore expatriate Weil relocated to the West Coast and landed in Oakland, War Cloud has firmly established itself as one of the leading lights of a rising new wave of Bay Area heavy metal bands. Wein would team up with drummer Joaquin Ridgell and start writing a style of energetic, tuneful metal drawing heavily on the British bands of the ’70s like Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with an added touch of modern thrash.
The band issued the EP Hurricane in 2015 prior to recording their eponymous debut featuring the talents of Hell Fire guitarist Tony Campos with noted producer Tim Green (Melvins, Acid King, Hot Lunch, Banquet) at his Louder Studios in Grass Valley. Blistering tunes like album opener “Give’r,” “Chopper Wired” and “Speed Demon” showcased the band’s knack for pulverizing riffs and memorable melodies, leading to a deal with Bay Area hard rock and stoner metal imprint Ripple Music to release a vinyl edition of the album. Current bassist Taylor Roach would join the fold in 2017.
War Cloud built on it’s local following with regular regional tours including an appearance at South By Southwest with labelmates Holy Grove. While Campos departed the band to focus on Hell Fire, the group landed on its feet with the addition of guitarist Jesse Serrano, who played on the band’s follow-up effort, State of Shock.
Once again recording at Louder Studios, War Cloud put together another set of head-banging anthems for its sophomore Ripple Music release that came out last September during the band’s first extensive European tour that included new addition Nick Burks on guitar (who also plays in Kentucky metal band Stonecutters). While Wein’s departure for Texas means the group will no longer be based in the Bay Area, War Cloud plans to soldier on despite its members living in different parts of the U.S. The band headlines this show at the Elbo Room Jack London Wednesday night features Burks pulling double duty with his group Stonecutters in the support slot. SF stoner metal veterans Floating Goat — a group led by guitarist/singer Christopher Corona (Hazzard’s Cure, Molten) that has been putting out it’s heavy, hectic style of music for going on two decades with the original line-up still intact — opens the show.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 9 p.m. $10
Elbo Room Jack London