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Scene Report: hardcore, alt rock, and punk rock in Antelope Valley, CA

5 mins read

The Antelope Valley- a hidden oasis of unlimited music potential just north of Los Angeles. Today we will be taking a deep dive into the scene in the Antelope Valley (AV), a hot bed for underground music.

Joining us a storyteller is Cole Scott of Kantu Culture, a local DIY label based in Lancaster, the heart of the AV.

Just like any other scene throughout the world, this desert community has had its ups and downs over the years. Known for being the home of bands like Blood Stands Still, Sovereign Strength, Slick Shoes & Life for a Life, the AV has had a multitude of bands come up over the years.

From bands getting buzz on national & international levels and calling it quits just as quick as their rise, to venues that regularly had touring acts come through town, giving locals opportunities to open, shutting down frequently, a lot of local musicians were left isolated with nowhere to play.

Through everything, the grit and DIY spirit in the valley has never died. Whereas a lot of other places would likely let it rest, the musicians in this desert have a hunger to watch the scene grow and today we’ll be showcasing some artists we believe you’ll be very familiar with soon.

1. The Downsides

For fans of: The Menzingers, Title Fight & Basement

The Downsides are a grunge rock/pop punk band formed in 2018 out of Lancaster. They’ve released an EP with a bunch of singles since their inception and have opened up for all your favorite punk bands along the way. They’re gearing up writing new music right now but ‘til that’s ready, check out their most recent single “Trapped Inbetween(featuring Joesnapped) available on streaming services.

2. Broken Cuffs

For fans of: The Casualties, Charged GBH & The Havoc

Formed in 2005, Broken Cuffs has risen to one of the brightest acts in punk rock over the years. From touring with The Adicts to playing a Punk Rock Bowling pre show, they’ve been kicking ass and taking names in every city they go. Last October they released their self-titled LP and it rocks- highly recommend if you’re into fast catchy street punk.


For fans of: Turnstile, Drug Church & Suicidal Tendencies

Formed in 2020 out of members of various local bands, groovy hardcore punk band SHIIVA came out swinging with their debut EP “GROOV(E)”. Now, two years later, they’ve teamed up with Wiretap Records to release their follow up EP “CYCLONE” this August. They’ve just released their lead single for it “TTG”, a summery punk rock anthem and have also announced appearances at The Fest in Gainesville, Florida & Act Like You Know Fest in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

4. Triste

For fans of: Ceremony, ACxDC & Weekend Nachos

Forming out of members of La Pobreska, Get Greens & Spit On Your Grave, the new Antelope Valley Hardcore all star line up is grinding it out playing their brand of mosh heavy powerviolence all over Southern California creating a night to remember for show goers each time they take the stage. They self released their debut EP on bandcamp last year and are gearing up to put out a split with their friends in ChainxWolf.

5. All Eyez

For fans of: Terror, Foundation & Incendiary

All Eyez is a heavy hitting hardcore band representing the purest form of AVHC (Antelope Valley Hardcore) with their skull crushing breakdowns and mosh parts that get people going wild with every set. Formed in 2018, they released their AVHC EP and since then have released the single “SINK” and now the band is currently writing a follow up EP which they hope to have out later this year.

6.. XoM

For fans of: Wavves, Viagra Boys, The Regrettes

.XoM is a indie garage rock band with lo-fi elements that have been steady active since there inception playing shows throughout Southern California. Their brand of melodic catchy post punk songs will get stuck in your head all day.

7. Captain Smooth Talk

For fans of: The Expendables, Rebeloution & Slightly Stoopid

CST has been a force in the AV since there inception in 2010. They’ve played their brand of fusion ska-punk/funky-reggae with their hearts on their sleeves. The band has made a name for themselves within the LA skacore scene and is only going up from here so don’t sleep on them.

8. Heartthrob

For fans of: (early) Blink-182, Sum 41 & No Pressure

While they’re not exactly an Antelope Valley band and are from the neighboring Victorville area, Heartthrob is bound to be your new favorite. Formed in 2021 out of members of Reclaim, The Licks & Sweet Soul Victorvilles, Heartthrob has been taking the scene by storm since their inception by quickly releasing two demos that are just as catchy as they are brief. Very excited to see what the future holds for them.

9. Lazy Beam

For fans of: MSPAINT, Butthole Surfers

Self described as an “alien punk band” the Antelope Valleys Lazy Beam features members of 700 Klub & Los Mangos. Their sound is familiar but new and fresh at the same time. Reminiscent of early Sub Pop Records bands with tinges of 80s hardcore sprinkled in Lazy Beam is creating a lane of their own.

10. Joesnapped

For fans of: Baby Keem, Vince Staples & Kendrick Lamar

Antelope Valley MC Joesnapped has been focusing on perfecting his craft over the years and the hard works been paying off. His recent LP Lyrical Dope Man on Kantu Culture perfectly showcases his penmanship for clever and unique bars that’ll get stuck in your head for hours. Slowly over the past year he’s integrated himself within the punk and hardcore scene playing rowdy shows opening up peoples mind to something they may not have been aware of existing locally before.

11. Sex Makes Me Sad

For fans of: Turnover & Nothing

Sex Makes Me Sad has been making waves with their lo-fi shoegazey Emo tunes. Known for their romantic sounding emotional ballads they’re a band you’ll be well aware of very soon if you aren’t already.

12. Hollow Points

For fans of: Knocked Loose, No Zodiac & Desolated

Hollow Points is some Antelope Valley new blood breathing a down tempo beat down life into the scene. They’ve recently released their lead single “Shoobies” for their debut EP coming via Razor Leaf Records.

13. Collars

For fans of: Modern Baseball, Algernon Cadwallader & You Blew It!

Antelope Valley based mathrock emo punks Collars have been building up a fan base ever since their first show in a random shed in the middle of the desert. Formed out of members of various local bands they’re memorable hooks and intricate guitar riffs are definitely bound to win you over.

14. Los Mangos

For fans of: Joyce Manor, Surf Curse & The Garden

Los Mangos is undoubtedly one of the biggest and fastest rising bands in this upcoming Antelope Valley scene with their brand of self-described “Dream Punk” infusing elements of surf rock, cumbia, shoegaze and punk rock. They have made a name for themselves within the community for their fun and energetic live shows that have the crowd singing along and bouncing all over the place. They’re currently set to release their newest EP “Cursed” June 20th and we believe it’ll be one of your favorites to listen to this summer.

Some other awesome AV band worth checking out are: The Opps, Onira, Sunwick, CFTC, The Church Crowd & Hik1komori.

Follow Kantu Culture via Instagram.

Also, check out the label’s playlist featuring a lot of these artists One Time For The Culture on Spotify now:

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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