Artist of the day: Therapeutic Chokehold
Therapeutic Chokehold plays a breed of aggressive but melodic hard rock with snippets of metal, punk and other genres.
"We like a lot of the same bands and it comes out in the songs we write, says bassist Angel Lopez. They name-check a slew of bands that peaked in the ’90s — Nirvana, Fugazi, Slayer, Pixies and Weezer — and some other random stuff.
Lopez, guitarist-vocalist Jeff Fox and drummer Vinnie Cosentino will take the stage when Therapeutic Chokehold plays at 10 p.m. Friday at the Emerald, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Click here to listen to Therapeutic Chokehold's Loco Pollo. And after the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of the band, including a Smurf-related guest question from another local band ...
Full throttle: Angel Lopez, bass, vocals; Jeff Fox, guitar, vocals; and Vinnie Cosentino, drums and backing vocals.
CD: Get Your Head Right, 2009.
Their sound: Aggressive but melodic hard rock with snippets of metal, punk and other genres. “We like a lot of the same bands and it comes out in the songs we write,” Lopez says. They name-check a slew of bands that peaked in the ’90s — Nirvana, Fugazi, Slayer, Pixies and Weezer — and some other random stuff. Sometimes the influences are noticeable. A guitar riff in the title track recalls the Pixies’ Debaser, and both the guitar and syncopated rhythms in the slower-paced It Wasn’t Just Me bring to mind the Police.
Shouting it out: A lot of belting out can be heard in the threesome’s vocals. Like the band name suggests, it can be therapeutic. “There’s great therapy in singing your ass off,” Fox proclaims. Adds Cosentino: “Angel has this unique ability to do something that’s between shouting and singing; shouting with melody in it. That’s not easy to do.”
The name: “I thought it would be cool to write lyrics with a positive message but be aggressive while delivering them ... it’s like Violent Pacification by D.R.I., which was later covered by Slayer: We will beat the crap out of you to teach you to be a pacifist.”
Beginnings: Lopez and Fox had been playing together nearly a decade ago and all three got together in what Fox calls a “Black Flag-ish punk band,” lived together for a spell as roomies and cemented the band’s official lineup in April 2007. Cosentino joined through Fox’s connections with him as a bandmate in Palantine.
And then along came Vinnie: Multi-instrumentalist Cosentino had played all the sounds on the Palantine CDs and produced all three of them. He added the final glaze on the mold of Chokehold by not only pounding the heck out of the skins but manning the boards at his dad’s Odessa home studio, the workspace of Jerry “Geraldo” Cosentino, who, the guys say with a laugh, provides affirmations like, “You guys sound so good in there! Keep up the good work!” Vinnie Cosentino’s main mission in the studio was to “simplify it,” he says. “That way it’s easier to play when you’re drunk!” More to the point, Cosentino says he weeded out what was not working and pared down the vocal foundation.
Words: “Angel and I write lyrics separately,” Fox says. “Typically, we’ll sing lead on the songs we write.” They collaborated on the words to Get Your Head Right and have around 40 demos each written through the years.
Now hear this: Therapeutic Chokehold cranks up the volume while playing live. Hearing-sensitive attendees might want to bring earplugs or hang in the back.
And the winning Facebook question ... Friends on the social networking site posed questions to the band. We chose one from Chicken Chasers' Meyer Baron: “What color does a Smurf turn if you choke him?”
Cosentino: “I’d say a lavender/fuchsia like Angel’s work shirt. It’s like the color of a bruise.”
Cosentino: “That’s when you choke one to death!”
Hear them: 10 p.m. Friday at the Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 898-6054. thearapeuticchokehold.com.
-- Julie Garisto, tbt*