I drove down to the Catalyst in Santa Cruz a couple weeks back to check out the homecoming show of “Archer” with special guests “Doors To No Where.” For people like me this show was somewhat a Blast from the past. Archer has been around for days while Doors To No Where are fronted by former “Live Wire” front man Marc Lewis. Both Archer and Live Wire played a lot of shows in SC that I attended in my younger days. I remember seeing “Live Wire” absolutely tear apart the Brookdale lodge with “Agent Orange.” This show is exactly what I expected. Both Archer and “Doors To No Where” came with a high level of guitar slaying and bad ass rock n roll. Archer front Man Dylan Rose set the house on fire with some serious and classic shredding. Very similar sound and style as Zack Wylde from “Black Label Society.” Archer played a solid set to the approval of the local crowd.
The high point of the show for me though was Marc Lewis and Doors To No Where. While Archer ripped they sound very similar to other shred type bands. “Doors To No Where” came with a unique and jaw dropping sound that is totally their own. While the set consisted of mostly new material I found myself in a trance totally consumed by the music voodoo that was coming out of Lewis’s guitar. DTNW drummer Pete Testorff showed incredible strength and power while drumming like a real rock drummer should. The only dowm point of Doors To No Where’s set was when bass player Sean Sanford took over on lead vocals for a song. Like in the past when I’ve seen this band live, he does not have the same vocal power and range has his band mate. He sings more in the range of Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) karaoke style. His singing was very hard to pick up and did not match the energy the bands overall energy. The high point of the show for me was actually Marc Lewis’s vocal power. About four songs into the set Marc truly hit his stride belting out in unmatched manner. In fact many people in the crowd took notice and I over heard the guy next to me saying that fucker can sing.
The low point of the show to me was the openers D15. I had never heard of them and was excited to see a new band that landed on such a big show for local Santa Cruz rockers. Fronted by two dudes that looked like they stepped out of a twilight movie D15 represented everything Rock N Roll shouldn’t be. FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! I got the impression the band spend their nights practicing rock poses in the mirror. I also heard from a bartender that they brought so much gear and crap that “Doors To No Where” was not able to sound check and even had to shorten their set. Not a cool or respectful move by the new comers. D15 did have plenty of talent, but the cheese factor and lack of originality buried that. At times I could not tell if the drummer was playing and the guitar tones lacked any soul or anything solid to grasp.
I have yet to get Archers new album but I plan on it. I would defiantly see them again live if I had the chance. If for nothing else but to see the serious guitar shred of Dylan Rose. After seeing them deliver live it might be a must have in my library.