Back in the beginning of the year 2020, a bygone time that seems so far in the past, guitarist Stacey Blades who is formerly of L.A. Guns, brought his then current project to The Viper Room in Hollywood. That band was called Electric Radio Kings. They had an album produced and were plying their wares to get a groundswell going underneath them. The vocalist who had written and recorded the album had departed, and in stepped new vocalist Peter Summit, to present the lyrical interpretation of the songs. After delivering a highly charged performance to some of the Hollywood night creatures on that evening, the world shortly would seemingly, or maybe literally come to a dead stop.
Like so many other musical ventures did for the majority of 2020, Blades, Summit and the rest spent the the lion’s share of their time writing and recording new music. Flip a few dozen pages on the calendar and we find ourselves in May of 2022. The band is now called Crashing Wayward. Blades explains the musical shift the band has taken, “When we decided to change the name and add Shon (McKee, the band’s new drummer), it just became this amazing entity. There’s a lot of different influences in the band and they all just sort of came bubbling out. Everyone brings so much to the table, there are influences from so many artists, but we don’t sound like any other band, really.”
When Crashing Wayward hits the stage at 10:40 pm on a Sunday evening, the room has thinned quite a bit. That’s unfortunate for those who would not stay to see their set. Hailing from Las Vegas, it’s quite a trip to make to play to a half filled room. Don’t believe for a second that the guys didn’t tear it up like the place was packed to the gills. One of the most striking things about the performance from two years ago was Summit’s commanding stage presence. Fueled by his natural animated presence, Summit has another ace up his sleeve. This hole card is performing lyrics that he wrote. Last time around, he was vocalizing words that someone else had written. This time is different, Summit explains, “This is my voice, and this band has allowed me to be experimental with my lyrics, melodies and ideas.”
The set is a ten song barrage of guitar-heavy rockers. Blades and fellow guitarist David Harris lay down a foundation of tasty guitar sound over which Summit can weave his emotional utterings. McKee and bassist Carl Raether provide the locomotion on which the entire train rides. Disco Kills, which appears about midway through their slot, is a thumping and rollicking rocker. The final number of the evening, Breathe is a melancholy, six-string assault that rewards the faithful who remained for the entire headline show. In spite of their name, this is not a crew that is hurtling down the highway out of control. Crashing Wayward appear to have plotted a purposeful course to bring some retro-inspired, modern rock to the masses. Let’s just hope there isn’t some catastrophe that derails their momentum this time.
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