After countless concert dates at venues throughout the South Coast, the members of Santa Barbara band Verna Beware may have mastered the art of the live show. They’ve also learned full well how to throw a good party. Next Thursday, May 13, the five-piece celebrates the completion of their debut recording, Xibalba, with a guaranteed-to-rock CD release show at Velvet Jones, featuring sets from fellow music makers Little Indian, Windmill Vandals, Sound & Vinyl, and Wetlands.
For the Verna kids—collectively lead singer Kyran Million, drummer AJ Herald, guitarist Taliesin Cook, bassist Michael Million, and trumpet player Bret Noel—the show marks a triumph that’s long been in the works. “The first time we recorded was April of last year,” explains Cook. “Then we put it on hold because of the wildfires, because the place we were recording in was evacuated.” Following the scare (which the house luckily survived), things were put on hold yet again due to school and work schedules. With the help of Siren Son singer Kyle Nicolaides and Playback Recording Studio owner Tucker Bodine, the quintet was eventually able to put the finishing touches on Xibalba. “We’re calling it an ‘XP,’” laughs Kyran. “It’s six songs long, so it’s too long to be an EP, but not long enough to be an LP. It’s for the experience play.”
Whatever they want to call it, Xibalba represents a victory for Verna Beware, who’ve experimented with names, genres, and sounds since first forming back at San Marcos High School in 2006. In its current form, the band exists somewhere between progy experimental rock and jazzy post-punk. (Think Mars Volta meets TV on the Radio.) The songs hit hard, the drums sizzle, and the lyrics are impressively wrought with emotion.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Cook of the band. “It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.” Added Kyran, “I want to do it forever.”
Verna Beware plays an 18+ show at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Thursday, May 13, at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit myspace.com/vernabeware.