Santa Barbara’s art-punk band ///Internet, like its namesake network, has evolved since its early days and is now hitting creative heights. In its first phases, a bedroom solo project by vocalist and keyboardist Marvin Dominguez, the ///Internet has rounded out to include Steve Oh Prat (guitar and vocals), Tommy Curran (bass), and Jay Brooks (drums). The band will play at the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Avenue, Goleta) on Friday, June 21, with Late Bloomers, QVO, and Bobi Rae.
Taking its name from early explorations across forums such as GameFAQs, the band has stepped out of the bedroom and onto the dance floor. Its new album, Semicolon Forward Slash, is bursting with energetic melodies, fuzzy synths and guitars, and interesting sonic tidbits. You can hear a blend of influences like ’90s alternative music, first wave punk bands such as X, and the fast-rocking S.B. music scene that shaped them. With all members cutting their teeth in various 805 punk and alt acts, they bring a vitality to the stage and studio.
“There’s a driving energy that characterized our local music scene into punk and metal, and has been for decades,” Brooks said. “We’ve bridged that almost psychedelic feel, but our roots are in that driving aggressive energy all of us were familiar in in the past. It’s really shining through in this iteration of the band in a pretty innovative way.”
Grandiosely catchy and quirkily self-deprecating all, their new album is a delightful confetti of synthy punk moods with some real lyrical substance. “My left eye is blind, and psychologically that ends up being a big part,” Brooks said. “Growing up a somewhat crazy person into the more stable, successful person I am now, it was a struggle to get here.”
“Some are sentimental, some are satirical, some are rooted in dark existentialism,” Curran said.
“Every song sounds different, and in my eyes it culminates what the actual Internet itself represents: a lot of different things,” Prat added. “We just wanted to capture a really fun time and get people dancing — to capture that energy response from punk shows.”
Their upcoming Mercury Lounge show promises playfully provocative punk energy aplenty. “We want to be the best band in S.B.,” Dominguez said. “I’m not an anarchist, but I’m unafraid of lighting fires.”