The Austin based rock quartet “Not In The Face” played their last of three showcase concerts during a Monday night residency at the infamous Viper Room, in Hollywood, July 14th. While hundreds of people gathered at the entrance to the nearby Sky Bar, shutting down the sidewalks on Sunset Boulevard, to attend the ESPY awards, a much smaller crowd filed in to the tiny Viper Room. But the Viper Room may have been the most exciting of the two events, as the young Austin rockers proceeded to play an explosive set of classic melodic rock, for the intimate crowd. The bands own website states that “Not In The Face started as a joke.”, playing cover songs, in 2009. But the band turned out to be no joke, with original members, Jonathan Terrell on vocals and lead guitar and Wes Cargal on drums, channeling the likes of “White Stripes” and the “Black Keys”. The duo released their first album, “Bikini”, in 2011. In 2012, the band released a 4 song EP and added an astounding lead guitar player, Michael Anthony Gibson. The group added their final member, Bassist Ross Dubois, in 2013, and produced a new record which was released at the beginning of this year.
On the tiny stage Monday night the band played seamlessly, drawing on elements of classic rock. The band exhibited music and vocals resembling the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, fusing them with more modern jam band sounds, creating an infectious likeable beat of their own. Lead singer, Terrell, sang ferociously and pranced about the stage wailing on his guitar. Lead guitarist, Gibson, was even more animated, playing his ear piercing notes while engaging in all of the acrobatic antics of a classic rock guitarist. Drummer, Cargal and bassist, Dubois, together laid down a thundering rhythm that shook the walls of the tiny club. Uncharacteristic of the Hollywood glam bands that frequent the strip, “Not In The Face”, draws more wisely on their Austin roots and plays in a humble blue collar style of accessible hard rock. The band may have started as a joke, but the foursome has developed into a formidable rock powerhouse. Take note of this fresh new band as they may be climbing the festival circuit, in the near future, much like The Black Keys or Cage The Elephant did before them.