They take exception with exploring any kind of new musical territory on its latest album.
“We as metalheads claim to be open minded, but when it comes down to it, we are scared of change,” says vocalist Eddie Hermida, in advance of the band’s tour stop Friday night at Strummer’s. He knew the band’s new sound would elicit some negative reactions – one fan petitioned to stop the album from being released. He was fine with that.
“It couldn’t be going better, quite frankly,” he says.
The record was a change for the band, both in terms of style – Hermida pairs down the throat-splitting howls the genre is known for in favor of melodies in the vein of Deftones or Korn – and process. The songs were recorded live and straight to tape, without the kind of digital correction and automation that is so popular in metal music, Hermida says. For many metal bands recording these days, “everything has been quantized. Everything has been sound replaced.”
And listeners have been brainwashed into thinking this kind of sterile sonic experience is what real music sounds like, Hermida says.
In that way, the album might serve as a bit of reprogramming.
“This record is going to demand you give it a few listens,” he says.
Tickets to the show include a digital download of the album, plus an after-show listening party hosted by the band.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday. Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave. $23. All ages. 559-485-5356, www.strummerclub.com
Don’t stand so close
The event: The Undercover Concert Series continues at the Tower Theatre with the Police Experience.
The draw: The Police was a new-wave rock trio formed in 1977 by guitarist Andy Summers, drummer Stewart Copeland and the bass-playing vocalist Sting. The band became massively successful with its spot-on musicianship, which blended punk, reggae and jazz.
The Police Experience pays tribute to that band and its music. They do it so well, they caught the attention of Foo Fighter’s drummer Taylor Hawkins – a longtime Police fanatic, who ended up sitting in with the band for several shows, according to the band’s press.
“They knew every single Police song perfectly,” Hawkins said of the band.
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday. Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. $29-$39. 559-485-9050, www.towertheatrefresno.com
The event: The inaugural Cen-Cal Standoff brings competitive gaming to downtown’s Bitwise South Stadium building.
The draw: Anyone who’s seen Fred Savage’s 1989’s cult-classic “The Wizard” knows that professional video gaming is totally a thing. This day-long tournament features brackets for “Street Fighter V,” “Smash Bros Melee,” “Smash Bros Wii U” and “Marvel vs Capcom 3” with total prize money running upward of $2,000. The competition is designed to grow the local gaming scene, but organizers are expecting players from across California.
You can watch the play in person, or online. Several players will be streaming the tournament live on Twitch.
Details: 10 a.m. Saturday. BitWise Industries, 700 Van Ness Ave. $10, $15 to compete. www.knovagaming.com/cencalstandoff
Throwing his voice
The event: Comedian ventriloquist Jeff Dunham plays the Save Mart Center with his puppet friends as part of the Perfectly Unbalanced tour.
The draw: If the idea of a ventriloquist act seems quaint, keep in mind that Dunham is in the midst of a massive arena tour and will be taking up residency at The Colosseum At Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The venue will also host Celine Dion, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Elton John, Van Morrison and Jerry Seinfeld, to give you a sense of things.
His show features as cast of characters like José Jalapeño, “the spicy pepper from South of the border,” and Achmed the Dead Terrorist. The characters are are loud and irreverent – and handcrafted by Dunham himself. Dunham was last in Fresno on his Disorderly Conduct tour in 2013. He played Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles the following year.
Details: 7:30 p.m. March 9. Save Mart Center. $34-$48.50. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com