32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.
Saturday, Aug. 7, 9 p.m.
$5 over 21, $8 under 21, 955-5664
Varient used to be called Blue Sun, and although that name conjures up lovely images of patchouli-laden hippy haziness, it doesn't do the band's hard rock sound justice. Formed in 2000, the Colorado Springs-based quartet decided that what the city needed was a great rock band starring a strong female vocalist. Enter Carly Harmon, whose lyrical stylings swing between sweet melodic musings and strong painful yowls. Backed by Jamin Triz, Josh Tarrant, and Dave Pack, Varient will be playing at 32 Bleu on Saturday, Aug. 7, with guests Aggressive Persuasion, Stasis, and The Kite Eating Tree. Apparently, once upon a time, the band (as Blue Sun) played everything from rock and funk to lengthy jam-fests, but decided to cut the amount of covers that they played and grab some musical focus. That decision paid off, and their first full-length album, Non-Fiction, is an amazingly strong effort. "Rain" barks with emotion, while "Imposter" features an even mix of Harmon's effortless frontwoman skills and slamming, growling guitars. Now recapture that lost Black Sabbath spirit and check them out.
-- Kara Luger