The Expendables rock B Ryder’s bar

Priscilla Dauven

Robert Mullen, Reporter




For more than two hours, The Expendables entertained a packed house at B Ryder’s Rockin’ Sports Bar, following opening acts by the reggae rock bands Dub Seeds and Fortunate Youth.

With more than 15 years’ experience, the four man band from Santa Cruz know their style well and show they are more than capable of mixing metal, reggae, and punk. While the majority of their songs at Sunday’s show were more reminiscent of Iron Maiden or Pennywise, they were interspaced with more traditional Reggae songs like “Minimum Wage” or “Bowl for Two.” The audience was even treated to “Zombies in America” and a surprise on the fly solo by lead singer and guitarist Geoff Weers during an unexpected delay.

Yet even if an individual song might be singled out as leaning more towards one genre or another, there are still elements from each within. The heavier songs were infused with a mellower backbeat, whilst even the super relaxed “My Way Out” holds a punkish guitar solo. While some might find this eclectic mix odd, it seems to come naturally to The Expendables, an ability that certainly comes from their equally eclectic tastes.

“We always say that we have musical ADD, and growing up, each guy was getting into different things and different times, whether it was old school,  ‘80s metal, or punk, or surf, or reggae, we just like mixing all these different styles,” said Raul Bianchi, the band’s lead guitarist. “There were no real limits; we said whatever we want to play, we want to play.”

“I guess Jimi Hendrix was the biggest at the beginning. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton were big influences on my guitar playing,” said Weers.

Ryan DeMars, the band’s bass player, says a lot of his inspiration came from reggae and punk rock bands like Bob Marley, Steel Wool, the Misfits, and Minor Threat.

The band has managed to add to this blend of genres and styles with the release of an in house, acoustic album last year.

While not a total stylistic switch, according to the band’s drummer, Adam Patterson: “We didn’t want to just throw out an album with acoustic guitars . . . we wanted to change it . . . the fans have heard that song played live on stage and the album, so you might as well change it up for them.”

The Expendables are currently writing a new album with a tenative release before the end of the year, and will be going on a new tour in March with Tomorrows Bad Seeds.