Vicky and the Vengents

Posted June 24, 2010 in Music


Vicky Tafoya (vocals); Matt Beld (guitar); Vinny Malachi (bass); Johny Vile (drums).

Colton, Claremont, Costa Mesa.


A New Dawn (2009).

The Ramones, The Shangri-Las, The Sonics, eyelash glue, hairspray, you know the sort . . .

Joey Ramone once proclaimed that the rock ‘n’ roll world needed change and that it all sounded the same to him via the anthemic Ramones tune “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?”


Fittingly breaking the glass ceiling that appears to contain all that’s current in rock music is the Ramones-inspired, female-fronted local foursome Vicky and the Vengents, who’ve been pushing hard to turn the future of the rock world on its deadpanned head by attracting cues from the genre’s past.


And they’re doing a mighty fine job of it. Of course, there’s the obvious aforementioned punk influence, but when closely coupled with that ’60s girl group flair, this quartet can really turn up the volume.


“It’s loud and fun,” says guitarist Matt Beld. “And did I mention loud?”


Yes indeed, with amps set to “stun” levels, the group’s soundwaves are also making serious radio waves, recently receiving some laudable play from the longtime arbiter of the independent rock scene, Rodney Bingenheimer. Best known for his “Rodney on the Roq” show on KROQ, Bingenheimer’s spun the group’s tunes on the influential station a few times already (and The Vengents welcome your requests, too).

It’s not too shabby for an act that kicked off just a couple years ago. Originally known simply as the Vengents, the backing trio added Tafoya, who says that they took their passion for punk with the great lyricism and structure of the ’60s to concoct their now-signature blend. 


And it’s that same passion that they’re hoping will transcend live at their forthcoming gig for their hometown crowd, hitting the Mission Tobacco Lounge for the first time. With the start of the summer underway, expect the quartet to crank up the musical heat on stage—quite literally, if you ever bear witness to the live activity generated by frontwoman Vicky Tafoya. It’s all quite obvious, as she’s not afraid to let it all show.


“Lots of sweat,” she says. “I have to re-apply my lipstick, like, three times and my mascara gets all runny and I love it.” 

Vicky and the Vengents at Mission Tobacco Lounge, 3630 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 682-4427; Wed, 9PM.


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