Live Review: Playback Studios Hosts Night of Indie, Punk, and Hardcore Music in San Jose

One week ago marked the date for Playback Studios show featuring local Bay Area bands Wrip/Mentality and Infirmary, and touring bands, Raw Breed, Downward and Full Color Dream. The night included a variety of sounds including indie rock, punk rock, and a bit of hardcore music thrown in the mix to get the crowd properly amped up.


The night began with a duo-set from Wrip and Mentality, two local San Jose bands.

Technically, these are two different bands with two different sounds, however they are composed of mostly the same members.

Cole Gilbert, Lead Vocalist (Mentality), Drummer (Wrip)

Mentality features Cole Gilbert as the lead vocalist, who brings unclean vocals to the mix and features Hendrik Esche as the drummer; during Wrip’s segment, Cole switches to drums while Hendrik moves to lead vocals in addition to adding another guitarist, Reise.

Reise, Vocals/Guitar (Wrip)

Mentality provided a nice, heavy set to start the night off, allowing the crowd to mosh and get some energy flowing through the room. When Wrip hit the stage, it felt as if the crowd had been mesmerized by their pure, low-key indie rock vibes. This really brought a cool element to the beginning of the show. Since half of their members switched instruments throughout the set, it allowed them to mix up their performance and truly showcase the musical talent of everyone in the band.


Next was touring Colorado hardcore band, Raw Breed, who brought a complete change of sound to the bill. Their sound is defined by short, loud, aggressive songs meant to get your blood pumping and your arms swinging.

Raw Breed

To fully appreciate their raw sound, I feel like seeing them live is the best way to experience it, especially if you’re someone who enjoys moshing. The anger and aggression in their music is a critical component in their sound and their short songs make it easy to get hyped. You can find their two EP’s on their Bandcamp.

Third was Tulsa, Oklahoma indie rock band, Downward. If this band isn’t on your radar yet, they definitely should be.


They just came off of the release of their first full studio album and it definitely hit the top of my list as one of the best emerging albums of 2018. Oklahoma has had some amazing local releases in 2018. Earlier this year, we featured another local OK band, Goodfella and their latest EP release, so Downward is not my first taste of the Tulsa, OK rock scene, however they are the first local Oklahoma band I have had a chance to see live and I have nothing but great things to say about them. Their self-titled album features a wide range of dynamics without sacrificing the moodiness of indie allowing them to play an energetic, yet vibe-y set that had the crowd mesmerized from start to finish. If you’re from Tulsa, OK, make sure that you catch them live at their next show on February 21st; after hearing a few local OK bands, I’m confident it will be one you won’t want to miss, and a little jealous I won’t be able to make it myself.


The next band to play, Full Color Dream, is another band hailing from Piedmont, Oklahoma. These guys brought a whole new sound to the show on Wednesday night. Their set was a true punk rock set.

Full Color Dream

From start to finish, they kept the energy high and played with true emotion. Their poetic, yet simplistic lyrics allowed them to move around the stage and give the audience a performance clearly fueled by passion and love for the music, an element that is necessary in punk rock. Like I said before, OK has some amazing local music emerging right now, and Full Color Dream is another addition to that list.

To close out the night, Infirmary, a local San Jose hardcore band took the stage to end the night off on a heavy note.


Hardcore was definitely a genre I missed out on in 2018, and I hope that changes in 2019. There is nothing like seeing a hardcore band in a local setting, especially in your hometown. From being able to scream the lyrics along with the lead vocalist to being able to mosh with the band members and your friends, the environment at a local hardcore show is irreplaceable. Infirmary’s set was no exception. The mosh pit was not empty at any point in their set and you could tell that the crowd appreciated the dynamic that the band brought to the bill.

Although Raw Breed played a hardcore set earlier in the night, Infirmary brought a completely different hardcore sound to the show. While Raw Breed plays songs that are characterized by their aggression and fast tempo, Infirmary focuses much more on the quality of their lyrics and the dynamics in their songs. Even though Infirmary has only released three songs, it was clear during their song “Price to Pay” when the crowd began to chant their lyrics, that they are about to take the SJHC scene by storm.

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