Remember the first bands you saw during your reckless formative years? Some local dudes and/or lady dudes shredding for the hell of it, happy just to be on a stage in the back of a billiard hall or in shattered-glass parking lots? I bet kids in San Francisco will look back on Wild Moth with the same fondness I have for those late-night shows.
But, while Wild Moth sounds like adolescence, the Bay Area trio is showing signs of changing styles. Between the band's eponymous debut EP from last year and its first single from the forthcoming full-length, Over, Again (due out Sept. 17), the difference is clear. The EP's first few tracks are a spacey and mellow variety of melodic punk, while the new song, "Souvenir (No Future)," is grinding and relentless with a hint of thrash. The vocals on the latter are heavy, if not atonal at times, which works well with the satisfying clashing of instrumentals. Though the band's direction seems to have changed, its penchant for evoking devil-may-care nights has not.
Wild Moth plays the ZACC, 235 N. First St., Sun., Aug. 4, at 7:30 PM with Avair, Ditch Tiger, Boys, The All-Hail, Buddy Jackson and Posture. $5.