Local rockers head for battle

Bethany Beach resident Colin Carroll, taking a turn on the bass, has joined forces with guitarist Dennis Alexander of Long Neck, lead singer Ben Leisey and drummer Mark Amendt (both of Georgetown), and they’re headed for the ongoing Emergenza Music Festival this weekend in Philadelphia, Pa.

Together, they’re Wicked Theory — and be warned, their product is not for the faint of heart. They have their melodic passages, but by and large, they offer hard, crunching rock music, à la early Metallica.

The musicians characterized their sound as “radio rock,” suggesting they weren’t as heavy as some bands in the genre.

Leisey counts Staind leadman Aaron Lewis as a model, but also noted a few years in choral ensemble as part of his background. Alexander seconded the emphasis on more traditional heavy-metal influences, but also praised classically-trained, ultra-technical guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.

Amendt — the youngest in the group, at 15 — said he favors bands like 311 and Korn, which incorporate rap-style lyrics; and Carroll noted dark-flavored rock influences like Soundgarden, ones that are more alternative than metal.

“We definitely have our own vibe,” the bassist said. “You just have to experience it.”

Carroll said he’d actually played music in all sorts of different genres — and he brings a serious sheaf of lyrics to Wicked Theory. He said he was emerging from some pretty serious songwriting — a prolific period sparked by the loss of someone close to him.

“It took a while to get through that, and it made me realize how much I was living my life on the surface,” Carroll pointed out. “I started seeking something deeper.”

The other members of Wicked Theory have been contributing lyrics as well — Carroll said the 30-minute set they were putting together for the Emergenza Music Festival was a collaborative effort, with everyone writing on one song or another.

Depending on how they fare in Philly, the local band may advance to the Emergenza finals in Germany. The top band in the finals gets a spot on the Vans Warped Tour.

But in the meantime, rock fans interested in hearing a few up-and-coming acts can catch Wicked Theory this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 4, at The Fire, 412 West Girard Avenue, in Philadelphia.

It’s 21-and-over, but for those of age, Leisey said tickets would be just $10 in advance (contact Wicked Theory), or $15 at the door — and that’s for eight bands. The show starts at 8 p.m., and there’s more information at www.emergenza.net.

Other than that, you never know when and where Wicked Theory might pop up, but for more information visit their Web site, at www.wicketheoryrocks.com, or call (302) 856-6016.