Bomb pop: The Dharma Bomb is icy cool refreshment

Of great interest to Bandwidth, of course, is a new band from Fort Lauderdale, the Getaway Plan. More accurately, the band's bassist and guitarist live in Coral Springs, and the drummer is holed up in Delray Beach, while singer Dominic Traverzo makes his home in Hollywood. "I just say we're from Fort Lauderdale," Traverzo says, "because that's in between all three."

If we have to slap a label on the fine sounds of the Getaway Plan, we're going to call them emo-punk, which well serves this hard-edged but occasionally tender racket. The current calling card from the Getaway Plan is a seven-song EP called Anything Less Wouldn't Be You, and it's easily one of the strongest debuts from a Broward outfit in recent memory. "Ohio Certified" quickly cranks into a chunky, melodic rut with strident, sharp guitar lines and propulsive drumming as Traverzo's voice vacillates between a whisper and a fearsome bellow. The latter again comes to the fore during the spitting anger of "Two to Three Days." The tried-and-true, soft/loud formula makes "Midnight at Eighteen" roar from bliss to bludgeon as lines like "I cry your name about 500 times a night" surface for air.

The band made its live debut last month at Fort Lauderdale's new club the Metal Factory; your best bet to track down a copy of Anything Less Wouldn't Be You is by attending a Getaway Plan concert, where the disc is offered for sale. The next opportunity is August 25 at the Roxy. The EP's charms have not been wasted on Nova Southeastern University's WNSU-FM (88.5), where the band has been at the top of the Local Top 30 chart since June. On August 24, the station will interview the band on air at 8 p.m.

Although this disc's quite a bit more slick, nonconfrontational, and radio-friendly than the above, Coconut Grove's the Dharma Bomb has a small jewel in the form of its new EP, The Glencoe Sessions.

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Yes, "Up Around the Corner" nicks the riff from J. Geils' "Love Hurts," but the Dharma Bomb burns a new South Florida brand into its hide. Sounding like a long-lost, extra-rough Creedence Clearwater Revival track, the tune is anchored by a particularly ragged guitar solo from Sean Edelson. On the rest of the record, Todd Thompson's piano and vocals hog the spotlight. And that's good, because on both counts, Thompson revs up like Ben Folds with far bigger cojones.

With a gravel-road throatiness, he belts out advice like "You better get your head out of your ass," on the Southern-fried "Hard Times." Back to liberally copping musical passages from sundry sources, "Political Tequila" inserts "Oye Como Va" and Latin rhythms into its midsection. Thompson gets all Sunday-afternoon melancholy on us with the very pretty "Reflections on the Death of Passion," simply repeating the line "Strangers/Friends/Lovers/Then strangers again." But after that momentary bum-out, the band lifts the blinds and lets the sunshine in, rocking away the pain.

At this time of year, South Florida's concert opportunities seem to be narrowed by a kind of seasonal affective disorder. Put another way, the scene slows down bigtime between now and October. However, peek beneath the radar, and there's usually something to do besides sweat, if you look hard enough.

This week: On Friday, August 18, you can bear witness to the Florida All-Stars, a drum 'n' bass collective featuring Sunshine State DJs AK1200, Jeffee, Dread, and RedCoat. That's at Manray South's "Drumwerks" in Pompano Beach. That same evening former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor pays another visit to Alligator Alley in Sunrise. On Friday it's a punky backyard party at Spanky's in West Palm Beach with Hatebreed, One King Down, No Innocent Victim, and Where Fear and Weapons Meet.

At Fort Lauderdale's venerable Culture Room Sunday, prepare for an onslaught of ferocious heavy-metal brutality with King Diamond, Babylon Whores, Shadows Fall, and Deep. Continuing the recent march of Scandinavian death-rockers through our verdant countryside, Helsinki's Babylon Whores go a long way to demonstrate that Finland's not about to be left out when it comes to serving heaping helpings of apocalypse.

Tuesday sports a few national acts that announced shows without much notice: the Outfield at the Culture Room and Luther Vandross with Boyz II Men (beginning a big North American tour) at MARS Music Amphitheatre.

Also at the Culture Room, Wednesday finds something called "Tribal Circus" featuring Jerrod's Door, while the following evening is the wishful thinking of the "End of Summer Bash" with local acts Switchmode, Al Is Well, Lost, Drone, Free Beer, and Betsy Ross. The same evening at Ray's Downtown Blues in West Palm Beach, it's Slick Shoes with Cooter and Jersey. And you thought Cooter was a dog's name.

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