Up-and-coming indie bands take over The Haven

Isaac Vasquez of Los Ratones Atomicos plays bass guitar alongside guitarist Omar Rosas while Angel Apolinar is on drums and vocals, at The Haven in Pomona on Feb. 26. The live music venue also hosted performances by indie bands MALK and Autumnwood, free of charge. / photo by Natalie Medrano
Isaac Vasquez of Los Ratones Atomicos plays bass guitar alongside guitarist Omar Rosas while Angel Apolinar is on drums and vocals, at The Haven in Pomona on Feb. 26. The live music venue also hosted performances by indie bands MALK and Autumnwood, free of charge. / photo by Natalie Medrano

Liliana Castañeda
Editorial Director

Shoegazing, dimmed lights, distorted guitars and a crowd of about 30 were all a part of the free live music event that The Haven in Pomona hosted on Feb. 26.

MALK, Autumnwood and Los Ratones Atomicos, three up-and-coming bands, showcased their talent amid the enthusiastic onlookers and gathering swarm of music lovers.

Downtown Pomona has become the hub for up-and-coming independent artists.

These bands hope to make it big as well.

“There’s definitely been a lot of bands that have been asking us to play,” Rell Sol, music engineer at The Haven, said. “It’s great because Pomona is definitely one of the most interconnected cities out here.”

Sol said that The Haven has a rich history. It changed from a restaurant to a small jazz coffee shop, then rebranded their name to fit their new image. The now live music venue has hosted lots of diverse events ranging from concerts, weddings, memorials, and more.

MALK was the first band of the night to play, with influences of indie and bubble pop mixed in with dreamy vocalizations and ample use of guitar pedals. It was their second performance ever in front of a crowd, but they made sure to lure in passer-byers by calling them in to dance as they performed. They played classic songs like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli, which had pop chorus patterns with its catchy hook.

“I think COVID actually made our group stronger because during the pandemic, that’s when we released our EP and really produced stuff,” Marie Igano, MALK lead singer, said

MALK was followed by Autumnwood, who livened up the audience with indie crowd-favorite covers of artists like Surf Curse as well as their own original music.

Lead singer Carlton Anderson, referred to as “Incredi-boy” by his bandmates, said that it was a long-awaited show to finally be able to play at The Haven.

“It’s not even just the moshing, just seeing everybody get really into the groove and moving a little bit,” Anderson said. ”That was fun.”

With long and voluminous hair flowing in their faces, Los Ratones Atomicos made an entrance by head banging as they began to play the first song of their set. The drummer hyped up the crowd as they set up to begin their performance.

Los Ratones Atomicos frontman Angel Apolinar said he tried to incorporate his Hispanic heritage into their music by writing some of the lyrics in Spanish. He said he tries to demonstrate values that his Hispanic parents taught him, in their song lyrics.

“I don’t want to leave this behind… We’re young and we don’t want to think ‘why didn’t we do this?’,” Apolinar said. “Like, let’s leave a lasting legacy.”

For more information and tickets for upcoming events at The Haven, visit thehavenpomona.com.

Liliana Castañeda can be reached at liliana.castaneda@laverne.edu.

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Liliana Castañeda, a senior communications major, is editorial director of the Campus Times. She has previously served as arts editor, copy editor and a staff writer.

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Natalie Medrano, a sophomore photography major, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times.

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