Mushroomhead have been added to three regional stops of the Slayer/Marilyn Manson Rockstar Mayhem Festival in late July, including the July 31 stop at Blossom. By then, the band's fifth album should be done.

"A lot of people have said it sounds a little bit like the first record and Superbuick, with some Savior Sorrow mixed in," says band leader/drummer Steve "Skinny" Felton. "[Singer] Waylon [Reavis] is really coming into his own. He's wailing. He's become the frontman that I hired him to be."

The title has been reported as The Slaughterhouse Is Back in Business, but the band says that phrase is just a slogan they've been using. The as-yet-untitled CD will be the second featuring Waylon, who co-fronts the band with Jeffrey Nothing (Hatrix). Former frontman Jason "J. Mann" Popson makes a guest appearance on one track.

The Mann song, Skinny says, is "really heavy. It's got the bounce. Then Jeffrey comes in with a big, melodic hook and J. comes in with his aggressive rhythm. The old Mushroomhead chemistry came right back."

Guitarist Dave "Gravy" Felton says the current lineup is more stable than it's ever been. "I think [the album is] a true collaboration this time," says Gravy. "It's got a real old-school vibe to it."

The album will be the band's second in a two-record deal with big indie Megaforce. Recording should be done by June, ready for mixing in July with a fall release.

Blues guitarist Austin "Walkin' Cane" Charanghat and acoustic jazz-folk ensemble the Smokin Fez Monkeys play the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave.) on Friday, May 8, to raise funds for travel expenses. The two are among a handful of American musical acts selected to play with more than 130 performers from around the world at the FIMU festival in France May 30 through June 1.

After a brief honeymoon, former Sappy Bell frontman John Sloboda and hard-rock band Vendetta Point have parted ways.

Akron's the Strange Familiar (which includes singer Kira Leyden and guitarist Jeff Andrea, formerly of Jaded Era) are still in Los Angeles, but they missed their April deadline to release their full-length debut. They're now shooting for a June or July iTunes release and planning an Akron show in July.


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