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Alukard

Five-piece local act Alukard proudly reps Miami, even dubbing its sound "305 rock," but it doesn't fit neatly into any of the city's music subscenes. It's too hip-hop for the punk and hardcore purists, too punk for the live hip-hop-heads, not hippie-ish enough for the fusion folks. And the hipsters, well, they wouldn't touch rap-rock with the proverbial ten-foot pole, usually. Yet Alukard has embraced its outsider status and somehow penetrated almost every musical fortress in town — even said hipsters' central hive, the Vagabond.

Chalk it up to persistence and a humble, stick-with-it attitude that is refreshing. But also chalk it up to the band's strange musical brew, which zips along with a high-octane energy that's amped up only by MC E. Grizzly's gravelly calls to action. Vocalist Level, meanwhile, handles the melodic singing parts and isn't afraid to sing a bit of New Wave or even a wistful little ballad for effect. It all comes across in a relentless live show that inspires crowd participation, even if it's in spite of that crowd's hipper self.

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