Mike Villano is one audacious and tenacious cat. Long before Fred Durst introduced Britney to his Limp Bizkit, the flamboyant former frontman of Chaos Theory was at the forefront of the ill-conceived mid-'90s rap-metal explosion in the Mile High City -- just waiting to become a household name. When that didn't happen and the band imploded, instead of joining the legions of neo-metal also-rans, who had crossed over once they realized their fifteen minutes was up, he stuck to his guns. In fact, rather than conceding that unless your name is Marshall, white men just can't rap, he did the polar opposite of what everyone expected: He recorded and released a full-on, no-holds-barred, straight-up hip-hop album. But Gameface Vision was unable to find the massive audience that Chaos had amassed, and Villano couldn't harness the same level of intensity as a solo act. As a result, he dropped out of sight, and it looked like folks had seen the last of the infamous Mike V. However, unbeknownst to the general population, Villano spent the interim period back in the lab, and I'll be damned if he hasn't completely reinvented himself. In an era when hybrid is a four-letter word, not only is Mike V back, but he's returned with a project that's darker, heavier and more compelling than anything else he's been involved with thus far. Alien Pimp (due at the Soiled Dove on Saturday, November 8, with Rubber Planet and Zero Some) is fresh off the showroom floor and ready to be ridden hard. And Villano has assembled a brilliant cast of characters to support his comeback. The septet, rounded out by guitarist Toby Santistevan, ace skinsman Kenny Ortiz (both formerly of Tribhanga), bassist Ben Martinez, keyboardist Benji Garcia and DJ Kemo, is stellar without Villano, so when Mike V takes the wheel of the pimpmobile, armed with enough charisma to choke a rhino, you'll be rollin' non-stop, until the motherfuckin' wheels fall off. -- Dave Herrera
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