I'm an East Coast gal. I've lived in the spaces between DC and New York my whole life, and it's given me a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to California (ie I make fun of it a lot). But California produces a lot of great things, and I can't deny that forever. Here's some of the best California has to offer.
Gates of Ivory
Gates of Ivory describe themselves as "a post hardcore/ neoclassical/ rock/ pop genre band," and they deliver on all fronts. Vocals are layered to capture both the sweet and the scary, guitars and drums display technical and emotional power, and there is a sense of both intense forward movement and restraint that keeps listeners entranced. These blends take the best of punk and metal, pop and rock, to create a thickly layered musical experience.
In the world of female fronted metal and hardcore bands, there is an uphill battle to be fought. Varna take up arms and lead the charge, doing all their work in traditional DIY fashion, while creating polished, high-quality music. Singer Tiana Woods has a voice that would succeed in any genre simply for it's tenacity and beauty, and over hard rock music, the result is incredibly powerful.
Eyeshine creates a rallying cry with every song-- a battle cry that forgoes the battle and goes straight to the victory. Rapped lyrics (ala Linkin Park but without the mid 2000s camp) add a direction to sung lyrics that feel as though they move up and down, not left to right. The rapid fire guitar notes and sliding strings are a refreshing move through alt rock, while the mad pace of the rhythm section brings in a sense of punk rock. Eyeshine never falls into one genre's parameters, and does better for it: there's not a moment of boredom in their discography.