Local Music Pick: Acid Reality Casualty Test

Local Music Pick: Acid Reality Casualty Test

In this ongoing series, we’ll be hearing from a different person every month, reflecting on Reno music projects, current or not so current, and what makes them special and personally important to them.

Jess Kitchingman reflects on Acid Reality Casualty Test

Searching for music that emulates the despair and dread of being lost in the bushels of sagebrush of the high desert without a drop to drink; a soundtrack for the magical mysticism of such a landscape’s haunting beauty?

I cannot think of a Reno band that captures this imagery more so than the psychedelic death band Acid Reality Casualty Test. A short-lived but incredibly well-done and well-loved project by the musician of many, Chris Monzon, whose devilishly enchanting guitar riffs and spell-casting vocals build the bones for a musical experience that would absolutely spook any coyotes or rattlesnakes in the vicinity. With Wyatt Law’s guitar that rips, shrieks, and slides Melora DuBose with screaming vocals and bass to boil blood, and (albeit one of my favorite Reno drummers) Garrett Caufield hammering out insanely clean and wickedly powerful drums, ARCT would leave any crowd completely stunned and buzzing from the high-velocity, perfectly-crafted slaying.    

While not necessarily disbanded for good, ARCT is in hiatus after Chris left one desert for another, moving to Tucson, AZ after the demise of the prolific Park Place back in November 2020. It truly feels like an honor to have seen ARCT desolate a set at both Park Place a home to band members, as well as my own at House on the Hill for a Halloween show back in 2018. From 40 Mile to Holland and every set in between, the two demos and one EP (available on Bandcamp) released by ARCT truly hypnotized me every chance I got to see them (and the EP cover art by Nathaniel Benjamin provides a pretty hypnotizing sight, too). With bated breath and maybe the help of a wisened warlock’s spell, I wait patiently for my pal Chris’ homecoming show of one of my favorite local bands. 

You can listen to Acid Reality Casualty Test HERE