There was a period in our country’s history when selling and making alcohol was illegal. It was the Prohibition era, and it overlapped with the Great Depression. This overlap was unfortunate, because the Great Depression was a time when America needed a drink the most.

Fast forward to 2010, in the post-Bush years, when even responsible people have a hard time finding work. Now, people are allowed to drink, but what they really could use is some Prohibition. Well, Prohibition Rose that is, the sexy quintet rock ’n’ roll group who give you a real shot of life.

This no-nonsense ensemble, with a thundering, brooding sound, was named after a famous woman who ran bootlegging in the Portland area during the Prohibition era. According to the band’s Web site, “She had what everybody wanted, but remained a mystery at the same time.” The band members say they feel that this description also fits them.

Emily Belgard is the frontwoman, and her style seems to be modeled after the Prohibition Rose legend, as she promises a lot, without ever going overboard. Swathed in minimal rock garb, she is beautiful and frightening at the same time. She devours the mic and sings with a growl that settles in nicely with the sound that the band, staffed by guitarist Tanner Bean, drummer Andy Bonura, bassist Mia Heldt and guitarist Erich Lennig, lays out for her.

This distinct rock sound started in Oklahoma, with cousins Bonura and Bean playing music together growing up.

"We pride ourselves on being a really tight unit musically," says Bean.

Belgard's rhythmic connection with the music may come from her experience playing as a bassist in previous bands. She presents the crowd with an encyclopedia of undulations, gyrations and expectations. Her bacchanal dance moves are reminiscent of rock god Scott Weiland from Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots.

Coincidentally, the band is connected with Velvet Revolver. Revolver's drummer, Matt Sorum (who also played for Guns N' Roses), is currently serving as a sort of professional mentor for Prohibition Rose. He produced their first CD and is helping them put a tour together. This, and Belgard’s evocations of past rock gods, does not interrupt the collective cool of Bean, Bonura, Heldt and Lennig, as they immerse themselves in the dark, brooding and layered quality of music that they export.

“Each song will take you on a ride with peaks and valleys,” Bean says of the music, which he has a hand in writing.

So far, Prohibition Rose plays around Hollywood, hitting up historic venues like the Viper Room, but they are looking to start playing out of Los Angeles more often.

Prohibition Rose embodies rock ’n’ roll in a classic way without ever for one second getting boring. The good news, for current and future fans, is that they show no signs of stopping.

“We’re working on some new music, refining our craft and trying to become the best live band we can,” Bean says.

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