local bands

facebook.com/madanthonyband / photo by Nikita Gross Photography

It's been just over 14 months since Cincinnati's heavy-duty rock band Mad Anthony was in a terrifying accident outside of Evansville, IN that brought their van, and their tour, to a screeching halt.

Guitar player Adam Flaig escaped with minor injuries while lead singer Ringo Jones suffered several head lacerations. Most affected by the collision was drummer Marc Sherlock who sustained a C-4 vertebrae fracture along with serious cuts and bruises and spent time in a cervical collar. The tour van was destroyed as was some of the band's equipment with Sherlock's drum kit taking the heaviest damage.

So what does a band do when they find themselves standing on the side of the road, wondering what just happened and considering themselves lucky to still be alive?

umin: clast

Aug 26, 2014
uminmusic.com

clast, as in iconoclast, is the name of the new album from Cincinnati's umin, and the title could not be more appropriate. 

The word 'clast' comes from the Greek klastos meaning broken -- and those familiar with umin's work will immediately recognize how poignant this title is. At first listen, the music feels hectic, agitated and, well, fragmented. This is because umin primarily composes his songs on the baritone ukulele. He then digitally samples, cuts, loops and stretches the pieces into a wild and immersive collage of sound. Even the song titles are often mere fragments of words.

Prim: Older

Aug 19, 2014

With very little fanfare, Prim has released one of the best local pop recordings of the year.  

When you take time to consider the roster of talent in this band, it is not surprising. Alessandro Corona [Krkgrd], Jake Langknecht [The Never Bird] and Ian Gullett [Diet Audio, Smasherman, Photo Electric] weave a delightful tapestry of soulful melodies, and they do this in conjunction with the amazing Molly Sullivan [No No Knots] who has quickly become one of the supreme voices and songwriters in Cincinnati.

Founding Fathers

Aug 12, 2014

I was profoundly confused when I first listened to Founding Fathers. Here is a band that lists, among their 'influences' such groups as Ween, Beck, Wilco -- and to which other reviewers had compared to Talking Heads. My first impression of Founding Fathers was of a band that makes booty-shaking, bone-deep funk that just doesn't wash off. The first track on their latest CD, a song called "Stop Drop and Roll,"  is magnificent good-time party music to be sure but -- Ween?  Wilco? I wasn't getting it.

I have not had the opportunity to see the band live yet so... maybe I am missing something.

Gazer: Fake Bulbs

Aug 5, 2014

For those unfamiliar with the band Gazer, it may be best to describe them in their own words: "post-punk with the intensity of hardcore [and] inconsiderate blasts of noise."

Last October, when I started listening to Gazer's Phone Commercial EP, they quickly became one of my favorite local punk bands. The sound on Phone Commercial is reminiscent of the industrial Midwestern post-punk of the 90's like Big Black and Brainiac  - but Gazer has managed to take that sound, intensify it, and make it significant to the 21st century.

Public Housing

Jul 29, 2014

With this review, my intention is to get you to take a few steps through the looking glass into a Hellraiser-like universe where pain is beauty, ugliness is music and noise is pleasure. Looming ominously in a filthy back-alley somewhere in this universe is the band Public Housing.

ADM: Another Dying Motive

Jul 22, 2014

I am overjoyed by the fact that I am now starting to review some local bands' next releases - meaning that I have a better frame of reference to speak to an artists' music by being able to compare it to what they put out (and which I reviewed) last time around. This is no way implies that I feel that I have started to exhaust the roster of local musicians that are creating and putting out music. On the contrary, I think this reinforces the perception that the local music scene is a quite vibrant and very active animal.

My first 'comparative' review came this spring when I received an advance copy of Buffalo Killer's Heavy Reverie. In late June I got my hands on the soon-to-be-released 12" of new music from Gazer (the review for which will be coming in early August); and most recently I was able to score local electronic artist ADM's latest album Another Dying Motive.

Heavy Hinges has been described as "a sublime ruckus… a beautiful collision of rock, soul, gospel, and western."  In truth, what Heavy Hinges is is a well-balanced assemblage of rock, pop, country and traditional music with roots that run quite deep into the music of gospel choirs, chain gangs and saloons.  They have a reputation around town of putting on very powerful live performances and have established themselves as one of Cincinnati's must-see bands.

The group has just emerged from the studio with their debut album Mean Old City.  Recorded by Matt Hueneman at Newport's Audiogrotto and mastered by Ashley Shepherd*, Mean Old City is the band's attempt to bottle some of that on-stage lightning.

The Mitchells

Jul 8, 2014

Delicate and crisp -- balancing electric guitar with banjo, cello and more eclectic instruments -- everything about The Mitchells' self-titled debut album says indie-pop. The music is light and drifting and would play perfectly as the soundtrack to the next Marc Webb film. It is hard to listen to this album and not imagine yourself leaning out the car window and letting the wind push firmly against your outstretched palm.

I have a message for those who enjoy listening to live music of any kind - and for those who book the venues that host such events - get to know Elk Creek. They are a group of very talented musicians that make some exciting new music and they sound really, really good together.

The story of Elk Creek is one of reunion. Aaron Price [vocals], Jeremy Brown [harmonica], and Brad Smith [guitar] all grew up together and used to play in band called Hector who had a practice space in Trenton, Ohio located on Elk Creek Road. Two years ago when they 'got the band back together' they added Travis Estell on drums and Nick Whittenburg on bass. They quickly noticed that their sound, style and songwriting had all matured. The end result of this reunion is the 7-song EP entitled Greenfield Project.

Do you remember Carnivàle - the creepy and surreal, yet sensual HBO series about a roving band of sideshow performers in the American dustbowl? Imagine that that show was made into a Broadway musical. Now, imagine that Jack White, David Lynch, Jello Biafra, Crispin Glover and Tim Burton all collaborated to write the score for this play, based on the writings of Syd Barrett. That will give you a rough idea of my first impression of Pop Goes the Evil's new album Love Stained Heart.

To put it another way - I have absolutely no idea where to begin with this review. There is so much going on in this album that it's like trying to nail green Jell-O to a tree.

Mangrenade is the type of band that can spit a mouthful of the angriest venom in your face and make you smile about it. Their music assaults you with a 'Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse' attitude.

Severed Part One, their just-released project on Red Moth Records, is a pretty drastic and heavier departure from their 2013 EP, Lions in the Parking Lot, which was far smoother and groovier. Severed is much more ferocious and propelled by head-banging power and fist-pumping energy. This 'new sound' for Mangrenade can easily be likened to late 1980's West Coast heavy metal.

David Behle: The Message

Jun 10, 2014

What does it mean to be a dad?

With Father's Day approaching, as a dad myself, I know that it is a title of honor that is not granted by the simple biological act of reproducing one's genetic code. I also know that it is a laurel that requires great humility to wear. Not only are all father's judged according to their offspring, but by a standard set by every father before them. To paraphrase from a bumper-sticker: most any male can be a father, but it takes special character to be a dad. All dads want to be great, but only truly great dads acknowledge that they often fail more than they succeed. Dad-hood requires many choices. Dad-hood itself can be a choice. 

What started as a plan among friends to throw a great party has blossomed into a celebration of local music that now enters its seventh year.

The Northside Music Festival helps to launch the summer music festival season by presenting 18 bands on 3 stages for 2 nights at Northside Tavern - all for free.

Music does not recognize borders; it doesn't care where you come from or where you call home -- and though there is a lot of attention being paid lately to the Cincinnati local scene, there is plenty great music being made on 'the other side' of the Ohio river.

Sheet Ghost is a heavy post-punk quartet from Independence, KY who just recently rebranded themselves after deciding that their former name, Come Here Watson, no longer reflected their music or their style. This change in identity came as the band was assembling their new EP, Silent Ritual.

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