The summer of 2014 will be known for two things in the Southern Oregon music scene: the birth of great albums from established local regulars, and for a new class of local bands that have sprouted in recent months.
The Rogue’s Local Band of the Year for 2013, 100 Watt Mind, just spent a weekend at a cabin in the Greensprings recording the follow-up to Out of Night, which earned Album of the Year from The Rogue in 2013. They plan to release an EP this summer and follow up with a full-length, titled Creatures, at the end of the year.
Other prominent locals hitting the studio this summer for fall/winter releases include 2013 Last Band Standing finalists Buckle Rash, and The Hollowbodys, as well as Frankie Hernandez and The Old Soul Parade.
In the meantime, while waiting for the new releases from your favorite established locals, there are plenty of new albums from local acts that you may not know yet, but likely soon will.
Among the best of the class is Wonder, Insanity, and the Color Black from the Tentacles, which features seven tracks of good ole’ fashioned punk rock that “consensually makes love to your earholes with our tentacles of sound,” or at least that’s what it says on the back of the CD. After experiencing what Big Boi once coined an “eargasm” while taking in their blend of punk rock attitude highlighted by moments of the vaudevillian zanity of ‘90s ska, I’d agree. The music is both cerebrally and gutturally enjoyable. Check it out for yourself, and buy a song or two if it moves you, at reverbnation. com/thetentaclesrockmysocks.
Another gem with a nod to the ‘90s comes from Grants Pass’ The Supplanters, whose sound is largely styled after political rap-rockers Rage Against the Machine. While still young and a bit from the technical precision and innovation of Tom Morello and company, The Supplanters still bring loads of aggression with their instruments and the rapping fury of front man “Move Wiser,” who fires off progressive political proclamations and punchlines at an uzi-like pace. If you’re a fan of hard-rock or metal, but prefer vocals you can understand—and lyrics worth understanding—their self-titled debut is definitely worth checking out and can be sampled at http://www.reverbnation.com/supplanters4.
One of the sweeter surprises of the season comes from the solo debut of heavy metaller Dave Wolfe McKey in the form of an “underground folk” project he calls Hungry Girls.Taking a cue from former Idle Threats frontman Kyle Cregan, who turned heads and stunned old fans with his own singer/songwriter folk project Delta Halos, McKey puts his softer side out there and the results are surprising—even to McKey.
“This is the most response I’ve gotten from any musical project I’ve done,” McKey told The Messenger. You can hear and download the new Hungry Girls EP at reverbnation.com/hungrygirls. McKey is working diligently on new material, amassing about an hour and a half long set worth of music, and hopes to have a full length album in the near future as well.
Photo: Kayla Goldfarb