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Meet the Battling Bands

Twelve student musical acts will compete in Movin’ On’s Battle of the Bands this Saturday at 9 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Only two will leave with the knowledge that they’ll be opening for the 2012 lineup on Friday, April 27.

But before you go out to see these battling bands, here’s a little more information on each act.

Dave Joyce
Hometown: Pittstown
Genre according to Facebook page: “Rock.”

Dave Joyce has classified himself as “rock,” but there is certainly a Southern twang to his song “Where You Going.” I would have to say that the most impressive part of Joyce’s performance is his voice. If he busts out a Springsteen cover, all bets are off ladies. You’ll probably fall in love.

Additional info can be found  here.

Michael and the Mooncussers
Hometown: Philadelphia
Genre according to website: “a unique style of alternative folk rock.”

Folk music is making a huge comeback, and it’s thanks to acts like Michael and the Mooncussers. They put a light, pop spin on this classic genre – just listen to “Boy You’re Strange.” I don’t know if they have this competition “in the bag,” but they certainly have the talent to take it.

Additional info can be found here.

Hustle the Nobles
Hometown: State College
Genre according to Facebook page: “Progressive Indie Pop Rock.”

This band intrigues me. I can’t tell if I like them or not, but their music is pretty catchy (sort of like Phoenix with a twist of Owl City). Check out “A Brief Stent” and “Progress.” I would venture to bet that their live performance is pretty good.

Additional info can be found here.

One Shot Nicky
Hometown: State College
Genre according to Facebook page: “Country/Folk/Blues/Rock.”

With influences such as Parsons and Clapton, One Shot Nicky is sounding good. Alex Pianovich has a solid, rough voice (dare I compare it to Caleb Followill?) and the guitar playing is excellent (check out “Stone Awake” and “Andalusia”).

Additional info can be found here.

The Crooked Oaks
Hometown: Hanover, PA
Genre according to Facebook page: “Folk Rock.”

This is folk rock with a definite country influence. But, when people hear “country” they tend to shy away. The Crooked Oaks make it enjoyable with songs like “Working Man.”

Additional info can be found here.

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Genre according to Facebook page: “Folk/Acoustic/Indie.”

There’s a lot of folk acts in this battle. They all have their own pros though. I think Brethren’s strength is in their harmonies. They sound great on “What You Do” and “You Seem to be Alright”  just relaxes me.

Additional info can be found here.

Free Rollercoaster
Hometown: State College
Genre according to Facebook page: “folky acoustic ukulele german pop.”

Any band that has a ukulele in it is alright in my book. These guys throw off some serious Mumford & Sons vibes (“Gridlock”) and I’m not hating it. You’ll be stomping your feet for this act.

Additional info can be found here.

Element of Surprise
Hometown: Ebensburg, PA
Genre according to website: “alternative/indie/pop.”

Here’s something for the mainstream audience. Element of Surprise will appeal to a wider audience with songs like “Lonely is Just a State of Mind” and “Holding on to Nothing.” And a female vocalist always gives a band room to experiment with certain cover songs (fingers crossed for “Rolling in the Deep”).

Additional info can be found here.

Atlas Soundtrack
Hometown: State College
Genre according to website: “elements from many genres including Hip-Hop, Reggae music, and Rock and Roll.”

While many of these bands are fairly well-known in the area, I think Atlas Soundtrack is a name almost everyone has heard. They are dangerous with their cross between genres like reggae, rock, and hip hop (“Bad Seed”).  Think Incubus with a sweet MC.

Additional info can be found here.

Wondershop Showdown
Hometown: Philly, Pittsburgh, DC, NYC
Genre according to Facebook page: “ska/progressive/punk.”

Ska bands always get me excited ever since I heard “The Impression That I Get.” They have a great horn section, but I don’t know if Mike Barker has the vocal chops to really own the audience. Either way, I dig their name.

Additional info can be found here.

Keegan Tawa
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Genre according to website: “Progressive House – Dubstep – Top 40.”

I’m really not the best person to be writing about Keegan Tawa, simply because I hate house music/dubstep. Having said that, “Gravitate” gets me moving, and it’s clear that this artist has talent.

Additional info can be found here.

Flashback Forward
Based out of State College.
Genre according to website: “With sounds earning descriptions of psychedelic rock to 90’s pop, it is hard to label this group’s music; but then again, what good are labels?”

Another really sweet name. This act is hard to label (see above), but in “Surrender” I feel a heavy Chris Martin (of Coldplay) vocal influence with an extremely danceable guitar riff. Very interested in this band.

Additional info can be found here.

With the continuing popularity of dubstep, Keegan Tawa seems to be a definite early favorite. However, in my opinion, nothing can beat a full band performance. There are multiple folk acts as well, and thanks to popular acts like the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons, listeners are getting into that genre. As for my personal picks on who will win, I have Atlas Soundtrack at the top for sure. After that, One Shot Nicky because of the awesome vocals and Flashback Forward because, like I wrote above, they’re interesting. But, who the hell am I? It’s anyone’s contest to win, so go out and support your favorite act.

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About the Author

Shawn Christ

I am a junior majoring in print journalism. I am American. I am a Lion.


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