On Tour: Up and Coming Bands of 2007

There are countless unsigned bands out there, but sometimes it can be hard to find those actually worth hearing. But through various people in our very own school community, I’ve found two bands that have the potential to become local legends.

The first such band is King Bee, a six-man outfit from the Detroit area, including yellow jackets Will Lassman (saxophone), Drew Machak (vocals) and Brian Burgoyne (Keyboard), as well as guitarist John Rake, bassist Steven Stuwart and drummer Elliott Rovinsky. Their self-titled demo was recorded just this year and is on sale from the band’s members. They are also auditioning to play in this year’s annual Variety Show.

The opening song, “Every Day,” introduces their unique style in full force, with great guitar licks reminiscent of Van Halen and even Hendrix. “The Things We Do” also illustrates their classic influences with a mellower jazz motif evoking jazz legend B.B. King. “Maybe You Do” closes the album on a sadder note with mournful vocals and uncharacteristically mellow drums accentuated by a balladic piano solo. All three of these songs show that the band know and respect their rock history, demonstrating a level of maturity and intelligence not normally visible in high school bands.

King Bee’s collective talent is at once both helpful and distracting. On one hand, each player shines in his respective field: particular highlights include Machak’s soulful vocals, Rake’s whining guitar solos and Rovinsky’s powerful fills. All of this talent being played at once can be a little distracting, but overall, King Bee’s album will impress the true classic rock fan.

The next band I’ve discovered comes to us from an entirely different city: Boston. Boston Lonely are a more traditional rock band whose five-song debut EP, entitled “OK…Panic,” was released last year and is available from services like MySpace and iTunes.

The band’s album opens with a short introduction track followed by the heartfelt ballad “She Sits At Home.” A piano is just barely audible in the first few measures of the track, but soon disappears beneath the thrashing guitars and wailing vocals. “City of Angels” takes a more upbeat approach to the alternative genre, taking cues from SR-71 and Yellowcard. The tracks “Red Rain Girl,” and “Graduation Day,” seem to pay homage to alternative/pop legends Third Eye Blind. The bookends of the album, “She Sits At Home” and “Be Your Man” are the most unique songs of the EP and show the band’s great creative abilities.

You may have already noticed what I love about these two albums: both are excellent modern tributes to prolific groups of the past. While King Bee pay their respects to the late greats of classic rock, Boston Lonely honor more modern popular rock bands. With so much of music taking a turn for the worst these days, it’s nice to see that some bands can still remember the greats while paving a path of their own. King Bee and Boston Lonely do just that with a method that has left me, and will have you, wanting more.

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