Six Akron bands we think you should know
by Floco Torres
It seems that at least once a week I learn about a new genre in Akron and this week, it’s “kaleidoscope rock.” Since it’s new to me, I’m going to assume that Jeff Klemm, Greg Meisenberg, and Mario Tonathy created this genre for their band “Maid Myriad.” Their record “With Haste On It’s Breath” molds the kaleidoscope sound throughout the hour long album on standouts like “Encircled” and “Dance By The Moonlight.” Jeff Klemm’s vocals are impressive from top to bottom and the musicianship is some of the better prog rock that I’ve heard even if we’re not calling it that. Maid Myriad has new LP coming soon and they’ll be hitting the road again in their big red van called “Strawberry Fields.”
(Photo courtesy of Maid Myriad)
Gabriel S. Schray bka “G.S. Schray” is a musician and producer who’s been at it for about a decade now. His new record “Gabriel” was released with London based label Last Resort after years of self released records. On “Gabriel,” all the instruments were played by G.S. which is pretty amazing when you listen to the genreless eight songs. One of the best displays of this is on “The Unused Detail” where I think I counted 8 different sounds throughout the track. At his show at Hive Mind back in March, I’m pretty sure someone mentioned to me that “Only a few of us know him around here but he’s pretty big overseas.” Don’t sleep Akron.
“Teddy & Keith” are an americana acoustic duo that have been putting their heart into the music for ten years now. Their song “Blank White Pages” is a good place to start on their journey of creating and the battle musicians fight while continuing to pursue their passions. Teddy & Keith also lead up the indie rock band “The Woovs” and the video for their “Sorry Song” features loads of cute dogs while Teddy apologizes about the evils of the world. These guys are always playing gigs and you can catch them on May 29 at Clay’s Park in North Lawrence, OH.
(Photo courtesy of the Teddy & Keith)
Brad Thorla, Ian Cummings and Walter Prettyman used all their last names to create the trio “Thorla/Cummings/Prettyman.” Now here’s where it gets tricky: That may not be their name the next time you see them. I caught their debut show at Annabel’s in April & what I can tell you is I’ve NEVER seen this setup before. Brad on bass guitar, Ian on drums & Walter playing his violin furiously through an assorted group of guitar pedals. The violin sounded like if Jack White was playing guitar during a robot and dinosaur battle (this is a good thing). Sadly though, I think Brad & Ian said the lineup is subject to change as Walter is moving soon. The upside is, whoever steps in may play another instrument in a sick and unorthodox matter. We’ll just have to wait and see.
(Photo courtesy of Brad Thorla)
Justin Cheuvront, Isaac Thomas and Eric Vaught are “Portage,” an emo/math rock band that lists their interest as “making music and eating Chipotle.” Most of their songs are about drinking and women problems like “Drunk, Probably” and “Dead Sobriety Poet,” and there are unhinged changes throughout the songs. There’s a genuine energy to lines like “Now there’s no point in drinking alone / When no one is sleeping alone” that make it completely acceptable to be in your feelings. Portage has been playing gigs regularly in 2017, so make sure to catch them if you get a chance.
(Featured photo courtesy of Portage)
I first saw Eagan Ammerman this past January at the open mic hosted by Gretchen Pleuss in downtown Akron at Uncorked Wine Bar. (You should check it out sometime—it happens every Tuesday.) Eagan displayed a ludicrous level of talent on the piano paired with unorthodox lyrics and an untroubled urgency in his vocal delivery. Experiencing this set me up perfectly for catching his Jazz/Lounge/R&B/Reggae project “Operations.” At the live show, you’ll hear anything from D’Angelo and Michael Jackson covers, to unreleased original material and A+ level jam sessions. You also never know who could end up sitting in, whether it be Justin Tibbs on sax (Acid Cats) or HR3 on drums (Bluelight), among others. Be on the lookout for the next Operations show this summer.