Since Mitt Romney has all but locked up the presidential nomination, I decided to discontinue the series of primary-based #TuesdayTop10. But when the primaries are being held in my home state of Connecticut, I have to showcase the nutmeg state. I look at my personal top 10 of favorite bands from the land of steady habits.
It is funny how the blog world works sometimes. Ceschi was promoted to me by his label, Fake Four Inc. At the time I had never heard the experimental rapper even though he was based merely 30 minutes from where I lived. I quickly got familiar when I reviewed his album, The One Man Band Broke Up which teetered between hip hop, psychedelic folk, and experimental pop.
MP3: Ceschi featuring Astronautilis “No New York”
09. The Backyard Committee
The Backyard Committee sort of cheat to be on the list because I played bass with them for a few shows. They are the brain child of CT pop-punk veteran, Lucid Mike who created the band as a chance to take it slow(er). No matter the speed of the music, his pop-songwriting sensibility is inescapable.
MP3: The Backyard Committee “We Can’t Stay”
08. The Halo Jump
Long defunct post-emo band, The Halo Jump ruled my little life in 2002. Comprised of members from Lorenji Shift, The Halo Jump were seasoned veterans in a mostly high school dominated scene. Their musical chops and song writing prowess were obviously far beyond most of what was going on in the scene in the early aughts.
MP3: The Halo Jump “My Air Conditioner”
Kennesaw was birthed around the same time as The Halo Jump but became known to me slightly later. Their post-punk sound was well developed and complex not necessarily relying on the stand verse-chorus-verse-chorus format. If their construction or musicianship did not make them standout, their three vocalist approach certainly was an oddity.
MP3: Kennesaw “Phantom Parameters”
06. With Honor
In the mid-2000s, people thought Nutmeggers were lucky to live in Connecticut. It was the impression that the titans of the CT hardcore scene headlined by Hatebreed and With Honor played shows together every weekend. The truth is, I never saw a show featuring both bands but I saw plenty of With Honor shows. Although I was never much of a straight hardcore fan, there was something invigorating about With Honor’s combination of gang vocals, punk influence, and posi-lyrics. They were my one hardcore indulgence.
MP3: With Honor “Rethink, Return”
05. The Flaming Tsunamis
When I was in high school, The Flaming Tsunamis were in high school. Unlike the Flaming Tsunamis, I did not have a legion of fans. Although they started off as a ska band, they ventured into skacore, then hardcore, then mathcore. Their official facebook lists their genre as “confused/ing” which seems appropriate. For those who knew them, whatever genre they were always one of the best bands in Connecticut.
MP3: The Flaming Tsunamis “Opus”
04. Spring Heeled Jack USA
Connecticut is one of the few places in the country where ska is still profitable and that is in large part to Spring Heeled Jack USA. Hot on the heels of Reel Big Fish‘ breakthrough success, SHJ seemed to be poised to be the next to take the leap. The video for their single “Jolene” started getting MTV play when their record label suddenly went belly up. With no label support, the group quickly disbanded.
MP3: Spring Heeled Jack USA “Jolene”
03. Dashboard Confessional
Before Dashboard Confessional was a band, it was just Chris Carrabba’s pseudonym for his solo acoustic project. Although I was not always in love with his music, there was a certain amount of bravery that goes along with standing on stage with an acoustic guitar singing hyper-personal lyrics.
MP3: Dashboard Confessional “Screaming Infidelities”
02. Hot Rod Circuit
Although the band relocated from Alabama, Hot Rod Circuit embraced Connecticut as their home. I had the privileged of interviewing the band in 2002 and they discussed their love for New Haven’s food scene and the Connecticut’s small town feel while being equidistant between major metropolises like New York and Boston. For my purposes, they were a national band from my home state that seemed like normal people and made themselves accessible to fans.
MP3: Hot Rod Circuit “The Pharmacist”
Although Connecticut can boast being the childhood home for Rivers Cuomo, Moby still feels like the biggest artist from Connecticut. Maybe that is because Moby had a local impact being part of several hardcore/punk bands in the mid-80s. Although by the time he got “big” he had retreated to New York, it always feels like a piece of Moby resides in Connecticut.
MP3: Moby “Run On”