Three bands to watch in 2008

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Thorlock is a local band to keep your eyes on in the coming year. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

2007 has been an exciting year for local music, and 2008 looks to build on that success. But even though many local bands are worth mentioning here, these three in particular go into the New Year with a fantastic outlook and a great deal of momentum.

Fists of Phoenix

Already well-known around the area, the young progressive rockers are putting the final touches on a third album, due out in January. Their first two albums, "In the Events of 1961" and "Save the Swans," were completely different from each other, and guitarist Chase Wright said installment three follows that mold.

"The songs are epic ... like more progressive and long than before -- each one is probably 10 minutes long," Wright said. "It doesn't really fit into any genre, but when it rocks, it rocks ... and when it's soft, it's soft."

Wright said the band will likely use this album to grab a record deal, something he says FOP wasn't really pushing toward before.

Thorlock (Aaron Eisenhauer)

"We definitely intend to shop ourselves around harder trying to get signed," Wright said. "I think playing more in bigger cities will help us a lot. I mean, even though we're able to play downtown Cape, playing at the bars is kind of weird. We're just not really much of a bar band."

Fists of Phoenix plans to prerelease the new album on http://myspace.com/fistsofphoenix this week.

Thorlock

A bastard child of punk act Steerjockey (bassist Luke Jockey and drummer Kelty Love) and Rock Solid's Shiv Schiwitz on guitar and vocals, Thorlock plays what can only be described as heavy rock. Extremely heavy rock.

"I've heard us described as having a Black Sabbath-like sound," Schiwitz said. "I'd say it's more spooky, bare bones and a little doomy ... not metal per se but more bluesy. A lot of riffs are sludgy and hang out there ... kind of like old Rush or Zeppelin. But it's all just rock to me."

Schiwitz said that although the three-piece, cloak-wearing band hasn't played together long, everyone "clicked instantly." They also clicked with Fists of Phoenix, who Thorlock already opened for at Breakaway's and will again Jan. 18 at Schock's Pub in Scott City.

"We went to Thorlock's practice, and I almost threw up it was so powerful and monestrous," Wright said. "And I mean that in a good way. Those guys really have something going on there."

And what's in a name?

"Thorlock is a wizard that does good, and we are disciples of him," Schiwitz said. "He has since passed, and our music celebrates the demigod."

You can find Thorlock online at http://myspace.com/thorlocktheband.

Tipping Holly

One of the music scene's best kept secrets is about to tell on itself in the coming months.

Tipping Holly, a five-piece acoustic band, has already been around for more than three years.

Featuring a mandolin, violin and upright bass (among others), some might call them bluegrass, others would say they play more folk.

But the according to band, "I don't necessarily think of our sound as bluegrass, folk, acoustic pop or whatever else you want to call it ... maybe progressive folk," said Will Montgomery, acoustic rhythm.

"I like to think of it as an interesting blend of several styles where hopefully everyone can find something they enjoy. We have songs that sound like 'bluegrassy' stuff, some that sound like Middle Eastern chants, and some that you'd swear came off any number of '90s female singers' albums.

"We don't really stick to any certain style, but rather just do what sounds interesting to us as a band."

And the group hopes its first album release will sound interesting to some new fans.

"In the next several months we really hope to finish up our first full length CD, which is currently in the works," said Montgomery. "We'll have some really interesting players on the disc, some of which are signed to labels big and small."

Montgomery also says the band will be looking to get signed after they finish work on their CD.

Beyond that, he said, Tipping Holly will be touring.

You can catch Tipping Holly and their music online at http://myspace.com/tippingholly.

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