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Fort Wayne Rocks
Favorite Local Albums of 2017
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
I know you were pretty busy in 2017. There was a lot going on for all of us, really. Lots of internal and external crisis keeping our brains on full alert and giving us little time to sit down and relax a bit. You know, stop and smell the flowers, appreciate the small stuff, savor the moment, yadda yadda. I don't know, maybe your 2017 was a little more on the chill side. If so, congratulations. Grab a cookie on the way out the door. For the rest of you that maybe struggled a bit and are still healing from that existential crisis that was 2017, it's gonna be okay. I'm here with you. We're good.
So, if you might've been unplugged from local activities and the general coolness of what went on in Fort Wayne this past year I'm here to throw a few musical nuggets of goodness your way that you can find in your friendly local record store(or easily accessed Bandcamp page.) These bands I'm going to talk about are from the Fort. You can check out their albums and then more than likely check these guys and gals out on the weekend. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Community. Get out and meet some other like-minded folks. Have a beer, a slice of pizza, and put some local music goodness in your ears.
March On, Comrade : Our Peaceful Atoms
March On, Comrade have been making serene, heady post-pop for nearly three years now in the Fort. With each successive release they seem to up themselves and with last year's Our Peaceful Atoms they continue that trend. Taking elements of post-rock, electronic, dream pop, ambient, orchestral, and even progressive music March On, Comrade combine all these musical loves into something new and exciting. Tracks like "Terra", "Rodina", and "Westlake" sound towering yet there's a gentle center that comes thru with the vocals. A mixture of dreams and reality that give the listener something pure and original to get lost in.
Trophy Club : Sports Cars
Trophy Club is comprised of guys from bands like Meat Flowers, Void Reunion, The Snarks, and Microwave Miracles. Each of these bands have a very distinct sound that all go in different directions, but when these four get together as Trophy Club all those individual styles and sounds come together wonderfully. Tracks like "The Man From Parts Unknown", "A Ghost Eating Life Cereal", and "Electric Blanket" display great pop hooks but never get too schmaltzy. There's still an element of eclectic writing and a DIY aesthetic that comes through the great production courtesy of Jason Davis at Off The Cuff Sound. Sports Cars is a short and sweet punch of quirky pop songwriting that comes across as genuine and from an honest place.
Horizon Arcs : Anybody Listening
Horizon Arcs mine a very specific time frame of alternative rock. It was a time in the early-to-mid-90s when Stone Temple Pilots were on top(when Scott Weiland wasn't in jail for drug use) and a younger Dave Grohl released a 4-track demo tape to massive fandom and made rock and roll history. Other bands like Tonic, Everclear, No Doubt, Goo Goo Dolls, and Collective Soul were being heavily played on Extreme 96.3. Anybody Listening is a love letter of sorts to the heyday of 90s alternative. The guys in Horizon Arcs made a solid, well-produced heavy rock record that begs to be played as loud as you can crank those speakers in your Hyundai. "Saving Face", "Fast Forward", and "Sulpher" need massive volume, while "Would It Kill You" and "Eraser" bring things down for those quieter moments. If you ever drove home after one beer too many singing along at the top of your lungs to "Big Me", this album is for you.
The Snarks : Dickin' Around With The Snarks
Whenever I see the Snarks have put new music out I get excited. This Fort Wayne punk rock staple have been putting out solid punk/pop music since 2014 and each time they drop new music it's a solid shot of fun and hardcore that feels like a mainline of the good stuff with the force of the Descendants but the playful pop vigor of Buzzcocks. This year The Snarks dropped a two-song digital single called Dickin' Around With The Snarks. It's a one-two punch of "Love Is Stupid(And I Hate Its Existence)" and "D.B.G". If you're familiar with The Snarks then you're going to love these songs. If you're not, then you will soon love these songs. Everyone needs some Snarks in their life, go grab these tracks. And then download their other albums. You're welcome.
Slow Dakota : Rumspringa
P J Sauerteig may well live in New York, but his roots are still very firmly planted in the musky soil of an Allen County cornfield. On his newest album as Slow Dakota titled Rumspringa, Sauerteig writes a more narrative group of songs, taking each song and turning them into these character pieces about folks in the Midwest. He also goes from the baroque pop of his last album The Ascension of Slow Dakota to a more dance-y, electronic feel this time around. The results are a riveting, five-song concept album about small town characters with big city dreams.
If you haven't heard any of these, get out and check them out. Make one of your 2018 resolutions to check out more local bands. They'll make your life better. Promise.