Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Melty Melty

Bear with me on this one ...

Brian is a friend of a friend (Pdro). I met Brian while in college when he lived in the same dorm as Pdro. Brian and I had similar taste in music back then - a steady diet of bands like Queensryche, Extreme, and Dweezil Zappa.

Kevin is a friend of a friend (Schaff). I don't remember exactly when we met but I think it might have been in Schaff's basement, drinking cheap beer, and creating a mosh pit while listening to some undoubtedly heavy music. I may have been wearing a Fishbone t-shirt which caused Kevin to start up a conversation with me. Maybe I'm making this all up in my head. I'm not sure.

Sean is a friend of a friend (Jason). Sean took over Jason's job as a college rep for a major label back in the late '90s and he always hooked me up with free shit when I'd stop by his place. Though I know he was into some pretty hardcore indie-rock stuff, I also know that he's got a soft spot for atmospheric rock made by bands like Mogwai, Failure, Duster and Pinback.

Okay, so shortly after they graduated college in the early '90s, Brian and Kevin started playing in bands together - some memorable, some not so memorable - and they usually were some sort of odd funk-metal concoction (think: Primus, Skeleton Key, etc.). Kevin did the singing and played bass while Brian played lead guitar.

One day I'm over at Sean's apartment, probably filling up a bag full of promo CDs, when he tells me that he's meeting up with some guys to maybe play in their band. Now, Columbus is a big city with a ton of bands so I don't suspect I'll know the people he's going to be playing with but when he throws a demo cassette into his stereo, I recognize the people playing the music. Before I can say anything he says, "These guys call themselves Verbal Kint or something like that but I think they might change the name." Turns out it's Brian and Kevin's band only in this lineup, Brian has moved to lead vocals. Never in a million years would I have guessed indie rock kid Sean would join a band that at various points sounded like Primus.

Somehow it worked, and worked VERY well. The trio were joined by Nate (who wasn't a friend of a friend), called themselves Kopaz, put out two fantastic emo-tinged releases and nearly scored a major label deal. I'm not really sure what their status is right now. But, for turning a long story into a novel, I'll reward you with a few Kopaz songs even though this post isn't really about them.

MP3: "Pressure Suit" (Kopaz from Starboard Rail)
MP3: "Pick Your Battles" (Kopaz from Future Radiant Shine) (buy here)
MP3: "Bionic Arm" (Kopaz from Future Radiant Shine)

Though I've heard the name Melty Melty being tossed around for a few months, I just only recently discovered that the band consists of Kevin and Sean from Kopaz along with Sharon Kim (Frostiva). The band is currently working on music for an EP which they hope to release before the end of 2006 on the label that Sean helped start, We Want Action.

To whet your appetite, check out a sneak preview of the Melty Melty EP. I swear, since putting this on my MP3 player last week, I've listened to it an average of 5 times a day. Yes, it's THAT good.

MP3: "The Walls" (Melty Melty)

See? Now wasn't all the back story worth reading to get to the song?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Free Diamonds

I'm reviewing the Free Diamonds CD, There Should Be More Dancing, for the next issue of Skratch. Usually when I get a stack of CDs in the mail to review I'm lucky to find something that I'll listen to more than however many times it takes me to come up with 200 words about the CD. It takes a lot for me to be impressed these days but on first listen of this CD by the UK band Free Diamonds I was thinking, "Damn, if these guys weren't already signed to Deep Elm, I'd consider taking out a second mortgage on my house and starting a label just to get this CD into the hands of the kids." And, if you know anything about the type of music I like, this doesn't fit comfortably alongside most of the CDs in my collection. But ... damn ... there is something about the vocals which remind me a lot of whoever sang lead for Sweet ("Ballroom Blitz").

Recommended for indie rock fans who like to dance.

MP3: "Blind Boys" (Free Diamonds)

Buy the album here.

Friday, August 04, 2006


So if I've got this straight, Satisfaction is Smile minus a member and with a new name. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing. I just read an article written back when Smile was still a functioning band where singer Michael Rosas said that he wasn't happy with the band's last album, Girl Crushes Boy. Regardless of Rosas' opinion of the CD, there are really some fantastic tracks on the CD including "The Best Years" and "This Freaky Slow Dance" (somebody remind me to post these). Rosas was raised in the OC punk rock scene, even playing in the band Inside Out with future Rage Against the Machine singer Zach de la Rocha. Rosas slowly worked his way towards a more melodic pop-punk sound and started the band Smile which was, ever so briefly, signed to Atlantic Records. I caught the band live once, in Cincinnati, opening for Everclear and had the opportunity to interview Rosas in the '50s-themed restaurant next door to the club (The Garage) where the bands would play later that night.

Satisfaction, like Smile, seems to play in the same league as bands like Weezer, Ozma, and Rooney and they played a show a few months ago with my favorite band of 2006, The Shys, so they instantly win points in my book. Currently only an EP is available but I'm holding out hope for a full length by the end of the year.

Dig it.

MP3: "Nothing Oh Nothing" (Satisfaction)