Five Akron Bands We Think You Should Know
by Clay Chabola
Litter Party (formerly Krill)
The dynamic duo, Billy Palmer (guitar, vocals) and Jim Curtis (percussion), have been kicking ass and taking names for more than 10 years and have been putting out some insanely creative music all the while. As Litter Party, they have played many shows throughout the Midwest, and they currently reside exactly 50 percent in Seattle (Palmer) and 50 percent in Akron (Curtis). Although merely a duo, they put out a major sound. They haven’t played any live shows recently, but they are still collaborating cross country. “Other People’s Pushes” and “7766” are tracks worth mentioning. The former highlights Palmer’s fantastic lyrics, and the latter showcases Curtis’s rhythmic complexities and interesting choice of instrumentation. Check them out online at LitterParty.bandcamp.com and Facebook.com/LitterParty.
Dave Hammer’s Power Supply
Dave Hammer (guitar/vocals) is the man every musician wants to hang with. He has a soulful presence and exudes charisma and showmanship. His cronies include monster musicians: Chris Baker (drums) and Matt DeRubertis (bass), and they all make for a killer trio. Reckless guitar licks, impeccable drumming and prodigious bass lines are all wrapped up in the same wacky package. Unpredictable, unbelieveable and unassuming, this trio is ultimately unanalyzable. According to their website, they are “…spinning their own delicious web of soulfully jazz-infused, progressive blues.” They have four albums out, and a TBD show is coming up in July. Check ‘em out at: DaveHammersPowerSupply.bandcamp.com.
My friends in Akron always talk about how amazing it was to see The Black Keys live before they got huge. I’m telling you, go out and see the Royalties before they do the same. Royalties were created from a collaboration between Cleveland-based bands Inhale Exhale and Strangers to Wolves. With members Ryland Raus (vox / guitars), Cameron Perry (bass), Tyler Bucks (guitars) and Max Rivera (drums), they have a fantastic alternative rock presence. After listening to just a couple of songs on YouTube, it was enough to get me hooked. I will definitely pick up the band’s newest EP, released on April 9. They’ve been on the scene a while and have played multiple shows in both Cleveland and Akron. Check their Facebook page for details on upcoming gigs: Facebook.com/weareRoyalties.
Meow Meow Kitty
The only performers in the genre of “Dad Rock” that are crazy as hell. Brought back from the future in order to blow your minds and woo your wives. The one and only: Meow Meow Kitty. The dual frontman team of Maze Haze and SPACEMAN Bond first performed together in 2045 on the karaoke deck of their University Class Starcruzer. The group features Maze Hazlett (rap skillz/keyz), SPACEMAN Bond (vocals), A.J. Hazlett (guitar, keys and beats) and Ryan “Shirtless Circus” Konn (bass/backup vocals). With songs such as “Poundtown,” “Digital Women” and “Space Sick,” you know that you better buckle up because you ain’t in Kansas anymore. If you have a sense of humor and a penchant for the disturbed, Meow Meow Kitty is right up your alley. If you’re tired of the cookie-cutter muzak you hear on the radio, give these bastards a try. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart, or those easily offended by interesting music.) No shows in the near future, but miracles have been known to occur. Check them out at Soundcloud.com/MeowMeowKitty and Facebook.com/MeowMeowKittyMusic.
Chad Baker started playing in bars around Akron when he was 15 years old. He moved to Nashville in 2015 and has continued to hone his skills. He now travels across the country booking shows, not only in Nashville, but in places like Southern California as well. Baker (acoustic guitar/vocals) regularly plays with Dave Rudolph (lead electric guitar) and Mike Skinner (rhythm electric guitar). Baker has a fantastic voice, and he has nowhere to go but up. He may be young, but he brings a gumption and drive to his music that is rarely found amongst country artists these days. He has new music on the way and will be performing around Akron in June. If you’d like to know more, check him out at Facebook.com/ChadBakerCountry.
Clay Chabola loves the movie Waterworld. Yeah. I said it. Sue me.
(Featured image of Meow Meow Kitty, Photo by Jacob Bruckner)