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Citycop are a four-piece acoustic rock band from Ashtabula, Ohio. They play a really aggressive style of acoustic rock with a heavy dose of hardcore and punk influences. Their music is often fast-paced, complete with double-pedal breakdowns, tight guitar and bass work, and vocals that can easily switch from screams to a clear voice. The guitars too play a really nice mix of power chords and leads that can sound so pretty at times (check out their other tunes on Episode 15 and Episode 39). Their most recent release is the concept EP, Seasons (listen to the EP and their full-length on Bandcamp HERE), featuring five new songs of aggressive acoustic rock. It will be released on a one-sided 12" vinyl through Flannel Gurl Records. Citycop's song on this episode is titled, Free Bird Part II, off of their full-length, The Hope in Forgiving and Giving Up Hope.
2. Brilliant Red Lights
Brilliant Red Lights were a three-piece tech-pop band from Sacramento, California. During their active years as a band they at one point released free original music on a monthly basis. They were a busy band that kept active with writing new music. Some of these releases include the The Growth Strategies EP (check out a tune from that EP on Episode 25), Outstanding Conditions EP, and Huge Black Man EP. They also did a remix EP called, Tender Coloring Book, taking previously written songs and adding an electronic twist to them. And of course, a handful of acoustic tracks as well as songs written under another band name, Soft Comas (which featured the same three members of Brilliant Red Lights). Brilliant Red Lights' song on this episode is titled, The Exception.
3. A Second Strike
A Second Strike was a two-piece, Mike and Doug (but most of the time it was just Mike), acoustic project based in Corvallis, Oregon. They only released a few songs which are currently streaming and up for download on their Purevolume page HERE. They main singer of A Second Strike was also the lead vocalist for the punk-pop band, Robot Eyes (check out their Myspace HERE). During the two years that Robot Eyes were active, the four-piece released a self-titled EP and one full-length titled, Arrêt (2006), through Escapist Records. The band played their last show in January 2007. A Second Strike's song on this episode is titled, Jus En Bellum.
4. Beng Beng Cocktail
Beng Beng Cocktail are a three-piece band from France. Heavily influenced by punk, ska, hardcore, and hip-hop, they channel those sounds through their acoustic guitars as a style they have come to call crystalcore. Having formed in 2007, Beng Beng Cocktail has released an album, From the Swallow to the Bottle, been featured on several split records and on numerous compilations. The trio have also played as a four-piece under the name, Beng Beng Goes Electric, which included a drummer and electric guitars. Beng Beng Cocktail's song on this episode is titled, I Say Love, off of their album, From the Swallow to the Bottle. The song is also featured on the Riot Ska and Unknown Records compilation, Aceh: 10 Days Strong Mixtape.
5. Dead Frets
Dead Frets is the acoustic solo project of Jared Stinson, singer and guitarist for Southern California punk band, Sic Waiting (check out their song, Okay, I Lied, from their Anchors Ashtray album on Episode 13 or Episode 37). Stinson released his album, Sell Silence, earlier this year and went on a three week tour called Drunks Go Acoustic Tour along with Matt from Black Sails Western Shores and Brock from TheCore. The new album features eight songs of sweet original acoustic jams. The album opener, Selling Silence, sounds a bit on the gospel side, very country-esque, with some really wonderful vocal harmonies. The following track, Better Than I, showcases some tasty guitar leads and solos, courtesy of Dylan Blanton, fellow guitarist for Sic Waiting. Other guest musicians on the album include Ben Forman (drums on Sabotage Saves), Lisa Light (violin on Sabotage Saves), Scott Brown (Harmonica on The Road), and Darren DiMichele (tambourine). The harmonica on the song, The Road, is a really nice touch. It gives the song a bluesy, folk sound that works as a perfect closer for the end of the album. The album has a good set of songs, personal and intimate on some levels, sweet sounding and worth getting to know. Awesome debut. Dead Frets' song on this episode is titled, Sabotage Saves.