THE PARAMORE IS . . . York.
Round One of the 2011 WBRU Rock Hunt semi-finals is in the books, following a runaway victory in Newport and a narrow escape at the Spot Underground last weekend. Six more locally-culled artists will have at it this weekend, vying for the final two spots in the final four, which will take place at the Met on April 8.
Of the 90-plus bands that entered the competition, 12 were chosen as semi-finalists and four were dismissed last weekend. Brother-sister duo Shawn and Tracy Garrity scorched the field with a searing half-hour set that had everyone up on their feet. Franklin, MA lads the Keeping were dapper enough and definitely (and oddly enough) took top honors from most supporters in attendance at the Newport Grand ballroom, but neither the piano-pop quintet nor the rap-funk-rock troupe Haze could compete with VulGarrity's brand of groove-metal. By the end of the night the other two bands were either watching in awe or dancing along (not surprisingly, we three judges had VulGarrity all the way).
KICKIN’ Amil Byleckie.
The following evening the Spot Underground was shoulder-to-shoulder prior to the 9 pm start, and local newcomers Sienna (former Rock Hunt entrants the Intel plus new lead vocalist Viana Newton) rocked harder than anticipated from the start, though Newton's dramatic stage entrance nearly resulted in her catching a clothesline from her guitarist. Last One Out was a poppy blend of smiling mugs and catchy hooks; "Life Shark" and "Glue" could easily become 'BRU staples. The PC grads were energetic and won over their share of the room. Bad Bromance finished the night, and word is Last One Out just barely squeaked it out (I had Sienna by one point) in one of the more closely-contested Rock Hunt semis in years.
VulGarrity and Last One Out await this weekend's contenders, with three acts slated for Firehouse 13 on Friday and the final three semi-finalists at the Ruins on Saturday. Here's a glimpse at what's in store, in order of appearance:
YORK + THE DEATH OF PARIS + AMIL BYLECKIE BAND | Friday, March 25 @ 9 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central Street, Providence | 18+ | $5 | 401.270.1801
YORK (reverbnation.com/thisisyorkmusic): North Attleboro is in the building! York kicks off a night of relative newcomers, led by dual vocalists Dan Pawlowski and Emily Rickard. Their first single has been getting some airplay locally. As noted by one 'BRU staffer, the band is "two parts Paramore and one part the Academy Is . . ."
HARD POP The Death of Paris.
THE DEATH OF PARIS (thedeathofparis.com): Pulsing alt-rock (deemed "hard pop" on their site) with big choruses led by Nathan Harrop, who teamed with the band in late 2009. The Death of Paris have already played to packed crowds with friends Sleep City and Kodiak Attack.
AMIL BYLECKIE BAND (iamamil.com): Elctro-synth-dancefloor madness (as if the pic didn't give it away). With cuts like "Delirious" and "Gneiss," Byleckie could easily come up with a W. A pair of Byleckie Band EPs are available at his site, and it sounds as if he means business this weekend — even with that shirt.