The 2009 WBRU Rock Hunt continues this week with six more bands on tap, following victories by the Viennagram and Baylock last weekend. The Viennagram used the early time slot to their advantage by slamming the door at Jerky's with a sweaty romp complete with an entourage of eye candy, a cast of characters who look like they've been living inside Rocky Point's House of Horrors, and mountains of feathers and confetti — apparently the bouncer pushing the broom didn't have a say in the voting. The reggae-roots-indie rock hybrid known as Baylock also punched their ticket to the final four showdown at Lupo's in early April. "We were definitely surprised we won, we were up against some great acts, and we're pumped to play Lupo's again," Baylock frontman Tim Crowley told me this week via email.
WORKING IT Sean P. Rogan.
So who wants a piece of Baylock and the Viennagram? Here's the scoop on the remaining six semifinalists throwing down this weekend:
CLUB HELL | Friday, March 20 | 8–11 pm | 18+
Members of THE INTEL (myspace.com/theintelri) hail from all over Rhode Island, but the six-man operation display plenty of tight-knit riffs and rhythms and big Blink 182-style hooks on their three-song EP, Your Secret Alibi, including the arena-ready "Call Me Milton Bradley Cuz I Got Game." Vocalist Justin McGovern told me the fans and judges can expect "high-energy pandemonium onstage."
Pay no mind to the modesty offered by GIRL HAGGARD (myspace.com/girlhaggard) bassman Aaron Jaehnig: "I think we are sort of in shock at how quickly things have developed and how positively people seem to be responding to what we're doing. We got together three months ago to jam, drink some beers and bang around, we were having too much damn fun to not start recording and booking shows." Leading lady Amanda Allan dishes out the country-fried rawk, and a song such as "Providence and Bourbon" should get Club Hell shaking. Girl Haggard will release an EP called Country and Eastern this summer.
FOR THE LOVE OF SLOANE (fortheloveofsloane.com, myspace.com/fortheloveofsloane) serves straight-up guitar rock complemented by the harmonious hooks from lead singer Elese Morrone, and their debut EP Bitter (available on iTunes) showcases the quartet's chops on "Dig Deeper," and "Parking Lot," and the title track deserves some airplay regardless of the outcome.
"We are treating this show like a big deal, because it is, and we realize this could open some big doors for us," Morrone said. "And meeting new fans is always great too. The more exposure we can get the more ears we can reach."
THE WHEELHOUSE | Saturday, March 21 | 10 pm–1 am | 18+
Named for a road in their hometown of Cumberland, FAIRHAVEN (myspace.com/fairhavenri) offers a distinct sound from four childhood friends who aren't afraid to let the good times roll. "We collaborate to create songs that have an upbeat, feel-good sound," said drummer Jared Gould. "It's energetic, piano-based melodic-rock with our own alternative edge." A unique cohesion of influences (particularly Incubus and Guster) is prevalent on their free debut EP, Catch; get the lighters up on the title track, with some bigtime piano alongside lead singer Alan Connell, who is confident about their opening slot down south. "We've played the Wheelhouse twice before and really enjoyed it, it's a great place with a good sound engineer."
Pilgrim High School grad SEAN P. ROGAN (seanprogan.com, myspace.com/seanprogan) is a notable veteran in the music biz, going on 14-plus years with reggae-meets-punk trendsetters Big D & the Kids Table, who will once again take the Warped Tour stage this summer. Rogan refers to his solo stuff as "great music to fall asleep or make out to," but had some breaking news (literally) when asked about being the only acoustic artist in the Rock Hunt: "A funny thing just happened at rehearsal — my guitar strap came off and I fucking dropped it — I broke my favorite guitar! Anyway, we decided to plug in and try the songs out in a more 'rocking' style, and it totally works." A quirky ditty like "Love Is a Beer" should have the judges taking note.