By Emily DiAlbert, Editorial Director
[Flyer by Liv Doepke]
A maximum-capacity crowd quickly packed The Union last November to watch six local bands duke it out for the title of crowd favorite, $150 cash and an in-studio recording session with ACRN. This year, our second annual Battle of the Bands is bigger and better than before. Emceed by Mike Carson of Mike’s Dog Shack, ACRN is bringing in eight bands for your listening and voting pleasure. Trust us, this battle is one you don’t want to miss.
— ACRN Media (@ACRN) October 7, 2019
Read more: ACRN Battle of the Bands 2018
First on the ballot are the Athens-based alternative rock group Cardboard Sailors, who are relatively new to the DIY scene and planning to soon release their first recorded single.
“We strive to put absolutely everything into every show,” the band says. “Dancing during every song, playing such sick bass solos that we have to worry about Collin [bass] catching on fire, singing our hearts out while praying we don’t pass out, Ted the Shredder [guitar] risking breaking strings constantly, and Zyad our drummer holding a fire extinguisher in his left hand, hosing down the fire we are starting while playing sick drums with his right.
“We are the worst of the worst rock stars living it up and hoping our thin cardboard sailboat doesn’t sink and bring us down with it.”
Next up are Friends For Sale, an indie-rock outfit also new to Athens that hail from Kentucky. The group is influenced by early 2000s emo bands like Bright Eyes, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, The Used and Death Cab for Cutie. They are currently recording their second album, One Last Song Before We Sleep.
“I’m excited to finally share my art with people who will be there to hear it and have fun listening to it,” singer Baker Legate says. “I’m looking to try and put on as best of a show as I can. My focus is never winning something but just being memorable and honest.”
Frankie Soleil, a woman-led alt-rock group from Columbus, are fourth on the bill. The group is fresh off of their first Midwest tour and are planning to release new music soon.
“We are looking forward to playing at a new venue for a group of people who may not even know who we are,” guitarist Bryan Ream says. “We’re also really excited to be playing new music that a lot of our following has yet to hear.”
Blank Faces, up next, are an alt-rock band from Athens and Marietta that formed this year “as the result of different lineup changes, musical deviations and influences.” According to their website, the group has a “leave it all on the stage” mentality and “aims to give their audiences the full-throttle type of show they would want to see.”
Playing sixth are Kaiba, a three-piece screamo act from Athens. Members Lane Moore, Emma Campbell and Jack Hampton competed in last year’s competition with Sweat Workers, the indie-pop group that took the crown.
“We’re very excited to play a different, and much louder, type of music through The Union’s sound system,” Moore says. “We’re not sure how we’ll be received, but we are excited and optimistic regardless.”
Do Not Resuscitate are a metal band from the Athens and Columbus areas. They have played Massive Tailgate at Columbus’ rock festival Sonic Temple (previously Rock on the Range) as well as during Athens’ Mill Fest.
“It is REALLY fun to play to a crowd who have never seen metal played live because when they see us live for the first time, all they can say is ‘Dude, that shit was rad,’” the band says. “All in all, we like it when people get into the music and go nuts during our sets, so none of that standing around BS. Get loose, bang your noggin and mosh it up a bit because that’s what it’s all about.”
Last, but certainly not least, are Gorilla Party, an alt-rock group that formed during the summer of 2019.
“Last year, I was a patron at Battle of the Bands. While there, I turned to my friends and said, ‘Next year, I will be up there—I promise,’” drummer Tyler Tompkins says. “It is really cool to fulfill that promise.”
ACRN’s second annual Battle of the Bands will be held at The Union on Thursday, October 10, with doors opening at 8 p.m. and music starting at 8:30. Tickets to the show cost $5, with a $2 cover for those under 21. Those who attend will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite act, and the winner will receive $150 cash and an ACRN in-studio recording session.