Preview: ACRN Battle of the Bands with Boy Jorts, Rooftops, Friends for Sale, Velvet Green, Birds with Vertigo

By Kwase Lane, Features Editor

Flyer by Olivia Doepke

The fates have not been kind to any of us this year, but ACRN’s Battle of the Bands is still happening—albeit in a new, virtual form. There are five bands competing, and every one of them have recorded a 15 minute set for you to watch before choosing the winner. Each band’s recordings will be available on ACRN’s YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure on Friday.

Before you head over to see the video, here’s a brief look at each of the competitors:

Rooftops is an indie rock duo from Columbus headed by Brian Ream. Their sound is characterized by driving guitar melodies and hazy vocals that blend to form nostalgic bops. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can check out their single, “Falling”, released on Spotify on Nov. 6.

Next up is Velvet Green. The six-piece group is mostly composed of Athens natives and specializes in soulful, funk-tinged rock. Their YouTube channel is full of videos of past performances so you can get a feel for their style before the competition.

We also have fellow Athens outfit Birds with Vertigo volunteering to serenade us with its garage-rock sound. The band recently released their track, “Monday”, on all major streaming platforms. The song is packed with passionate vocals and satisfying percussion that’ll rattle your eardrums.

“We are stoked to be a part of Battle of the Bands and excited to see fellow local bands,” the group said.

Friends for Sale is an emo rock four-piece from Columbus, Ohio. Their sound is a mixture of emo rock and pop-punk with a focus on gloomy, wistful lyrics. Baker Legate, the group’s guitarist and vocalist, gave us some insight into their creative inspiration.

“Growing up, I listened to bands like Bright Eyes and Jimmy Eat World. Their lyrics always struck too close to home and helped me deal with a lot of the pain I was going through,” Legate said. “I try to put my entire heart into my lyrics and deliver as genuine of a message as I can. If there’s one thing I want to be with my music, it’s honest.”

Their latest project, Cheers!, released Oct. 6 and is available on Spotify, if you’re looking to add some 2000s-sound to your rotation.

Last but not least is Boy Jorts, a group whose music is linked more by their humorous nature than a sonic through-line. If you want to check out their antics before Nov. 20, you can head to their Instagram profile @Boyjortsmusic.

Battle of the Bands premieres on this Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. ET on YouTube.com/RockLobsterMedia. Come scratch your itch for live music with us. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason your favorite band walks away with their pockets a little heavier.

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