- Walter Novak
- The Black Keys (Pat Carney, left, and Dan Auerbach), February 25 at the Agora.
Don Austin, the face of Akron hardcore since 1999, is breaking up. Drummer Sean Spindler is moving to California, making him the fifth rhythm-section player to depart.
"Out of loyalty to Sean, and given the fact that we pretty much accomplished all that we are going to, we decided to call it a day," says singer Larry Gargus.
The band fiercely adhered to old-school style, from its music to the physical format of its small-batch releases. The quintet played in short, fast, violent outbursts, wielding a two-guitar crunch without a hint of melody. Three seven-inch vinyl EPs and the recent Theatre des Grand Guignol CD anthology drew positive reviews, and the group turned some heads on tours of the eastern seaboard, but never pursued the band as a full-time project. Members plan to record an LP of new material before breaking up. Then Gargus and guitarist Chris Bott will form a new group.
A series of farewell shows kicks off this weekend, with sets Thursday, March 2, at Moe's Tavern (1740 East 17th Street) and Saturday, March 4, at Annabell's (784 West Market Street, Akron). The group's final show takes place Saturday, April 8, at the Lime Spider (207 South Main Street, Akron).
"Their delivery has an honesty most bands can't make tangible," says Dave Johnson of Soulless. "Anyone with the audacity to play that style of music in this day and age is equally hard-nosed and self-indulgent. Those guys live and breathe their music, and should never be compared to the contrived glut of scenester bullshit. They will be missed."
· Ripper Watch/Morris Report: The first audio snippet from the self-titled debut of Tim "Ripper" Owens' Beyond Fear is now available online at www.timripperowens.com. "Scream Machine" features the Iced Earth/ex-Judas Priest singer's trademark glass-shattering vocals and a vintage thrash riff. Building up to the album's May 9 release, the band tours Europe with Anthrax in April.
Owens has also collaborated with former Warrant guitarist Billy Morris on a cover of "Hey Jude" for an upcoming all-star metal tribute to the Beatles, to be produced by metal veteran Bob Kulick (Kiss, WASP). Quiet Riot has tapped Morris to play a string of live shows through this summer, starting with a March 23 concert at Erie's Cell Block II. Morris will also play with Skid Row at a handful of gigs this spring.
· Welcome to Bangkok has split with guitarist Rudy Geis. Bassist Attila Csapo (ex-Amps II Eleven) has moved to guitar, and the band is now auditioning bassists. The gritty rock crew is moving ahead with its full-length debut, which is slated for an April 14 release.
· Cable-access show The Unsigned is accepting video submissions for its second season. The Cleveland showcase is screening videos, documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and graphics-enhanced clips from unsigned bands of all genres. The show is also accepting CDs for a record-review segment. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/theunsigned.com.
· Colin Dussault's Blues Project is recording two upcoming shows for use on a live CD, rolling tape Friday, March 3, at the Northside (111 North Main Street, Akron) and Saturday, March 18, at Main Street Café (17 Public Square, Medina). The disc will be the band's ninth in its 17-year run.