MEET THE BAND: Matthew Roads (vocals), James Begin (trombone/vox), Bobby Chronic (guitar), Darrick Willis (drums), Pags (bass), Tim Younessi (sax), Derek McBryde (trumpet)
STRAIGHT OUTTA KENT: Tropidelic formed in 2008 in Kent and built a following after self-distributing over 10,000 free copies of its self-produced first EP, Rebirth of the Dope. After releasing their second EP, Tree City Exodus, and relocating to Cleveland, the group opened for acts like Slightly Stoopid, 311, Pepper, the Dirty Heads, Sublime w/Rome, Soja, the Wailers and Flobots. After appearances at Warped Tour and New York's Bamboozle Festival, the group released its third EP, 2011's Erie Vibes & Irie Tides. Following several member changes, including the addition of a horn section and a percussionist, the group finally released its first full-length album, All Heads Unite, the following year. "Since [singer Matthew] Roads started everything in Kent, the legwork has been there for so long," says guitarist Bobby Chronic. "It's just a matter of being out there grinding and revamping the set into the party that you want it to be. You want to look and sound like you're having as much fun as you are."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Last year's Police State features appearances by East Coast reggae/rockers Sun-Dried Vibes and Bumpin' Uglies. After its release, band members immediately started writing the songs for Go Down with the Ship, the band's most diverse effort to date. Tracks such as "Bad Cookie" and "Batter Up" evoke the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they show off the group's hip-hop skills; the songs also benefit from funky bass riffs. The horn section really thrives on "The Line," a song that concludes with a wicked guitar solo. "It was really positive," says Bobby Chronic when asked about the recording experience. The group recorded in Solon with long-time producer Cary Crichlow. "Everyone came in and did their parts and it went really well. Everything flows out. Roads will come to rehearsal with an idea or fragment, and we'll build on that, a hook or melody. It evolves from there and everyone puts their own twist on it. You have so many different influences in the band. My favorite band is [the speed metal group] Pantera. There's a lot of diversity." The band has already started writing tunes for the next release and will be busy this summer when festival season starts. "Honestly, as busy as summer gets for us, there's not one time of year that's busier than another," says Bobby Chronic. "We're just trying to make it happen."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: tropidelic.com
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Tropidelic performs with Bumpin' Uglies and Shrub at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Grog Shop.