There is something very appealing about bands that play in dirty, damp basements or small living rooms. It’s in these poorly lit places that you can see musicians truly putting themselves out there, building from the ground up, and becoming more and more impressive with each performance. I am lucky enough to say that I am witnessing history in the process, and I’m going to share with you just a few tunes that have stuck with me for the few months that I have been milling about the Philadelphia music scene.
1. “Dejected” – Reward
Joining forces in 2011, Reward has just started to gain momentum in the local music scene. With their recent signing to Mutant League Records and their release of a split EP with South Jersey’s Breaking Tradition, Reward is demanding to be recognized and boy do they deserve it. This song packs a punch with the help of driving guitar riffs and Rob Blackwell’s gritty, in-your-face vocals. The impressive part? 4/5 of this band is still in high school. The coolest part? I see them walking down the street or at shows all the time. Keep a lookout for their music video for “Dejected” directed by Dan Centrone, the same director of Balance and Composure’s “Reflection” music video.
2. “Cinco De Mayo Shit Show” – Marietta
Marietta provides a sound that is very different from anything out there at the moment. Some consider them alternative rock and others deem them “twinkly emo”. Then there’s me – let’s classify them as awesome and call it a day. The first few seconds of the song start out with group vocals, which can be extremely fun at a live show. Belting lyrics that strike the heartstrings, Marietta puts on a performance that feels larger than life and makes you feel like you’re part of a larger community. Their full, encasing sound drowns out that not-so-great grade you received on that midterm, or whatever else life could possibly throw at you.
3. “See Ya, Sucker” – Modern Baseball
I initially began listening to Modern Baseball the summer before I moved to the City of Brotherly Love, but ever since I’ve gotten here they have played at least two shows every month within a five-mile radius of me. “Tears Over Beers” was the hook that got me listening to the rest of their full length Sports, where I stumbled upon this gem. You’ve got a great rhythm guitar pounding away while a lead guitar soars over with a melody that was stuck in my head for days. Don’t tell me the vocal layering towards the last minute of the song doesn’t make you need to sit down. I’m pretty sure my heart exploded all over my laptop. This song is one of my favorites and I doubt I’ll have to travel far to hear them play it again.