Posted by: Necci – Mar 05, 2012
Out of the symbiotic relationship between the VCU student community and Richmond's musical scene emerged The Horn RVA, a group of VCU student-journalists dedicated to covering all levels of Richmond music. From basements to theaters, The Horn RVA has featured coverage of a multitude of Richmond acts, as well as interviews ranging from Hank Williams III to Gwar, Steve Aoki to Scale the Summit, The Front Bottoms, Patrick Stump, and Mutemath.
As Editor in Chief of The Horn RVA, I have the pleasure of introducing to you, the internet masses and RVA Magazine readership, The Horn RVA Presents: Vol. 1; the first in a semesterly music compilation series highlighting the depth and talent of Richmond musicians.
For our first installment, we were able to highlight groups ranging from surf rock to djent, drone to math rock, snuff rock, and much more. Our hope is that when assembled on one convenient mix cd, the sampler can clearly portray the depth and variety of music that characterizes Richmond as the creative mecca that it is, spoiling us every weekend with amazing concerts across the city.
The following is a track-by-track guide to the sampler, available at thehornrva.bandcamp.com, showing what the bands are currently up to and explaining how they ended up on Vol. 1. Check out TheHornRVA.com to see videos, photos and more from our recent showcase at Strange Matter feat. Night Idea, Young Adult Fiction, Solace Sovay, Close Talker, and Dane Ferguson, and more coverage of sampler bands and general Richmond music!
1. Hold Tight! - Irony Is For Fuckers (from their 2010 album Can't Take This Away)
Out of the burgeoning pop-punk scene filling basements across Richmond comes front-runners Hold Tight!, crafting what could only be called the most catchy two-minute songs we could find. With an upcoming album, recent split releases with Criminal Culture, Rubrics, and Weak Teeth, and an upcoming national tour, Hold Tight! are poised to bring their driving melodies and communal following to a national level.
2. Night Idea - Ocho (from their 2011 album Ocho The Cat)
Combining an unparalleled level of musicianship with flowing grooves pooling from jazz, math rock, blues, and funk (amongst countless others), Night Idea are simply one of our favorite groups. The fact that these guys aren't on every Richmonder's iPod is a crime, and it was our honor to host them as the headliner of our release show at Strange Matter. If we could book them every night, we would.
3. The Diamond Center - 20Twin (from their 2011 7 inch Caraway/20Twin)
Since their infinitely engaging and infectious set at RVA Fest, The Diamond Center has played some of the largest local shows in the past year, spreading their blues drone in venues across Richmond. Originally from Texas, the group offers much to the Richmond scene, and in March will head out on their 2012 Transcendental Truth Tour, taking them from Richmond down to SXSW and back along the interior of the East Coast.
4. This Time It's War - Man, The Destroyer (from their 2011 split with Fixtures, Rusted Screws)
Over their long tenure in the Richmond metal scene, This Time It's War have honed their craft towards a unique and mature tone, defining their music in a sea of would-bes and has-beens. Say what you will about the new generation of -core metal, but there is no doubting the artfully crafted shredding of TTIW.
5. This Is Your Life - Songs of Experience (from their 2011 Tour EP)
This Is Your Life were originally a recommendation from friends who had caught some of their shows around basements in Richmond. Their melodic hardcore makes for energetic and passionate live sets that bleed into each of their records. We're excited for their first full length this year, and will certainly be keeping our eyes on TIYL.
6. White Laces - Hands in Mexico (from their 2011 split 10 inch with Snowy Owls)
To anyone who has seen the video for "Hands in Mexico," the immediate appeal is overwhelming; soundscapes of swelling and waning guitar guided by expressive drums and Landis Wine's signature vocals create one of the most memorable musical experiences in Richmond today (not to mention the beautiful cinematography and Texas Beach sirens). They deserve every ounce of buzz they get and plenty more, and we look forward to great things from White Laces this year (such as the recent Worthless Junk showcase at Kingdom).
7. Close Talker - Hole Whence You Came (from their 2011 Free EP)
Close Talker features a Richmond-super-group mashup of Quiet the Trees and Sundials drummer Cory Chubb. With the same level of energy, intensity, and melody expected of any great pop-punk group, they speak for themselves on stage without our obligatory stamp of approval. After their current recording session ends, they're heading out on a southeastern tour to bring their onstage antics and good vibes to Florida and back.
8. Young Adult Fiction - News Reports (from their 2011 EP Paradise Birds)
Young Adult Fiction combine elements of the 90's alt rock/indie scene to form songs that feel like carefree drives in the car as a kid listening to the radio. After a strong performance at our release show at Strange Matter, Y.A.F. prepares to head down to an all-RVA showcase at SXSW.
9. Hex Machine - Vivisection (from their 2011 single "Vivisection")
Hex Machine has little to do in the terms of proving their worth in Richmond. The group is dancing on the edge in all of the right places, delivering live shows that have earned them spots playing alongside metal legends such as Converge (DC9 in April). In 2012 Hex Machine will continue their sonic assault with a tour leading them down to SXSW via the southern east coast.
10. Black Girls - Broadway (from their 2012 album Hell Dragon)
Coming into the sampler project, one of the first groups we contacted was snuff rock mainstay Black Girls. Their buzz could not be any bigger, and with a national tour supporting The Head and The Heart stopping by Richmond in March, as well as a new LP, Hell Dragon, on Worthless Junk Records, Black Girls may legitimately take the world by storm in 2012.
11. Quiet The Trees - Two (from their 2011 Demo EP)
Post-hardcore outfit Quiet the Trees was born out of the basement scene in a very organic sense, and their maturation is seen not only in their live performance but also within their very core songwriting. We are all very excited to hear new recordings, and along with their other project Close Talker, these gents certainly have offered a huge share of new music for Richmond to enjoy.
12. My Enemies and I - CJ Jefferson (from their forthcoming 2012 EP)
We first caught ME&I when they won the inaugural Kingdom Battle of the Bands, and since then they have been busy at work on their debut EP. This early release from their debut shows much promise, and we look forward to ME&I continuing to open the pit at local venues.
13. Solace Sovay - Panic (from their 2010 album Magicfly City)
Lasers. Lots of f***ing lasers. Solace Sovay's live show, amid foot triggers and a elaborate basement-oriented Pink Floyd light display, delivers vocal stylings a la Tim Kasher and emotive songs that catapult these VCU students to a level of showmanship and presence reserved for veterans of performance. Their EP, Magicfly City, has spread quickly through free circulation at shows, and Solace Sovay's performance at the release show only further solidified their reputation as a band worth seeing.
14. Dane Ferguson - South Pine (from his forthcoming untitled album)
Dane was one of the first musicians I met upon moving to Richmond, and it has been a real honor watching him grow and mature through his songs in both performance and recordings. After playing a one-off gig with Cunninlynguists in New York, Dane has recently recorded a new album in NYC and has aggressively hit the bar scene in Richmond, showing great determination and resilience that will cast him as an enduring local performer.
15. Flechette - Hypnic (from their 2011 Self Titled EP)
Flechette's self-titled debut hearkens back to the foundations of modern melodic hardcore and emo, with true grit and emotion that bleeds from each performance. These guys have been lighting up the house show scene for a good while now, and certainly deserve the spotlight.
16. Vice Or Virtue - Resource (from their upcoming 2012 EP)
We discovered young progressive metal outfit Vice Or Virtue opening for Periphery at Kingdom last fall, and were immediately impressed with their presence and powerful songwriting. With a good number of shows under their belt, Vice Or Virtue will unleash their debut EP this spring, and all signs point to it being a brutal and entertaining release.
17. Hidden Signals - Radio (from their 2011 Demo)
We actually met these guys as employees at Guitar Center on Broad Street. While their business may be music, their music is certainly anything but business. Their raucous, driving garage rock is certain to set the mood for any long car ride or warm afternoon.
Words and Images by Craig Zirpolo, Editor in Chief, The Horn RVA
Night Idea, Young Adult Fiction, and Solace Sovay photos by Steven Casanova