Rock music should be built to last. Since its genesis, the genre has been all about longevity not a “flavor of the month” or a “flash in the pan.” Whether you go back to the seventies or nineties pillars, the goal was to create something that can be lived with for a lifetime. It still can be that way.

Akron, Ohio’s Red Sun Rising—Mike Protich [vocals/guitar], Ryan Williams [guitar], Dave McGarry [guitar/vocals], Ricky Miller [bass/vocals], and Pat Gerasia [drums]. —proudly carry on that tradition with their full-length debut, Polyester Zeal [Razor & Tie].

“It’s not today’s rock, but it’s a new alternative,” declares singer and guitarist Mike Protich. “We want to uphold the foundation with subtle nuances of what’s familiar. It’s fresh because we’re telling our story through that framework.”

Sharing that story has been the goal since first breaking onto the scene in 2012. Akron is no stranger to rock ‘n’ roll, serving as home to everybody from Black Keys and Devo to Chrissie Hynde. That buzzing industrial landscape remains fertile ground for musicians to this day.

“A lot of people don’t realize that Akron’s a really cool, artsy community,” says Mike. “There’s great food, local beers, and culture. Because it’s somewhat off the national grid, there’s a real tightknit music scene. We spawned off of that. There are a lot of factories around and the grit seeps into the music too.”
The work ethic is another trait Red Sun Rising embrace. Through tireless gigging, they built up an impressive local fan base, soon attracting the attention of multiple labels. Razor & Tie rushed to Akron in the Fall of 2014 and signed the band following a sold out hometown show.

“I guess we played well that night,” chuckles Mike.
The band headed to Los Angeles shortly after to cut Polyester Zeal with celebrated producer Bob Marlette [Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Seether]. They managed to siphon the pure, potent, powerful guitar chemistry, towering vocals, and muscular rhythms into the record’s 11 tracks with all of the “grit” intact.
“Bob helped us execute creating the record we wanted to make for a long time,” adds the frontman. “He knew how to achieve it. His philosophy was, ‘You guys have all the colors to paint the perfect picture. I’m just going to show you how to use them.’ That was cool.”

The first single “The Otherside” sees thick clean guitars clash with an unshakable refrain that’s as airy as it is anthemic. Penned by Ryan and Mike, it’s an immediately inviting introduction into the group’s sound.

“You can take it a couple of different ways,” he explains. “While you’re here on earth, it doesn’t matter what troubles you go through—you’re always going to come through on the other side. You could also look at it is just overcoming life’s obstacles because of the support you receive from those around you. It grabs you and shows our vibe.”

“Emotionless” commences with a calculated blues-inspired riff before spiraling out into a macabre fairytale that’s equally heavy and hypnotic.

“I had a nightmare with a really creepy storyline,” recalls Mike. “I vaguely remember it now. This woman I loved was sleeping, but I couldn’t wake her up. She was laying there motionless and emotionless. I linked those two things. I don’t know what’s scarier that or the fact Ryan and I put it together in twenty minutes on an acoustic in his mom’s basement when I told him!”
Album opener “Push” steamrolls ahead on a battering ram of distortion and a slick, sputtering verse, while “Imitation” highlights the inimitable incendiary interplay of six-stringers Ryan and Dave.

“They went back and forth on the solos in that one,” Mike goes on. “Bob panned it so if you listen to it in stereo it’s like you’re watching on stage. You hear each solo go to the side of the stage where they’d be.”

Elsewhere, “Amnesia” serves as a declaration of carpe diem bolstered by fiery fretwork and another expansive harmony. “It’s about owning every moment that you’re living because each instance defines you as a person,” he exclaims. “You don’t know what’s coming or what will make a difference, so you have to embrace all of it. It won’t be there forever.”

However, Polyester Zeal will be, and it firmly establishes Red Sun Rising’s place in rock.

“The title sums it up,” concludes Mike. “Zeal is something you strive for, while Polyester is obtainable. The juxtaposition is, ‘What’s your obtainable dream?’ Ours is to tell stories through these songs. Hopefully, it makes you feel something. That’s what rock is supposed to do after all.”

Sometimes things catch fire. Just ask Dark Avenue. Originally formed as a side project to the Dallas/Fort Worth heavyweight Pistol Whippin Ike, three of the members began writing alternate jams for fun – and the project instantly sparked a wildfire. In a short amount of time the band established a reputation in the DFW area, performed with acts like Pop Evil, Queensrÿche, Red Sun Rising, Bobaflex, 36 Crazyfists, and launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to finance their first recordings. With the release of their debut album Illusions, Dark Avenue have bridged the gap between metal and hard rock – and Texan crowds have been drawn to their fulgent flame.
Formed in 2014, Dark Avenue is comprised of guitarists Barry Lorberbaum and Andrew Lewthwaite, bassist Alan Sauls, drummer Jeff Hathcock and vocalist Mario Cadena. The band’s first recording was Seasons Change, a five-song EP whose title track was the catalyst that ignited regional interest. It spurred a showcase during SXSW/Austin Music Week and a development deal with Breakout Artist Management, who fostered their growth and transcended them beyond the Dallas scene.
“The scene in Dallas is super vibrant,” explains Lorberbaum. “But there wasn’t anyone bridging the gap between heavy bands and the lighter bands. The heavy music crowds stuck to their bands, and the alterative/hard rock fans stuck to theirs. You did not see any crossover fans. That gap is bridged with our music. The metal fans get their heavy, and the alt-rock fans get their more mainstream sound, and all get songs they can relate and sing along to.”
That middle ground between heavy and light is where the nexus of creativity lies for Illusions. In the center of a Killswitch Engage/Imagine Dragons Venn diagram, the first single “Outside” is colossal and robust, yet driven by dynamic and melodic vocals. Perhaps that’s why it’s been featured on several nationally televised MMA events. Then there’s the song "Una Vez Mas," the group’s first single in Spanish. Its overwhelming response prompted the band to track Spanish versions of their songs for a future deluxe release of Illusions. And let’s not forget the crowd favorite “Maybe Tomorrow.” It won Video of The Year at the 2016 Krave Music Awards and helped them take home the grand prize: Artist of The Year.
“I want people to leave listening to the album like they were right there with us,” says Cadena, “feeling what we were feeling, seeing what we were seeing, as if they were part of it.”

Reflecting Echoes

Psychedelic ambient Indie Rock band from Dallas.

Exotension is an independent rock band based out of Fort Worth, Texas, formed in 2017. The band consists of Andrew Kent (vocals), Sam Watts (guitar), Chase Hunter (drums) and Jordan Hunter (bass).

$18.50

Tickets

Special offer! A digital download of Red Sun Rising’s forthcoming album, Thread (available March 30, 2018) is included with every ticket for this show. You will receive an email with more details about this offer approximately 7 days after your ticket purchase.

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