Global Battle of the Bands: US Finals
There are hundreds of competitions for bands eager to duke it out over some menial prize to prove their musical talent. But winning a battle of the bands wouldn’t truly be a worthy triumph unless the competition were international in scope.
On Nov. 11, 14 of 200 bands in the United States were selected to compete in the U.S. finals at the Key Club in Los Angeles to win the honor of representing the United States at the Global Battle of the Bands in London on Dec. 12.
The performances of the unsigned bands were slightly better than expected. Each band had an eight-minute set consisting of just two songs. Although any genres were permitted to enter the competition, rock dominated the performances.
The first band of the night was Rusty Lunchbox from Detroit, Mich. Their song ‘Hello L.A.’ had pretty lame lyrics to match its name, but a redeeming groove similar to Lenny Kravitz’s cover of ‘American Woman.’
Infinite Frequency from Boston moved one step forward for their saxophone player’s fun solo, but ultimately fell back a hundred steps due to their lead singer’s tendency to yodel, so their chance was blown.
One particularly disappointing performance was by Texan heavy-metal group Epic. All of their vocal chord-mangling screaming was so boring that I literally dozed off only half an hour after having a Redbull. Fortunately, they were the only anomaly among the pretty decent line-up.
A finalist at last year’s Global Battle of the Bands, Halflink didn’t quite reach the level of the other bands that night. Lead vocalist Jason Bennet’s voice and egotistical swagger were reminiscent of Scott Stapp of Creed.
Florida’s Radio Reset’s songs brought to mind Fall Out Boy’s ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down.’ Radio Reset wasn’t imitating Fall Out Boy, but they did emulate the same energy of Pete Wentz’s successful band. It was surprising to find out that Radio Reset didn’t even make the top three.
Also worthy of mention was T.T. Lester of Denver, Colo. Though the band Goldmind brought lots of supporters to the Key Club, T.T. Lester even managed to draw Goldmind’s fans into their infectiously upbeat songs. Once again, it was a bit of a shocker that these guys didn’t even take third.
That honor went to The Queen Killing Kings, a piano/drum duo from Connecticut. These guys did a good job without a guitar and managed to place with their ‘progressive shuffle rock.’
In second place was Oklahoma’s The Hero Factor. These guys arguably should have been the ones representing us at the Astoria in December.
Ben Kilgore’s voice was amazing, and band’s array of sounds ranged from pop to dark crooning. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing and hearing from these guys next year.
The band that may or may not prove that the United States is great in the musical realm is hip-hop rock band Heavy Mojo from Atlanta.
Heavy Mojo was definitely a nice change of pace from the other bands but could have done a better job combining rock and hip-hop.
Still, Heavy Mojo will hopefully will do well this December when they compete against bands from 43 different countries at the Astoria in London. Let’s see if Heavy Mojo can prove that America’s talent is as huge as its waistline.