ShuttleROCK! Battle of The Bands

Part of what makes blogging about Kansas City’s music scene is finding up and coming bands that completely blow my mind. Mostly these bands are new combinations of those people already playing the scene. Sometimes they’re new to the stage but have been a part of KC music for years. Rarely, are these new bands straight out of the gate. This Friday, The Teen Advisory Group and INK Magazine are doing just that. Shuttlerock! Battle of The Bands is pitting four bands against each other for a spot in the Middle of The Map line up. The kicker, all four bands are made of teens–teens who, despite their age, have those nasty licks and minky chops that makes KC’s music scene so incredible.

Taking the stage first is The Moose. The Lee’s Summit based five piece combines ethereal textures with incendiary guitar work. Riffing far beyond their years, The Moose’s sound is warm and encompassing. Sounding like Death Cab for Cutie meets Pink Floyd, the band makes music that is able to go from quiet chords to squealing solos in an instant. Make no mistake, you’ll hear more of this band and see them play around the city sooner rather than later.

After The Moose, Shades of Blue will shift the tone. Eschewing the laid back psychedelia for the physicality of blues-flavored rock, Shades of Blue knows the power of a fuzzed over guitar and driving percussion. Sounding like R.L. Burnside on steroids, the Kansas City band has that overdriven tone that can whip a crowd into a frenzy. But the band isn’t just high octane. Able to slow their tempos, Shades of Blue is able to write slow-burning anthems as well.

Counterculture finds the lines between punk, alternative, and indie rock and completely obliterates them. With a sound that bounces between slowed, howling ballads and uptempo burners, Counterculture shows an astonishing amount of depth. Whether they are banging out a solo or jamming on a groove, the quartet injects the same amount of passion into their music–a passion that is built for the stage.

Ending the battle will be American Slim. Truly roots music, the alternative five piece blends blues riffs with rocking rhythms. Blasting from verse to chorus, the band knows how to work a counterpoint for its maximum effect. American slim rides the boundary between alt-folk/country and blues-tinged rock to make music that will stir their audience. If you haven’t caught them live yet, this Friday will be the perfect time to do so.

Lovergurl will end the night while the battle’s votes are being counted. No matter which band wins Shuttlerock, it’s clear the future of Kansas City’s music scene is safe. American Slim, Counterculture, Shades of Blue, and The Moose will all put on a wonderful show and whichever one wins will be in good company at Middle of The Map.

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