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Eastern Conference Champions
Ameritown
Suretone/Fontana Records
www.easternconferencechampions.com


Eastern Conference Champions' record label Suretone Records tells about the band on their website, "There's nothing more disheartening than to watch a band play like they wish they weren't there and that's never the case with Eastern Conference Champions."

ECC's debut length album Ameritown has a lot of gritty garage rock and avant folk that is raw, burly, coarse, and gravelly in their measurements. Their music is a cross between Cold War Kids and Spoon showing traces of college band rock, avant folk, and bedroom pop. The album has a college radio format with tracks like "The Box," "Noah," and "Stutter" that crevice raw rock rips and tears with rustic folk vining. What the music lacks though is distinction from sounding like every single other college radio artist presently out there like Spoon and Cold War Kids. There is a voodoo rock feel similar to '70s rock idols like Thin Lizzy and Free in songs like "Sincle Sedative" and "Gucci No. 3" and gypsy folk psychedelics on songs like "To The Wind" and "Nice Clean Shirt." ECC shows their folk ballad side with laid back chilled tempos on "Yuppy Hipster F%#K" and "Rabbit Hole," while they put a country-folk piping in tracks like "Some Sorta Light" and "Pitch A Fit" which resound a bedroom pop feel like The Decemberists.

The band's lead vocalist/guitarist/pianist Josh Ostrander, drummer Greg Lyons, and bassist Vern Zabrowski of CKY fame joined forces in 2005. Ostrander's vocal moans move from sounding fragile and nasally to charging and creating momentum with the scratchy guitar shreds and hopping rhythms sections. The listener gets the impression that the music is non-toxic and pure, kind of for the health conscience music enthusiast. The music is unpretentious and rowdy but hard to pick out of a lineup of other college rock bands. ECC stay in a designated zone but show room to grow.

-Susan Frances


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