Cure for the Summertime Blues

DCP Presents Second Annual Summer Sampler

by Kyle Melton with Tim Anderl, Gary Spencer and W.C. Ruffnel

You know that summer is that perfect season for music: a soundtrack for driving, a narrative for that summer love, or that song that defines your mood for months on end. Our devoted music writers here at the DCP [Tim Anderl, Kyle Melton, W.C. Ruffnel and Gary Spencer] come together again this year to provide you with a selection of local tracks that deliver all the range of sonic and emotional impact perfect for your summer soundtrack with the Dayton City Paper Summer Sampler Vol. 2. Check out the narrative then sample all the tracks listed below at


Duke of Owls

“Of Love”

from Duke of Owls

Bursting onto the local scene earlier this year with a residency at South Park Tavern’s NTRO/XPO series, this young indie rock outfit arrived with an excellent self-titled debut in tow. From the first notes of the track “Of Love”, DoO is off and running, daring the listener to keep pace. Vocalist Aron Maheu delivers an energetic howl while guitarist Ben Johnson cops an infectious riff over the pounding of bassist Matt Wolfe and drummer John Diamond. Although fresh on the local scene, Duke of Owls serve as a perfect backdrop for getting ready for a night on the town and should be kept on your radar of Dayton bands to watch in the coming months. -KM


Feathered Serpent


Previously Unreleased

Bringing grunge into the new millennium, Feathered Serpent recorded a post-grunge, Hara Arena worthy anthem that sounds just as good if you’re wearing neon Osiris kicks as if you were wearing flannel and weathered jeans.  If co-vocalist Ryan France sings this into the microphone via megaphone live, I’ll denounce Soundgarden immediately and proclaim that the grunge revival will be spearheaded by “the Serpent.”  Recorded by Motel Beds’ Darryl Robbins in his home, “fortress of rockitude” studio, “Philosophy” is the kick in the pants it will take to make you forget the Stone Temple Pilots Core reunion tour.  Mark your calendars for Feathered Serpent’s next glorious live ritual immediately. -TA


Smug Brothers

“It Was Hard to be a Team Last Night”

from the upcoming album On the Way to the Punchline [courtesy of Gas Daddy Go! Records]

The Smug Brothers have continually been the flame-bearers of ‘90s styled alterna-indie-rock in Dayton for almost 6 years, and their newest track, “It Was Hard To Be A Team Last Night,” is no exception in what we have come to expect from the Bros. & Co. Large scale riffs and noise guitar shred over top of the fuzzy bass guitar backbone and rock and roll drumming. Lead singer Kyle Melton croons over the entire thing in a faux-British accent that falls somewhere between Daltrey and Stipe in a catchy rocker that makes you feel good, like injecting heroin probably does. -WCR



“Tipping is Important”

from Plump

One might be surprised by the volume of extreme sounds being produced in the Gem City that exist outside the realm of what most people consider to be regular music. Dayton’s noise underground is alive and well thanks in part to Luke Tandy, perhaps better known as Being, amongst his numerous alter egos. Being has commanded the attention of the noise underworld both within the Gem City and around the country with his barrage of harsh electronic noise. “Tipping is Important” is a perfect example of the crackling, roaring white noise soundscapes that Tandy and several others in the Dayton noise scene are purveying both on tape and in live performances that take place in basements and garages around the Dayton area and beyond. Not for the faint of heart. -GS


King Elk


from the upcoming album Making Buildings Out of Everything [courtesy of Gas Daddy Go! Records]

Andy Smith, the “Andrew” from “Andrew & The Pretty Punchers,” is back in a big way –although, this time, brandishing psychedelic & wild, shirtless guitar heroics from Tyler Bellingar, the bong-rattling bass of Kyle Melton, and the competent drumwork of Michael Payne. Oh man! This delightful and low-key track shows our heroes delving deep into the annals of psychedelic folk pop and achieving success. How does one gauge a track as successful? That would be when it’s good – and this is no exception. The gang sets the bar probably really high with this preview from new album, available on Gas Daddy Go! on June 30.  Get stoked and get high. -WCR


Astro Fang

“Flesh Hand”

from the Flesh Hand 7” [courtesy of Rad Girlfriend Records]

We have waited, and waited….and WAITED. Since busting onto the local scene in late 2007 as Grizzzzy Bear and morphing into the unbridled fury that is Astro Fang in 2008, this quartet harnessed such raw power and undeniable melodic gifts into a cohesive sound that has galvanized the band into one of the most beloved bands in the area. With the release of their “Flesh Hand” 7”, Astro Fang finally puts to disc their uniquely twisted brand of anthemic rock that simultaneously nods back to the Gem City’s musical legacy and boldly points the way forward, fists defiantly held high. -KM


Dirty Socialites

“Beautiful Apologian”

From the Amor or Armor LP

Penning a ballad that is appropriate to spin while reading The Anarchist’s Cookbook is no small feat.  But for Dayton trio, Dirty Socialites, this sort of thing is second nature.  Taken from a vinyl LP recorded with financial help from Guided By Voices’ classic lineup guitarist, Mitch Mitchell, “Beautiful Apologian” shows the muscular threesome at their most sentimental.  Nodding to Afghan Whigs and Sonic Youth equally, this song is the kind of lament that elicits vigorous swings at the baby with the bow and arrow in the diaper.   If it doesn’t elicit multiple plays, then you’ve never been in love…and had your heart shredded to pieces… -TA


By Way of Sunstorm

“Shelved and Misread”

from By Way of Sunstorm

2011 Truth & Triumph Battle of the Bands winner, By Way of Sunstorm, has been unleashing its heavy fury upon Dayton audiences for a few years now and finally earlier this year released its eponymously titled first full length album.  “Shelved and Misread,” much like the rest of the album, retains all the signature heaviness of B.W.O.S.’s live show and expands upon their lumbering and exploratory songwriting approach with some hypnotic, ringing clear guitar tones working against the metallic distortion.  Add in Brandon Hawk’s deep, growling vocals and voila, and you’ve got some heavy metal that’s worthy of zoning out to or for simply headbanging – the choice is yours.  -GS


The Trash

“I’m Quitting Monday”

from The Trash

The Trash quit Monday, but not before we got this wonderfully crafted rock and roll tune. Although shorter than the most recent Smug Brothers song (now that’s surprising, right?) it’s cut from one of the same raiment – huge guitars and alternative rock hooks for days. The vocal harmonies sound sincerely extra creepy knowing that the band is essentially six feet deep. The ghost of the Trash seems to be taunting us with their greatness. Get back together, you faux-dicks. If I wanted to sit here and sniff glue all day I’d listen to the Ramones but instead it’s almost 4 A.M. and I’m writing about you. -WCR


Bastet Illuminara


Bastet Illuminara is a black metal ensemble that’s fairly new to Dayton’s metal underground, and that’s apparently how the quartet likes it.  The band rarely performs live in its hometown and the group members seem to embrace their low profile, preferring to write and record new material whenever they have the chance.  Taking their cue from influential black metal forefathers Burzum and Darkthrone, Bastet Illuminara’s recorded work tends to be of the low fidelity persuasion.  And if you’re looking for tight musicianship and blazing guitar solos, look elsewhere as Bastet Illuminara prefers to keep their brand of black metal stark and straight ahead with no frills.  “Anuket” is like a trudge against sharp, icy winds in the deepest and darkest hour of the night, reaching out for light that never comes. -GS


The Story Changes

“How Long”

From the This Is Your Moment EP

Road-tested, rock power duo, The Story Changes, have been turning out solid and sentimental sing-a-longs for over a decade now.   Outlasting heavy hitters like Braid and The Get Up Kids, this caffeine-fueled twosome is the realest, emo deal the Gem City has to offer fans of late ‘90s and early ‘00s indie and emo fanboys and girls. “How Long” is no exception.  Nodding to Jimmy Eat World, Terrible Things and the Foo Fighters, this track is a sweet and raucous outing that any self-respecting, basement-bred music fan will crank at ungodly levels from their car stereo all summer long.  Expect that this will send the crop haired honeys flocking to the driver’s side of your Scion or Civic. -TA


Southeast Engine

“Old Oak Tree”

from the upcoming Canaanville EP [courtesy of Misra Records]

Longtime Dayton/Athens favorites, Southeast Engine, are poised to release their new Canaanville EP, serving as an appendix to last year’s stellar Canary album, on drummer Leo DeLuca’s Misa Records imprint. For anyone seeking to take a breezy drive out on the country roads surrounding the area, or even an extended road trip to destination unknown, this is an impeccable companion for such excursions. An enigmatic tale of midwestern love fused with an effortless singalong section that’s simple-yet-memorable, certain to take a minimum number of spins to find its way into the listener’s heavy rotation. -KM

The Dayton City Paper Summer Sampler Vol. 2 can be found online at

Reach DCP Music Editor Kyle Melton at and read his blog at thebuddhaden/net.

Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at

Reach DCP freelance writer W.C. Ruffnel at

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