Note: This is going to be a long one so strap in. There will be nice big headers and relatively short bits for easy skimming along with some embedded YouTube videos and pretty pictures to keep your attention along the way.
Pure Michigan Music: My Perceptions
There are a lot of reasons to not be proud of Michigan... high unemployment, the top two murder capitals of America, Ted Nugent, etc. But remember that despite how bad things are (and how terrible of a human being Ted Nugent is) there's quite a lot in the mitten to be proud of. Faygo is delicious, we have some beautiful landscapes, we produced Barry Gordy and Motown, Koegels, and one of what is, in my opinion, the most unique music scenes in the country.
Unlike states and cities with famous music scenes (New Jersey, Florida, Nashville, Washington D.C.) Michigan isn't really known for one genre (Florida has the punk rock and pop punk, New Jersey is one of the epicenters of emo, Nashville has country, and D.C. had the hardcore punk pioneers in the 1980's). Other than the "Motown sound" which was 50 years ago, we produce a wide range of artists. The White Stripes, The Swellers, Iggy Pop, Madona, Kid Rock, The Verve Pipe, Eminem, Chiodos, Andrew W.K. Some of the titans of the music industry have come from this state and you wouldn't put them on the same bill in a million years.
I'm sure that most music fans are proud of their regional music scene as every state has one and every independent scene is like a fingerprint. I believe that Michigan and states like us are lucky to not be pigeonholed as the origin of a particular type of music because it allows all kinds of different bands and artists to exist and co-habitate.
I've been a proud member of the Michigan scene for a long time now. Probably closing in on the 10 year mark at this point. Allcoy are a band that is made up of some top notch guys that have been here for longer than I have and I have followed them through various projects ever since.
One of the first times I ever wandered in to The Flint Local 432, I saw Allcoy singer/guitarist Josh Augustine playing in a band called "For The Best". At the risk of potentially offending Josh (whom I consider a great guy and a friend) I am going to have to admit that I didn't love For The Best's music. What drew me to them was the fact that there was a lot of love and passion in the way they played and performed. There was something in there that I knew was real.
Several years, recordings, and band names later Allcoy is what has risen from the ashes of several Michigan bands and the cream really does rise to the top. The line-up consists of three parts of former Michigan pop-punk band Radio Pirate DJ (that's actually not that many, considering RPDJ had somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and forty members and line up changes). Guitarist Bryan Aldrich, drummer Drew Easton, and vocalist/guitarist Josh Augustine were all members of Radio Pirate DJ at one point or another. The line-up is rounded out with Anthony Palsgrove on the bass.
The music that Allcoy makes can be described quite easily; contemporary nostalgia grunge rock. I'm almost positive that I just made that up so I'm going to elaborate. Almost everything about Allcoy's sound screams "throwback" to me. They are a band who have somehow time traveled here from the 1990's.
On the surface the most prominent vibe you get from Allcoy's debut record "Loud Music For Quiet People" is one of angst filled grunge. This is impressive sonically but even more impressive lyrically since, as veterans of independent music, it's surprising and refreshing that they can still manage convincing angst. Among the fresh grunge sound (yeah I said fresh grunge) is distinct echoes of the very beginnings of emo with tinges of The Promise Ring, Rites of Spring, and very early Get Up Kids.
The guitars are thick and distorted but with very clean leads and solos. The vocals are the strongest I've ever heard from Josh, ranging from soft verses to bellowing choruses. The bass is strong and distinct. The drumming is thunderous and spot on. Everything about Allcoy is a well oiled machine.
Above all the nostalgia, and any comparisons or genre labels, is an incredible fresh rock sound. Allcoy are a contemporary rock and roll band that jaded scene veterans and the new generation of teenagers going to shows can both agree to love.
Allcoy - Happy Ever After (Official Video)