Big Shots

This weekend two Cincinnati-area acts with high-profile national releases will give their local fans hometown CD release parties. · Friday at the Southgate House, Heartless Bastards celebrate

Aug 30, 2006 at 2:06 pm

This weekend two Cincinnati-area acts with high-profile national releases will give their local fans hometown CD release parties.

· Friday at the Southgate House, Heartless Bastards celebrate All This Time, the follow-up to their acclaimed debut Stairs and Elevators. The band's sophomore effort came out in early August, again on Fat Possum Records, and it has already received fawning press raves, including nods from Entertainment Weekly and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. The group will be on the road extensively to support the album this fall. Openers for Friday's show are Dayton's Lab Partners (who provided a show highlight set at the benefit concert at the Southgate last weekend) and Cincy faves The Fairmount Girls. (

· Pop/Rock foursome Ellison are also getting the ball rolling in support of their solid nationwide debut, Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone (see review, page 67). The disc came out Aug. 22 on Carbon Copy Media, which has distribution through Victory Records and Sony Red Distribution. Ellison's CD release show takes place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Covington's Mad Hatter, with special guests The Turnbull AC's, The Flight Station, Close To Home and A Decade To Die For also on the bill (the show is open to all ages and tickets are available through The album has received some positive reviews on the Web so far, and their extensive upcoming tour with Waking Ashland (which brings the band back to the Mad Hatter on Sept. 30) should spread the buzz even further. (

Hardcore Roars Back
Local rockers American Hardcore return with their second CD offering, No Apologies, which gets the release party treatment this Saturday at Covington's Madison Theater.

The band is joined by Arapyma, The Screaming Kings and Pulse 8 for the 9 p.m. show. On Sunday, the rockin' continues as AH plays Riverfest, performing on the Serpentine Wall Stage at 3 p.m.

One of my favorite parts of this job is watching a band with clear talent come back strong on their following album, having worked out any kinks exhibited on previous efforts. That's just what this Milford-based foursome has accomplished with No Apologies. The band's debut album last year was promising, but there seemed to be more emphasis on getting across their swaggering attitude instead of fully delivering in the music department. Whereas the debut felt somewhat retro (think Mötley Crüe on the Sunset Strip), Apologies has a more contemporary feel that brings them closer to a Metal sound, thanks largely to the muscular singing of new frontman Brad Vance, the more vigorous drumming of fellow "new guy" Ryan Cady, and the fantastic, anvil-heavy riffage of guitarist Jim Rodgers.

Apologies is heavier and more diverse and the songwriting and performing are much more advanced and tighter this time around. Opener "From the Inside" has brawny KISS riffs (fitting, since they cover that band's "100,000 Years" later on the album) mixed with the tight chunking syncopation of early Pantera, while Vance reaches deep to deliver some finessed, classic Hard Rock vocals. On "Killing Floor," the band provides a practically perfect Metal single ready for heavy rotation, with walloping drums, stabbing rhythms and riffs and some fantastically memorable melodic hooks. Other highlights include the breakneck "Draw the Line" and the introspective, beat-eclectic "My Private Hell," another single-worthy gem, with its triumphant chorus and fist-pumping intensity.

With No Apologies, American Hardcore show they've figured it out and have all of the tools to take the band to the next level. (

More Local Notes
· As mentioned, American Hardcore is performing as a part of this Sunday's end-of-the-summer Riverfest bash. Before the fireworks ignite at 9:05 p.m., you can also listen to some original local music by Lavender Drags, Buffalo Killers, Langus, Lorenzo, Chaselounge, Gerald's Rainbow, Noctaluca, Livid and Delagrange. Bands will play on stages at the P&G Pavilion and the Serpentine Wall starting at noon. For more information, go to

· Thursday in the Southgate House's parlour room, awesome newcomers The Seedy Seeds are set to perform. The band's banjoist Mike Ingram (formerly of The Scrubs, Junior Revolution and Rise From the Grave) describes the band's sound as "folky electroindiepop," and the band incorporates dance-y beats from a toy keyboard. The Seeds are joined by inblackandwhite (featuring former members of The Opposed), and Max Fender, singer for Alone at 3 AM, performs a solo acoustic set to kick off the 9 p.m. show. (