It seems as if no matter where rock fans tune into for music these days, they can’t seem to escape from the recurring rap-rock beats of Limp Bizkit, Korn and even new artists, Linkin Park. Fortunately, the pure rock sound of the bands we’ve loved since the mid ‘90s is making a comeback — and sounds like it’s here to stay. Boy Hits Car may potentially be one of them.
The California band may be unfamiliar to quite a few people, but they have been together for nearly a decade. Childhood pals Cregg, who plays the acoustic 12-string guitar; guitiarist Louis and bassist Scott, formed the band in 1993. They found their drummer, Michael, in a “Drummer Wanted” advertisement in 1995 and released their self-titled debut for Wind-up Records this year.
The album includes heavy rhythms and beats accompanied by 12-string acoustics, with the style of Strait Up’s “Angel’s Son” in several of their songs. A unique factor that draws a bit of attention are the vocals, which are a bit whiney and bouncy at times — like a cross between Wayne Coyne, of The Flaming Lips and Cedric Bixler, from At the Drive-In. The first single, “I’m A Cloud,” begins with soft, mellow acoustics and vocal intro and kicks up a few notches into a heavier sound. The next track “Man Without Skin” is more grasping and should make for a great radio single in the near future.
Overall, Boy Hits Car tends to follow a pattern in the majority of their songs, which begin with a soft intro, but break into more hardcore beats and rhythms as all the songs move on. The sounds they offer are, without a doubt, original and very pleasing to the ears of rock fans who are ready to hear something new. However, the album does lack variety. Listening to the entire album, it seems like — if it weren’t for the breaks in between the tracks — the CD is one continuous song.
The fans at Troubador in West Hollywood were oblivious to the repetition of Boy Hits Car, as the band revved up the packed house on Aug. 13. In their return home from tour, they were the opening act at the CD release party for the band of the night — Fontaine.
Also based in Los Angeles, Fontaine — formerly known as Helen 55 — has only been in existence since 1998, yet they are rapidly growing in the Southern California region. They have already performed with bands such as Alien Ant Farm, Papa Roach and System of a Down, just to name a few.
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Consisting of vocalist Ronnie; bassist Dennis Valles; guitarist and back-up vocalist Shon Kornfeld; and drummer Jerry Vidal, Fontaine has been able to successfully create their own sound without following the trends like many other rising bands. They definitely inject a new style of hardcore beats that rock fans could bang their heads to. The instrumentals off their first 10-song CD Amped are similar to those of the Deftones, and Fuel from back in their Sunburn days.
The most prominent aspect of the band is the vocals of Ronnie, which can’t be compared to any other. Throughout the album, two distinct sets of vocals can be heard — harsh and aggressive yelling, and a soothing, melodic transition. Though it may seem like there are two vocalists in the band, it is Ronnie’s own night-and-day voice, accompanied by the harmonics of Shon, that adds to the band’s originality.
Fontaine’s sophomore album, The Wedding EP, for which the night was dedicated follows the same feel as the first, but does include “Satellite” and “Soiled,” which offer a more radio-friendly transition. Though the album is limited to only 5 tracks, The Wedding is very versatile. Not only will it attract the hardcore scene, but it will also capture different age groups and music genres.
Unfortunately, Amped and The Wedding EP are not yet out in stores. Visit their web site at www.fontainerock.com to listen to demos of their songs and be sure to order a limited edition copy of The Wedding EP.