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Bring on the bands

Mirror staff

Seven musical groups, their self-descriptions ranging from “melodicore” to “crunchy pop sandwich on razor bread,” will square off this Saturday in the eighth annual Federal Way Battle of the Bands at Steel Lake Skate Park.

Each band will get 30 minutes on stage. Youth will be served by the performers. Each of the groups must have at least one member who’s 21 or younger. No trouble there, as only three of the bands have anyone older than 21.

Organizers said choosing the bands, which are all from the Puget Sound area, was “a tough process.”

The evening of free entertainment will start at 5:20 p.m. with Airwig as the opening act. The Battle will begin at 6 and last until about 10. The lineup includes:

• Airwig. Town: Federal Way. Members: Joe Johnson, 18; Eric Tavares, 19; Steve Thomas, 19; Aaron Lee, 18; Retten Steincipher, 18. Description: “Started as a pennywise cover band with three members, soon expanding into a five-piece Ska band. Our natural feel for jazz, combined with our love for upbeat, fast-paced music, encouraged us to write our own music.”

• Follow Through. Town: Federal Way. Membrs: Will Nutter, 17; Matt Young, 18; Greg Strong, 18; Blake Evans, 17; Justin Westcott, 18. Description: “Young band that has been together since September 2002. A sound that will catch the ears of everyone. Played at several shows at Club Impact and the Roxy.”

• Go Ahead. Town: Federal Way. Members: Tony D’Angelo, 17; Matt Williams, 18; Jim Wooh, 19, Adam Bishop, 20. Self-description: “A very diverse group with alternative music that is influenced by pop-punk and some jazz. Always having fun on stage and getting the crowd into it!”

• Instant Winner. Town: Tacoma. Members: Neal Martin, 20; Brien Beebe, 23, Morgan Hushagen, 22; Stacy Jellison, 24, Aaron Watt, 24; Chris Swartz, 22. Description: “A sonic attack. Plug in, strap on, and, well … explode. Getting ready to embark on a two-week West Coast tour in September and also getting ready to release a new EP.”

• PRIS. Town: Seattle. Members: Burke Thomas, 25; Steve Gayle, 25; Ira Merrill, 25; Leif Anderson, 21. Description: “Winners of ‘The Red Hook Emerging Artists Award’ 2002. Sound is flammable dessert. Or maybe crunchy pop sandwich on razor bread. Or perhaps a soundtrack for pillow fights that go a little too far.”

• Straight Line. Town: Des Moines. Members: Joel Schneider, 19; Nick Trent, 19; Tyler Woefle, 19; Matt Hettler, 19. Description: “A technical melodic punk band. Music is ‘melodicore,’ which melds elements of punk, emo and a tad of metal flavor. Influences: Strung Out, Slick Shoes, Rufio and even a little Van Halen.”

• Years to Zero. Town: Des Moines. Members: Chris Koch, 16; Tony Rossi, 17; Dustin Lawrence, 20; Matt Sherrard, 22. Description: “Metal, emo, hardcore and a hint of punk. Wailing solos and thick instrumentals mixed with harmonious vocals and catchy melodies.”

The Battle of the Bands is presented by the City of Federal Way’s Youth Commission. Sponsors and supporters include King County Community Organizing Program, KGRG 89.9FM Radio, Vilma Signs, Federal Way Police Department and the city’s parks maintenance division.

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