Aaron sent me this a long ass time ago and we both forgot about it until today.
Sup yall. Aaron here. Robbie's letting me do a guest Chug on the DIY scene in St. Louis, which is currently
the city I represent. Firstly, I'd like to say thank you to Robbie and all the chuggers, as it's a great honor
for my community to be represented on what is probably the best diy blog on the internet. Robbie is the dude,
and his unbridled, hot-and-sweaty passion for this music is really a beautiful thing. If there is ever a book written
on the state of punk music in the 2010s, Chug Life better have it's own god damned chapter, or at least a liner note or two.
Anyways, St. Louis, Missouri has a very active and diverse DIY scene that, I feel, is very under looked compared to other cities. There are tons of new venues and bands always popping up, and there is never a lack of rad shit coming out of the city.
In this chug I am going to compile an alphabetical, and by no means comprehensive list on some really great active STL bands to check out. Here goes.
Black Fast destroy. They are a metal band that has been active for quite a while now, but have stayed pretty low key until recently. They had an EP Cd-r that you could really only get from band members or at shows. I'd bump the living shit out of that ep in my Saturn, turnin' heads. Their shit is pummeling, technical, raw, and always thrashing. I honestly believe them to be one of the greatest metal bands in the country, let alone the city. Plus, they are the gnarliest most genuine dudes ever. They will drink whicha, they will smoke whicha, they will die whicha. A couple summers ago, when I was pretty much homeless, Ryan let me crash in his basement for a while when I was getting back on my feet. They have a new album coming out this week. I've heard it and it absolutely slays. Buy it when it comes out. If you are a fan of heavy music in the slightest, give these rippers a listen. Expect big things from these dudes.
Crucial are a mathy band from east of the river. All the dudes in the band are killer musicians but their music never gets too indulgent, with shifting textures and meters to keep things interesting. Recently the became a three piece, and I heard their sound is going to change quite a bit. This is really some forward-thinking and ambitious stuff for all you math-nerds out there. Be sure to dig on the EP included on the link, it gets pretty heady and was recorded live(!)..
I play bass in Early Worm. I feel kinda lame including my own band on this list, but whatever. We're a three piece that play kinda sappy indie-rock. I guess that'd be the best way to explain it. Unabashadley poppy. So far we just have an EP out which was recorded in the Spring by local legend Ryan Wasaba, previously of So Many Dynamos. He really is the dude. Anyways, were probably gonna start work on a full length in the coming months and there are talks of a winter tour. Keep your ear to the ground.
Odds are if there is any band you have heard of on this list, Foxing is that band. Odds are you have made out or broken up with your boy/girlfriend to "Ocelot." I would drink 40s and mope on my couch to it. Regardless, Foxing are really, really good. They recently got signed to Count Your Lucky Stars which is super cool. I caught them live a few months ago with Native, and if their set's material was any indicator of what is gonna be on the upcoming full-length, its gonna be a real banger.
Oh my lord do The Gorge slay. Really sick, heavy shit. Local bass-legend Nick Jost, who now thumps it up in Baroness, used to play bass in this band. Now Ryan from Black Fast plays bass, which is awesome. Ryan is like the metal-bass dude but you should also hear him rip on some jazz-guitar. And plus he's absolutely gorgeous. Anyways, check out the Gorge and get your head ripped off.
Laika rule. 3 piece screamo band. Real humble, nice dudes who I've seen tear it up live multiple times.
They tap, they emote, they say funny things like "Shit yeaaah." Check out the split with Weakness on the bandcamp link. Solid.
Lions Eat Grass
Lions Eat Grass are an accordion/drums duo from East of the river. Honestly I have never seen them live, but have heard John play a bunch of songs solo and they are some of the most heart-crushingly beautiful songs I've ever heard, Brutally honest, even on the edge of disturbing. Great melodies. Check them out.
Lumpy and The Dumpers
"punk eel goo fuck you eat shit fucked up sic nasty meat slime."
These are the tags on Lumpy & the Dumpers bandcamp page and it sums up their sound pretty well. This is some real noisy and fucked up punk-rock for sure. St. Louis has a really prevalent Noise scene which I'm not really that hip to, but this band takes elements of the STL noise thing into their sound. Peep how raw this city can get. I was listening to the 7" on my ride home from work today and just lost my shit. "GOD MADE MAN BUT FIRST HE MADE SLIIIIIME!!!" Highly recommended, go download it now.
Mids is an experimental screamo-ish bass and drums two piece. They've got a real interesting sound going on.
The bass sits, as the name would imply, in the middle region of the tonal spectrum. The drumming, supplied by
Jack from Laika, is absolutely on point too. Jack's a real talented kid, I'm pretty sure he just graduated highschool and is already playing music of this caliber. That's what's up. Get high on some Mids.
NOS BOS is my friend Devin's band. They rule so hard. Noisey energetic punk a bit like the aforementioned Dumpers, but with a more classic feel. Still seriously fucked up, though. Go listen to the self titled on bandcamp right now, it rules. Besides being the coolest dude ever, Devin is also a really talented visual artist, check his stuff out if you can.
Spelling Bee are a guitar and drums duo who are pretty prevalent on the St. Louis DIY circuit. I'm pretty sure they played the Bell Foundry a little while back too. I'm sure they get compared to Melt Banana a lot, due to the cute female vox and overall spazzy feel, but I assure you the simularities end there. Spelling Bee rule, check them out.
Stonechat are probably one of my favorite bands east of the river. They are also my bosses at the cafe I work at.
But I ain't brown-nosing one bit cause these dudes are the cat's pajamas. Guitar and drums duo. Spazzy, agitated, and melodic indie-rock. Watching these guys live is incredible because they have some serious telepathic shit going on. I mean, Sean and Charlie literally live, work, and play together. How they don't
absolutely hate each other is beyond me. There's something really magical about the dynamic there. Charlie is also a great producer, he's recorded a number of the bands on this list. Beast Ill was one of my favorite records this year, be sure to check it out. Sean tells me there's a midwest fall-tour in the works too so stay tuned for that.
It's funny that Yowie should end up last here because they are the first band I had ever heard on this list. Back when I lived in Germany, Tobi from Fuck, Wolves! showed me this band. When I found out they were from St. Louis after moving here I nearly shit myself. There is no other band on this planet that sounds like Yowie. Absolutely mind-boggling shit here. These guys are "math rock" legends for sure, despite the fact that the label does a complete disservice to their sound. Just listen and figure it out for yourself. Yowie is nuts.
So there you go, a little taste of STL DIY. Although this list is most likely biased as fuck as I have friends in a bunch of these bands, I still feel it is a good representation of the diversity and talent in this city. St. Louis bands don't really get heard out too often, so I'm super stoked that I was able to use Chuglife as a platform to people would probably never hear these bands. A lot of bands when on tour seem to circumnavigate St. Louis in favor of other midwest cities, which gets me admittedly butt hurt. Hopefully this will change soon. If you ever need a show or place to stay here hit a homie up. Mark at the Lemp Arts Center is always willing to have rad bands play at the Lemp, and there's no shortage of awesome, free stuff to do in the city if you're a touring band. It's all love here.. aight I'm done peace.