Monday, February 7, 2011

Band Of The Week: Rust Belt Lights

I tend to enjoy more obscure bands. My friends make fun of me for it, but most mainstream music just isn't appealing to me. I don't go out of my way to find these bands, it just kinda happens. A song on a compilation, a mention in a newsfeed, randomly seeing a name that sounds interesting, whatever. These bands just find me.

The second Library Punk Band Of The Week is far from obscure. Alkaline Trio get radio play, they've had videos on MTV, they've made decent placements in music charts. But they're one of the exceptions. The other two, Red City Radio and Old Man Markley, are fairly obscure. I don't know anyone that has heard of  them beyond me talking about them. And the fourth part of my ongoing series is the most obscure yet: Rust Belt Lights.

I heard about Rust Belt Lights through a post on Punknews about Let Me Run (another good yet obscure band) and thought their name was interesting (I didn't remember this offhand, I had to search the Punknews archive to figure out how I heard about them). I figured from their name that they must be from relatively near me as I live in the Rust Belt*. So I looked them up and found out that not only are they from the Rust Belt as the name implies, they're actually from Buffalo, NY, about an hour from where I live. So that was exciting and I decided to check them out, because I love how many bands are coming out of Buffalo lately.

Despite being the most obscure band I've covered so far, I was surprised to hear a friend/co-worker bring them up in conversation once. A friend of his was in a band with current members of Rust Belt Lights, so it's kinda cool to know I have a "friend of a friend" connection to a band I had already enjoyed.

RBL play a kind of melodic hardcore with pop edge. Very anthemic, very fun, but still fairly agressive. I've seen them compared to The Movielife, so I just went through my iTunes library for This Time Next Year and Forty Hour Train Back To Penn and the comparisons are valid. Similar sound, but updated about a decade.

I've had their Long Gone EP for a while, but I finally got around to checking out the full-length they released late last year, These Are The Good Old Days (on Paper + Plastick Records, quickly becoming one of my favorite labels). Very good, it probably would have made my "Best of 2010" list if I had listened to it earlier.

You can check out "It Ain't What It Used To Be" from Good Old Days here. They also have tracks on ThePunkSite's It's Like Bringing A Fork To A Gunfight and AMP Magazine's 35 Punks Songs Are Better Than 3 Feet Of Snow Any Day.

*Side note: I had always assumed it was called the Rust Belt because of our winters. Very cold and very snowy, and a lot of salt gets dumped on the roads to combat the ice, which leads to rusty cars. But according to Wikipedia, it's because of the area's involvement in the steel and automobile industries. Which I guess also makes sense. I like to learn something new every day.

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