The best bands in Cincinnati

THE BEST BANDS IN CINCINNATI Tim Broxterman ‘12 There’s so much more to music than what’s on the radio. In fact, some of the best music can’t be found anywhere on the radio. Cincinnati is home to several great local bands that, although they haven’t made it big just yet, are better than most of what’s on the radio today. The Dopamines The Dopamines are the first on my list of great local bands. They’re a punk band who play some of the catchiest songs you’ll ever hear. So far, they’ve released 2 albums. The first, self titled album was a strong entrance into the music scene in Cincinnati. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s by no means terrible. The songs from the album deal with subjects such as lost love, stupid things people do when they’re drunk, and the feeling of being 23 with no direction in life. Their next album, Expect the Worst , is absolutely fantastic. It’s one of those albums that you just listen to over and over again. When I first got the album, I listened to it five times consecutively. It’s just that good. Expect the Worst takes on a bit more of a critical tone, with many songs condemning the actions of others for giving up on their hopes and dreams. There are, however, still a few songs that are light hearted and jocular. This provides a nice balance to the album, and makes it much more enjoyable to listen to. The Dopamines play in Cincinnati quite often, and their shows are an absolute blast (although they may be harder to come by now that the Southgate House has closed…RIP). I strongly encourage you to attend. You’ll find yourself dancing around, screaming the lyrics, and just having an overall great time. And say “Hi” if you see me there. It’ll help brighten my day. Songs to check out: Dick Simmons, You’d Make a Good Horsecop, Cincinnati Harmony The Mixtapes Another great local band, the Mixtapes, walk a thin line between alternative rock and punk. Some of their songs are fast and heavily punk influenced, while others are mellower and slowed down, which leads to a more alternative rock feel. The Mixtapes have yet to release an album, but have released several fairly long EPs. Their EP Maps is probably my favorite. The songs on Maps all come from the point of view of a socially awkward kid and the misadventures that he or she may encounter. The protagonist of the songs on Maps comes from a group of kids that not many people hear about. He doesn’t like to party and feels out of step with the world. The world has, for the most part, ignored this type of character in favor of more generalized heroes. The Mixtapes’ ability to effortlessly blend the genres of alternative and punk also really shines on this EP. Some songs will make you want to get up and jump, while others are slower and more piano focused than traditional rock songs. Unfortunately, I have yet to see the Mixtapes play. They’re currently busy recording their first full length album, instead. Recently, the Mixtapes announced a U.S. tour scheduled to start March 15. They will be touring with Set Your Goals, Cartel, Fireworks, and Hit the Lights. They don’t have a stop in Cincinnati, but do stop by Covington and Cleveland. It would surely be worth the drive to go see these guys. Songs to check out: Nothing Can Kill the Grimace, Hope Springs Eternal, Orange Yellow Here’s to the Heroes Although they’re fairly new to the music scene, Here’s to the Heroes is already on the way to success. Listening to their own brand of music, which they call “partycore”, is a guaranteed good time. They came up with partycore from the overall catchiness of their songs and their love for playing house parties. They’ve released a seven song EP so far, which despite its brevity is still phenomenal. When they perform, the music and stage presence is great. Everyone on stage is jumping around and having a good time, which radiates to the people watching. They don’t hesitate to bring friends or fans up on stage either. At their most recent show, I got pulled on stage and got to sing with the band for a few glorious seconds. They’re just happy if you come to the shows, scream the lyrics, and have a good time. Here’s to the Heroes write songs from the perspective of a guy fresh out of college who was given a degree and told “good luck finding your future.” Despite their situation being less than ideal, their songs aren’t very depressing. They still manage to have a good time and be happy. One example is their song “We’ve Got It All.” It’s mostly a reflection on the singer’s adolescence, opening with the lines “I can’t complain too much / But I’ve been trying for years.” Over the course of the song, he realizes that while he once thought life was terrible, it’s actually great if you decide to make it that way. Placing third in Battle of the Bands on Feb 11 th , these guys have so much potential and it would not surprise me if they got somewhere in the future. Songs to check out: We’ve Got It All, Breathe City Breathe, All Gone Wrong So there you have it, 3 fantastic bands that you’ve probably never heard of. If you’re ever looking for something to do, go to some of their shows. You can find out when they’re gonna play on their Facebook pages and/or websites. I can’t recommend these guys enough. Check them out and go to a show, you’ll be glad you did.