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First Listen: Back Alley Riot

First Listen: Back Alley Riot

Back Alley Riot

I’m constantly surprised by the music scene in Milwaukee. With Summerfest, the Rave/Eagles Ballroom, and Turner Hall/Pabst/Riverside among others, I feel we Milwaukeeans are spoiled when it comes to music.  But more importantly, we are spoiled because we get a steady stream of up-and-coming indie, punk, ska and more. All over the city, any given night (this one happened to be a Wednesday for a friend’s birthday) you can check out amazing bands on their way through town.

To be honest though, I wasn’t expecting much out of the two band lineup Frank’s Power Plant had scheduled. I was very pleasantly surprised by one in particular – Back Alley Riot. There was something about their sound, hints of MXPX, mixed with Rolling Stones and The Black Crowes, I just kept going back to listen. Their sound is agressive and tight. Mike Nakis’ vocals are gritty, which plays well with the lyrics. The solos by both guitarists were well thought out, clean, and didn’t fall into the repetitive pitfall most of the indie bands I see do.  The bass lines were spot on, clean and played immaculately.  I liked drummer Matt Jankiewicz, espsecially. His sound is technical, diverse and driving. Any up and coming punk drummer should listen to his playing.

According to the band they are, “Blue-collar story telling with stage-shaking power chords, creating punk rock songs with a down-home twist. Back Alley Riot blends punk, rock, and southern boogie with an explosive live show that will leave you breathless and begging for more.”

I would agree. Back Alley Riot has a bright future.  They have also been gracious enough to give us a peek at their upcoming EP:

Forget My Head (mp3)

Band Name: Back Alley Riot
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Genres: Rock / Punk Rock
Label: Independent
    Mike Nakis – vocals/guitar
    Matt Jankiewicz – drums
    Russell Katzenmaier – bass
    Danny Starks – guitar/vocals

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