Fifteen ago The Balsa Gliders stopped listening to indie rock and started playing it.

The Gliders are a loose collective of North Carolinians who formed friendships in Chapel Hill during the 1990s. Their spirited live shows recall some of the anthemic indie rock from the ‘90s that made the Triangle famous. The melodies echo local bands from Let’s Active to Portastatic to even Archers of Loaf.

Now based in Raleigh, Charlotte, D.C. and various other places The Balsa Gliders write and perform alongside an assortment of decidedly “non-indie” day jobs. Bassist Greg Jones is an Episcopal rector with fondness for Motown and Zeppelin. Ben Davis and Charles Marshall are media lawyers who trade Guided By Voices tabs over lunch. Mike Ferguson is a surgeon who loves Propellerhead tools. Chuck Price works at a big bank and admits to liking Better than Ezra. Russ Tisinger has some sort of PhD. They tour in a mini-van.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Was Totally Destroying It set to totally destroy it with the Balsa Gliders

Hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I Was Totally Destroying It (IWTDI) have been swinging sledgehammers at barriers since early 2007. Can a band whose ages span seventeen years demonstrate the chemistry to keep them cohesive? Can a band toe the line between mainstream palatability and indie-rock influence while appealing to a wide range of audiences? Can a bumblebee overcome the ratio of its wingspan to its mass and produce enough lift to take flight? We now know that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!

Mixing indie rock veterans James Hepler (Sorry About Dresden, Erie Choir) and John Booker (Strunken White, io) with talented young upstarts Rachel Hirsh (A-OK), Curtis Armstead (Places to Live), and Joe Mazzitelli (Lemming Malloy) has so far been a recipe for awesome. A unique blend of 80's rock-think Outfield and The Cure- and 90's indie rock such as Superchunk, Velocity Girl, and The Anniversary leaves listeners' palates assaulted by pop flavor. IWTDI sweat and slave over their songs, leaving no aural opportunity unvisited. Their lyrics belie the sweet, sunny suggestions of their upbeat melodies, inviting you to listen in on their conversations about self-loathing, fear, and intimacy. The end result is a feast of music worth sinking your teeth into.