After battling through four preliminary rounds, four bands have emerged to the musical surface to go bass to your face. They are ready to rock, reggae, hip-hop and pop your socks off at the 7th Annual Mid-Atlantic Band Battle Finals. With Emcee Nate Ihara, from local band We Were Kings, to a stage full of local bands and local judges, Jammin’ Java continues to show the locals love. The lucky finalists this time around are DZD, FLUX180, Western Affairs, and Lightspeed Rescue.
If you’re like me and these bands are new to your ears, check them out before the show so you can place your bets. All the bands have their own sound and style, so this will be a great night of music no matter who the ultimate winner is. We will have to wait for the big night to find out what order they play in but my advice is to catch all of them and then support your favorite group.
DC’s own rock reggae groovemasters DZD provide simple songs about life expeditions and lessons. They are working on a debut album this summer but be sure to catch one of their shows while touring up and down the East Coast.
Providing stiff competition is FLUX180, captivating the crowd with seven of DMVs finest musicians. Their energy and real life lyrics scored them the win before and they hope to create the same magic at the Finals.
DMV-based Lightspeed Rescue is hoping to claim the winning title at yet another band battle. They incorporate alternative hip-hop, jazzy harmony and funky goodness known to make the crowd dance and smile.
Last but not least, another unsigned DC band, Western Affairs, is a trio offering experimental pop, filled with synth, guitar and powerful drums. Check out their latest EP release, “2000,” to get a sample of their eclectic stylings.
This is a generous opportunity for the four bands competing for a grand prize including $2,500 cash, studio time at Cue Recording Studios, a headlining show at Jammin’ Java, a professional band shoot with Snapp-Shot Photography, business cards and poster design by BandsbyLuke, printing of both via Donnelly’s Printing, and much more. The runners-up even get a band shoot with Mark Anthony Photography and gift certificates to Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, so everyone leaves a winner.
You’ll wish you could be an official judge along with rock legend Pat Sommers from Pat Sommers Rock Shop, local producer/engineer/guitarist Mark Williams from Sucker Punch Recording Co, and another local, Jim Ebert from Ebert Audio. Instead of solely basing their decisions on crowd response, the judges’ tough task involves deciding whose overall musicianship, songwriting, solid factor, and look all adds up. Good luck to all and let the battle begin!
The Mid-Atlantic Band Battle Finals are August 17 at 8 p.m. Jammin’ Java: 227 E. Maple Ave. Vienna, VA; 703-255-1566; www.jamminjava.com.