The State of Sound Off!Posted by Guy Keltner
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Sound Off! underage battle of the bands at the Experience Music Project. The event has helped launch myriad careers in the past decade, with notable participants such as The Globes (who performed as “For Years Blue”), The Lonely Forest, SOL, Schoolyard Heroes, and Dyme Def. Each year the event seems to get a little bigger and more diverse, but for some reason this year seems especially varied and full of local talent.
Considering the long line of talent associated with Sound Off, it’s no wonder that the competition has become increasingly competitive, and this year the lineup includes such exceptional acts as Land of Pines, Kids & Animals, Ambulance and Kung Foo Grip.
Kids & Animals have already felt a small taste of local popularity, self releasing a well-received record this past year, with the single “Dirty City” featured as Song of the Day on KEXP last January. After a months-long hiatus, the band appears poised to make a valiant and undoubtedly fun-filled effort at the competition, and will surely see their star rise in its aftermath.
Fortune seems to especially favor local bassist Spencer Miller. His two current projects, post-punk outfit Ambulance and indie-popsters Land of Pines, were accepted into the competition this year. If that wasn’t enough to boost his ego, both bands have charted this past week on KEXP’s variety list. Land of Pines came in at #68 with their current debut EP, 1, receiving numerous requests, and Ambulance hit #57, a smashing accomplishment for a band whose members are still in high school and are probably dealing with preparation for their High School Proficiency Exams at the moment.
The first night of competition takes place on February 12th, and features Ambulance against some immensely talented young bands. The semi-finals continue each Saturday through the 26th, and the final round will be on Saturday March 5th. If you love being on top of the next best thing in local music, make an effort to go out and support these bands. You will be deeply satisfied.