As some of you may have noticed, I am from Scranton, PA and have a great deal of affinity for my hometown. Something that I especially love about Scrantland (other than the fact that Vice President Joe Biden was born there) is that a lot of bands from the NEPA/Scranton scene have gone on to become big time punk/indie acts, so this playlist is an introduction to those bands. While many of these acts have moved on to the bigger stages of Philadelphia, the Scranton scene has produced some truly great acts in recent years.
I wrote earlier this week about The Menzingers new track “Lookers”, which makes an appearance on the playlist, as well as two songs from their 2012 masterpiece On the Impossible Past. The four-piece punk band signed to Epitaph Records back in 2011 and features Tom May, Greg Barnett, Joe Godino, and Eric Keen. The band has really expanded their sound from the straightforward punk rock that characterized their earlier work and I’m stoked to hear how their forthcoming 5th album After the Party continues that progression.
Greg is not the only Barnett featured on the playlist, as his brother, Bobby, makes an appearance with his band Captain! We’re Sinking. Captain! is also a four piece punk band still based in Scranton and is currently signed to Run For Cover records. The band thus far has released two studio albums and is due for another some time in the near future.
Run for Cover has really taken notice of the Scranton scene, as two other bands from the area – and on this playlist – are signed to the label in indie-punk act Tigers Jaw and indie artist Petal. Tigers Jaw currently consists of just two of their 5 founding members, Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh, after 3 members departed following the recording of their most recent studio album Charmer. Petal has just one full time member – Kiley Lotz. Often times on tour, she is joined on stage by Ben and Brianna from Tigers Jaw, as well as a cadre of other musicians form the Scranton scene.
The former members of Tigers Jaw splintered of to form two of the other groups featured on the album. Dennis Mishko and Pat Brier went back to their childhood band, Three Man Cannon, that also features Matt Schimelfenig and Spencer Hogans. The indie outfit is signed to Lame-O Records and touts similar brooding, basement punk as Tigers Jaw with a slight infusion of folk. Former Tigers Jaw frontman, however, went on to something totally different, using his signature emo draw over house beats in his new project Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. My weekly playlist features the song “It Takes” off his newest LP Secret Boy, which I wrote about earlier this year.
The playlist is rounded out with tracks from the indie pop band Esta Coda and the only band that is not technically from Scranton – indie rockers Title Fight, who came up a few towns over in Kingston, PA.
And that is the Scranton Scene. What do you think of the playlist? Let me know below and be sure to follow fawkesculture on Spotify so you never miss a weekly playlist!
By Matt Atwell