*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Arkansas!
Hard to believe we are already in the month of May as we move onto the state of Arkansas for this month’s State of the Art series. As is the case with the other states that we have covered, it is always fun to search for new music where I would not normally look. A few of my current go-to bands have stemmed from my searches and have a definite feeling this is going to be another such case. The band is SwitchbacH.
A brief history of SwitchbacH from information found on the Internet and from their social media sites: From Stuttgart, AR, SwitchbacH was born out of a musical attachment between lead singer Curtis Yancey and his son, Jett Yancey. Curtis has a long history with the music industry, starting at the age of fourteen, when he joined his first band. At the ripe old age of sixteen, he left Arkansas and hitchhiked to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of musical stardom. After fronting a number of bands in CA, he returned to Arkansas where his son Jett was a percussionist with the Stuttgart High School Marching Band. In 2012 he began seriously working on musical technique and began working on music writing with his father. With the addition of Little Rock, AR guitarist Richard Yang and Searcy, AR bassist Zach Carpenter, SwithbacH was a completed band. Influences on SwitchbacH are as varied as there are types of music: Jazz, Country, Rock, Progressive Metal, Funk, Pop, Blues and Marching Bands which all give this powerhouse band a signature sound that is unique, raw and extremely moving. In online videos of the band playing live, they definitely have the presence that would be at home on any arena on this planet or the smallest of local venues. Yes, another band that is just that damned good…
Musically, SwitchbacH is very, very mature. This is not cookie cutter music that can be listened to, enjoyed and easily dismissed. It is also not sterilized, overly processed like so much modern music. Instead it is rich, bluesy-metal lead lines played on heavy or very heavy rhythms that could find this band on just about any of the rock station play list throughout the world. Catchy like early 90’s Hard Rock and Pop Metal; heavy with modern grooves; this band is sure to attract the attention of old and young, alike. Curtis Yancey’s vocals are the piece de resistance and solidly define SwitchbacH’s sound. Think Alice In Chains meets David Allen Coe (when he was playing with Dime in Rebel Meets Rebel) maybe. Rich, with a Southern Rock feel but now quite to the point of Outlaw Biker Metal or modern, Southern Rock. Lyrically, this band pulls no punches either. Songs deal with relevant and often disturbing subject matter like drug and alcohol abuse, neglect and coming back to life from the depths of hell (“Surrender” particularly moves me). Even so, SwitchbacH’s message is never negative or down. Like their unique brand of music, the lyrics are fittingly and unusually positive. Definitely a break from much of the modern angsty, overly down and angry themes running through so much music today.
While SwitchbacH has a following as wide as their diverse musical influences from all over the world, they can be seen in and around their home town of Stuttgart in Central Arkansas. They have released a number of songs that are available on Reverbnation and YouTube and are currently getting ready to release a new CD, “Impact” that is due out sometime later this month with a huge CD release party at the MetroPlex in Little Rock, AR with none other than Pop Evil, which SwithbacH is stoked about! With the brutal strength of their current singles, this is sure to be a must-have CD and the launching point for tomorrow’s Hard Rock superstars. I simply cannot wait to hear it!