*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*

This month’s state is Nebraska!

It is with absolute pleasure that I get to be the one to tell you about this group of oddballs. UNIVERSE CONTEST are currently a five-piece group out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Everything about them is a little bit different from the stories we usually get from our State of the Art entries.

They started off in 2010 as Winners Of The Best Band In The Universe Contest Three Years Running, (yes, you did read that right) but shortened their name to UNIVERSE CONTEST to ease difficulties for marquees and flyers. Their three core members, Timothy Perry Carr (guitar/vocals), Joey Humpal (baritone guitar/vocals) and Brenton Neville (at the time drummer) were in separate bands that weren’t quite right for them, so they joined together to start a now eight years long venture with UNIVERSE CONTEST. They favor a revolving door policy with their lineup, so Timothy and Joey remain, along with the current additions of Jordan Ellis on electric violin, Jordan Elfers on drums, and Jacob Ledbetter on bass.

So we know they’re a bit different from their name alone, but what about their music? Well, UNIVERSE CONTEST just released their fourth album “Get Cot Livin'” on Halloween last year and just finished a tour on New Years. Nothing terribly odd about that. But it follows the release of their first self titled album, “Winners of the Best Band In The Universe Contest Three Years Running,” an EP “Discovering And Deciphering Your Value As A Human Being,” and their third, “We Are The Rattlesnake.” And before you decide I’m being mean in introducing these guys as odd, they actually pride their selves on it. From creating an “ad-ception” on their Facebook page (really, just peruse their page for a bit, it’s fascinating), to playing a venue without using their new lights setup simply because, why not? Listening to “Get Cot Livin'” though, I’d consider them a mix of garage and psychadelic rock. If you’d also like to listen to tracks like “Cooler Full of Babes (Trunks Full of Hunks)”, “The Day The Earth Took Pills”, or “Doo Without Papers”, you can find their two most recent album releases on Spotify and Bandcamp. The two earliest releases are only on Bandcamp.  You can also message the band to find out how to grab a vinyl or cassette setup of “Get Cot Livin'”.

Oddities aside, or actually, preferred, I enjoyed what these guys have put out and definitely think you should give them a go as well! Until next month all!


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