By Mitch Tousley
Night 3 of The Boardwalk’s Spring Battle of the Bands brought a diverse assembly of bands and passionate fans for each. The night saw many styles and subgenres of rock music at their best and some of the most engaged crowds at a local show I’ve ever seen.
Ethnic Anomaly started the night off strong, kicking their first song off with the iconic 4-count on the drumsticks right into an abrasive hard rock groove. Their second song began with a romantic piano line and vocal refrains: “I actually don’t mind.” The emotional tone of the song was accented by driving drums and delicate high guitar arpeggios. The rest of their set displayed obvious 2000s influences like Evanescence and Linkin Park, with big anthemic guitars and pounding drums against emotional lyrics.
New American Gothic
The second band brought a great new energy to the night, opening with big, grandiose guitar chords. Throughout their set, the changing mixture of tones and timbres provided for the most unique sonic palette of the night. Their second song brought together a perfect blend of elements both noisy and catchy with every band member rhythmically swaying with monstrous drum hits. Buzzy bass lines and grooving drums provided nice variation during the first half of their set.
Gothic’s lead vocalist was constantly engaging in her vocal delivery and general stage presence. The band’s third song introduced a brassy synth pad that was an excellent touch to an otherwise synth-free night. New American Gothic’s closing song had some mind bending guitar harmonies reminiscent of Palm’s guitar work. It paired deliciously with the rhythms laid down by the drums.
Say It Back
Say It Back’s opening was strong and inviting, comfortably welcoming the audience closer to the stage and into their space. The band’s set was rife with emo-tinged pop-punk that the band was perfectly locked into. By the third song, I was getting Yellowcard vibes and it was during this song that the first very well-deserved mosh of the night broke out.
The band’s fourth song was high energy with a very singable chorus. They got the crowd chanting with them during the bridge and it was the most energetic moment of the show (at that point). The last song took an emotional turn, with the singer introducing it by opening up about a tragedy in his life that inspired the song. Some in the crowd were singing along and it was certainly the most emotionally potent moment of the night.
The final performers of the night made it immediately clear that they were here to leave a mark. Opening with Slayer-esque thrash metal, I was stunned by the vocalist’s alternation between harsh screams and eerie falsetto. Their second song started with an enchanting drum texture that was rapidly switching between the ride cymbal and rimshots. This drum groove was accented with thick and ominous bass hits. I thought it couldn’t get heavier, but then the guitars came in fat as can be and the vocalist left everyone wondering if his voice would ever recover. Their final song featured demonic growls and opened up a circle pit that looked like some kind of hellish dance. The band rocked insanely hard and easily brought the most energy of the night.
The judges had a very tough decision to make, with every band bringing their A game and the crowd vote only providing the slightest of edge to some bands. After much deliberation, New American Gothic was named the night’s winner.
Make sure to follow The Boardwalk on Instagram and listen to “Age of Oppression” by New American Gothic below! The next round starts tonight at 6:30 PM at The Boardwalk. Get tickets here.
One reply on “The Boardwalk Spring 2023 Battle of the Bands Recap – Night 3”
[…] also needs to be recorded pronto) got people jumping and stank facing on the bass groove alone. Mitch Tousley was a huge fan of this song’s synth, and I totally understand why. Below is their only song on Spotify. […]