Pine Barons wins band battle and radio airtime


(Courtesy of Courtney Wirths / The Signal Photo Editor)

Five bands, ranging from folk to hardcore punk to funky ska, performed at the third annual Battle of the Bands, co-sponsored by CUB Rat and 91.3FM WTSR, on Sunday, April 6.

Pine Barons won first place, high-rotation airtime on WTSR and an opening spot in one of next semester’s shows at the Rat.

In second place with low-rotation airtime was Old Briar Road, comprised of Michael Cort on banjo and percussion, Kyle McCabe on guitar, drums and vocals and Daniel Crowley on guitar.

Unfortunately, vocalist Julia Malak was unable to attend.

The indie folk band performed “Harvest,” “Like Father Like Son,” “Settle Down” and other rustic originals from their debut album “Creek Fables,” which is scheduled to be released this summer.

Pine Barons took the stage next, with Keith Abrams and Brad Pulley on guitar and vocals, Collin Smith on traps and vocals and Shane Hower on bass and drums.

The self-described “psych-folk-harmonious-americana-rock and roll band” played “Carnival,” “Alpha-igloo-bet,” “Chamber Choir” and more from their self-titled debut album.

“We were friends before we were a band, but then the stars aligned and we realized our rock and roll destiny,” said Pulley, an electrical engineering major at Drexel.

On Your Marks, composed of Alex Piraquive on vocals and guitar, Freddie Koechlin on bass, Matt Arnone on drums and Phil McGarry on guitar and vocals, has played alongside headliners such as Man Overboard, Such Gold, Pentimento and State Champ.

The Monmouth County-based band played songs from their EP “Ripped Out By The Roots,” including “Coma,” “Anxiety” and “Time Lock.” The official music video for “Time Lock” is available to view on YouTube.

Alternative rock band, The Blithedale Romance, comprised of guitarists and vocalists Rob Graham and Brian Rennwans, bassist and vocalist Jason Renna and drummer Andy Onorato, performed “Master of Time,” “December 1854,” “Future Plans and Old Mans” and other hits from their first EP “Kings,” available on iTunes.

The Phonies finished the afternoon with a unique blend of brass, strings and percussion.

Sean Conlon on guitar and vocals, David Greiff on drums and vocals, Brandon Conlon on bass, Ben Godwin on trumpet, Chris Linden on alto sax, Jake Fike on baritone sax and Mike Rilli on trombone performed “In The Blink of an Eye,” “Breathe” and a cover of Muse’s “Muscle Museum.”

When Conlon’s guitar string snapped, Pulley from Pine Barons didn’t hesitate to lend over his own turquoise guitar for the remainder of the set.

“I encourage anyone who missed the Phonies’ set to correct that mistake — they were Radtacular,” Pulley said. “We had a blast playing and really appreciated the encouragement and enthusiasm of everyone at the event. All the bands were really great and we would have happily lost to any of them!”

All the proceeds from the event go to to the Trenton Community Music School.

*This story was originally published in The Signal.

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