BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS: More to discover in NEPA scene

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First Posted: 6/24/2013

So it is already June. It’s hard to believe that. It seemed like only yesterday that I was getting our van out of the frozen tundra to go on tour. But here we are, six months down the line. And to me, one of the most miraculous things is looking back on this column. “Breaking Down the Walls” has been going strong for half a year now. I feel very proud of this feat, and looking back at the articles, it’s clear that so much has happened.There have been new bands like Grin and Life of Reilly starting up, old bands like United Youth calling it quits, important bands like Strength for a Reason releasing new music, and the long wait for the Cold World LP seems to be coming to an end. Not only that, but there have been bands from all over the country coming to play in Wilkes-Barre, Nanticoke, Glen Lyon, Scranton, and beyond.

Every time I sit down to write an article, I try and talk about something that’s going on and also discuss other important things that I believe are happening in the punk and hardcore scene of Northeast Pennsylvania. To me, these articles are just like the music that I write about – it’s about expressing something, but at the same time looking for the deeper meaning. Just like every work of art, there are symbols, metaphors strewn throughout music, and consequently in my writings.

The music and people that come out of this area never cease to impress me. From young kids starting their first bands to veterans continuing their seemingly never-ending quest, the bands from NEPA are constantly writing their own history. While I tell you every two weeks what new things are going on, there is even more happening that is unsaid. Right now as you read this, a person can be writing a song or recording a record or booking a show that will surely change the music scene.

I recently recorded a demo for a new band called Vice Grip. The band combines various influences, from powerviolence to hardcore, to create a unique sound unlike anything I’ve heard from the area. In talking with them, they informed me of a cornucopia of newer bands right underneath my nose that I hadn’t even heard of.

During this conversation, I came to the great realization that even though my whole life revolves around music and focuses on local bands and events, there is still so much more to learn. Just when you think you have your finger on the pulse, it moves. And while I guess this can be discouraging, this is the best motivation that I have had in a while. There is a whole new world yet for me to explore, and it’s all in my backyard. To reference back to the first thing I ever wrote for this column in December of 2012, “Breaking Down the Walls” is more than just a source of news, but rather a source of ideas and thoughts. Search for the symbolism throughout the locals bands and the local music and, most importantly, create some for yourself.