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Kill The Frontman’s sound is not what you might expect from a band whose members have punched numbers in both hardcore and hip-hop outfits, but then again, satisfying expectations has never produced original or powerful music.
Chris Reynolds, formerly of This is Hell, and Matt McGinley, currently the backbone of Gym Class Heroes, first met as undergraduates at Oneonta College, where they enlisted the help of guitarist and vocalist Frank Sicari in breaking ground on a band whose sound is equal parts punk, pop, and hardcore. Originally touring under the name Sherwood, Kill The Frontman has played host to a slew of bass players, all of whom seem to have found success in their own right (former member Eric Roberts now plays bass alongside McGinley in Gym Class Heroes). The band has finally located a permanent bass player in Zo Mourning, who has written music with Reynolds since their days growing up in the doldrums of rural New York.
While achieving marginal success in the Oneonta area, McGinley left Kill The Frontman to pursue Gym Class Heroes and Reynolds joined Scraps and Heart Attacks, a lesser known old-school hardcore troupe from the early millennium. The band went on an indefinite hiatus until last fall, when all four members took a break from their respective projects and got together to record Songs from the Game Room.
The songwriting on Songs from the Game Room is an amalgamation of the various nuances and styles each member of the band is capable of contributing. At times, Reynolds manages to sound like both the bastard son of Fat Mike and the heir to the throne left vacant by Modern Life Is War’s Jeffrey Eaton. The precision and flare of McGinley’s beats are unmistakable throughout Songs from the Game Room, as is Sicari’s trademark background vocal slur. The album, whose title is a nod to the garage loft where Reynolds wrote, rehearsed, and recorded for years on end, brings together songs from Kill The Frontman’s days as Sherwood, as well as tracks written within the last year. The result is a yearbook of innovative and steadfast songwriting—a welcome violation of what we’ve come to accept as our expectations of pop, punk, and hardcore.