Welcome back to The Rock Show, where it’s all about the music! Over the years a few interesting bands have come from the Philadelphia area, including the likes of The Hooters, Live, Circa Survive, and Halestorm (okay, Live is from York, but it’s close enough to count!). Some have gone on to find great success and others have become hometown heroes. Every year when radio stations like WMMR and WRFF host concert events there’s always local talent opening the shows. Recent MMRBQs have featured bands like John the Conqueror and Kid Felix, and WRFF events have included Rivers Monroe and June Divided. These bands have yet to hit it big, and that’s truly a shame. But it’s proof that the Philly music scene is thriving, and new bands are in fact getting noticed by the local radio stations. WRFF has a New Music Show on Sundays, and for a while last year June Divided was actually getting some airplay. And one of those times I happened to be tuning in.
June Divided currently has a full album (Backbone) and an EP (The Other Side of You) out, and from recent posts on social media it sounds like they’re working on new material right now. I’ve listened to all of it, and I can tell you that this is a band that has talent. They’ve been part of Warped Tour (including this year’s lineup at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden) and they’ve been playing shows all over the place over the past year or so. Their sound is a healthy blend of alternative, emo, and punk all rolled into one, with odd time signatures and lead guitar riffs that speak to a borderline progressive atmosphere. The songs are varied enough that it’s hard to confuse one for the other–they stand out and each one is memorable. They’re not all fantastic, of course, but one can’t expect that right out of the gate. There will always be weaker tracks. But the fact is they’ve managed to make complex music catchy, and that’s always a tough task.
It’s always hard to tell when an underground band is close to breaking out. I’m not a music industry professional (for better or for worse), and I don’t have the insight to tell if they’re going to get big. But WRFF has played them already, so they’re aware of the band’s existence. That’s a good start, if nothing else. But emo/punk bands have always had a tough time in Philly. You get your exceptions, like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Yellowcard (in their respective heydays). But when I look at the Warped Tour lineup, I see very few bands that get attention from the local radio stations. That’s not a good precedent for a band who’s actively following in those footsteps. That means they may still have a tough road ahead of them.
And that’s where you come in, of course! Check them out, and then go buy their music. Go see them when they play local bar shows. Philly is without a doubt a town where music thrives, and it can spawn all kinds of cult bands and loyal followings. Now that you’ve been made aware of a new band, go make sure they don’t fade into obscurity. I’ve been rocking out to them for the past year, and I’m eagerly awaiting what comes next. My only regret is not discovering them soon enough to get them onto The Rock Show on WLVR.
The Way We Started Out
~The Rock Show, where it’s all about the music!