Ryley Grayson doesn’t like to get caught up in discussion about labels or musical genres. Him and his band, West & Run, just want to play the music they like and let the cards fall where they may. Alive and kicking in one form or another for the last three years, West & Run has toiled away in the West Michigan music scene, slinging a high-energy, peppy brand of rock that many might call pop rock.
A lot of bands charge out of the gates, ready to take on the world. A frantic pace and sky-high expectations might be kosher for some, but it doesn't really fit the M.O. of Grand Rapids-based synth rock band Archery. This band is slow and plodding, meticulously mapping out their musical route.
The hardcore/screamo scene in West Michigan has taken its share of hits over the years. With all ages-centric venues like Skelletones, MXTP and The DAAC going under, there are few places left for these bands to throw down in. We've even seen a drop in the DIY-style shows that take over local VFW halls. But, don't worry...the scene is still alive and kicking, and Grand Rapids-based Divided They Fall is doing its part to keep it that way.
It's fair to call Megan Dooley the First Lady of Kalamazoo Music. Listening to Dooley recount the early days of her career requires a serious stroll down memory lane, which is a trip for those who pine for days where venues like Club Soda, Mr. Wonderfuls and Kraftbrau held the scene together. "It's been 13 years since I got on stage for the first time to play music; I was 15," Dooley said.
Ask Paul Tefft what kind of music his band plays, and he’s not going to give you a long, convoluted answer, rife with comparisons to mainstream acts. In fact, his answer is only two-and-a-half words long: “Rock ‘n’ roll”.
With the average shelf life of a local band at about a year or two, you got to tip your hat to any group that can manage to stay together longer — much less keep people coming in the door to check out their shows.
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