2013 Best New Bands alums Connections have deep roots in the Ohio rock scene. Their membership includes veterans from such Columbus staples as El Jesus De Magico, Swarming Branch, and 84 Nash, the latter of whom were the first non-Guided By Voices affiliated band to sign to Robert Polland’s Rockathon label back in the ’90s. Beyond their ties to that classic Dayton outfit, Connections have opened on tour for the Breeders, perhaps the definitive Ohio indie icons. All this history gives some context for Connections’ sonic similarities to the likes of those aforementioned bands, but the quintet distinguishes themselves stylistically in approach. They don’t stomp with the same aggression as their peers, instead swinging with a gleeful cheer that seeps through their blanket of distortion.
Connections’ latest single “Month 2 Month,” from their upcoming fourth full-length Midnight Run, keeps the band’s lo-fi grit well intact, but aims to be heard up in the bleachers rather than just by those against the rails. Lead singer Kevin Elliott disguises a gnawing fear of uncertainty in blistering pop-hooks, shouting “I’m better off that way!” on the chorus over an anthemic bassline and chugging drums. The song dedicates its last minute and a half to guitarist Dave Capaldi’s frenetic solo, all acrobatic twists and turns that churn in the mud as often as they soar in the sky. It’s a killer tune, charming and chunky, and totally worthy of their proud Columbus heritage. Listen below via NPR.
Midnight Run is out 7/22 on Anyway. Pre-order it here.