Harnessing the Sun

All posts tagged Harnessing the Sun

1779467_10152223732025987_905242614_n

By Frank Myers (Opinion Nation)

Another month in the books and a few of the shows that rocked my May to tell you about. So, I caught a few shows this past month, not quite as many as I’d of like to have made it out to, but the ones I did see I am very glad I caught. The music scene is pushing right along and taking no prisoners on it’s path . I am glad to see so many of the local bands putting in so much effort and time to keep the scene moving forward. A huge shoutout as well to all the touring bands that grace our stages throughout the year, greatly appreciated.

So, I kicked my month of music off one hell of a rock and roll party people!!! May started for me with The Spastic Hearts, The Idle Shades, and Voice of Addiction from Chicago. This show was a masterpiece of rock at its finest. The bands all pulled in a great turn out and Cedars provided the perfect venue for the show. The sound was on the money, the beers were cold and so was the bottle of Champagne I drank. The Turbo Lovers were billed to play but due to last minute circumstances were forced to back out, and they were missed on stage, but the Idle Shades stepped up and did their thing.

Big thank you to those guys, always willing to step up and lend a helping bass riff, drum beat, and kick ass song when needed. Voice of Addiction had an amazing set as well and had the crowd enjoying themselves. Also, a great group of guys off stage as well, would love to see them back in Youngstown in the future.

Then the Spastic Hearts owned the crowd and the stage as always, drawing everyone in with eyes I tell you!! But, seriously the music definitely speaks for itself with that band.

Cedars strikes yet again in May with another great show for everybody. This time it was Baroque Monody, Harnessing the Sun, and Pilot the Mind. Another great crowd, and just an all around good time. Harnessing the Sun started things off and rocked the stage with their own brand of rock and roll. Always looking so intent on mastering their set, while at the same time just having a great time up their performing for the fans. They were great as always.

Then Pilot the Mind played and drew a nice size crowd. The gave their version of a rock show and killed it. Keeping the momentum that Harnessing The Sun started going throughout their set.

Last that night was Baroque Monody, who just keeps getting better with every set. They played their hearts out and showed no problem taking the crowd for a journey with lyrics that give the feeling of personal situations and struggles in life. It is dark but at the same time just helps take your mind on a great rock and roll rollercoaster. The set was great, the whole night was amazing.

Chippers jumped into the ring with a great show of their own, featuring Deaf Eyes, New Diaries, Amnesty for Astronauts, Baroque Monody, and Token. I caught Deaf Eyes from about the middle to end of their set and thought they were pretty good. Didn’t get enough of it to give it a fair review unfortunately. Hopefully catch them in the near future though. Next up was New Diaries, whom did not exactly appeal to my taste in music. They did have a nice crowd of fans who were very much into what they were doing. They put on a strong set and stayed pretty steady in their style and performance. Kudos to them on that!! Keep up the hard work. Then Baroque Monody took stage. They did not let minor sound issues prevent them from giving 100% and doing what they needed to do to keep the crowd into the music.

Next was Amnesty for Astronauts, who bring an energy all their own to the stage and have a very care free, lets have a good time attitude. They too experienced some technical difficulties with the sound, but they kept the momentum, belting out the lyrics and keeping the energy thriving in that bar!! Unfortunately do to a prior engagement I did not get to catch any of Token’s set, I hope to also catch them very soon at another show.

All in all, despite the police presence on the roads due to it being a holiday weekend and the heat in the bar the crowd showed up and the bands rocked! The end of May I caught a bit of the Guilty Pleasures set at the boxcar lounge. My first time in the Boxcar Lounge located at the B&O station, nice little place I must say. The Guilty Pleasures were very entertaining as always and the crowd was into it. Never a bad night with these guys and gal playing. Definitely have to check them out some time. Well, just like May this is the end of this months recap. Hope you all enjoy and I hope to see you all out at future shows supporting the local scene !! Bands and venues included.

Harnessing the Sun live. Left to right, bassist Tom Fratilla, drummer Loren Butz and singer/guitarist Douglas Roberts. Photo courtesy of the band's official Facebook page

Harnessing the Sun live. Left to right, bassist Tom Fratilla, drummer Loren Butz and singer/guitarist Douglas Roberts. Photo courtesy of the band’s official Facebook page.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Amidst the array of smoke-drenched biker bars and competing classic rock tribute acts that dominate most of the Western-Pennsylvania nightlife, a soulful and hard-rocking power trio has emerged to take the reigns and lead the pack.

Harnessing the Sun, a relatively new three-piece rock and roll unit from the Sharon, Pennsylvania area, burst onto the scene this year with their debut album, Sun Signs.

Consisting of the emotionally matured lyrics and driving riffs of singer and guitarist Doulas Roberts, and the groove-heavy rhythm section of bassist Tom Fratilla and drummer Loren Butz, Harnessing the Sun are a power trio unlike any other witnessed in rock music in nearly 25 years.

The band members have individually been hammering away in separate projects for years, paying their dues and crafting their art. But as of last year, the stars aligned when they joined forces to form Harnessing the Sun.

“We won’t name the establishment, but the three of us have all worked at the same place,” said Roberts. “Tom and Loren began jamming with a couple other guys, but once I stopped going to college, I kinda butted my way in I guess.

“He got roped into it,” joked Butz.

After more than a year’s worth of work perfecting their sound, the band was ready to unleash Sun Signs onto the world. The album kicks off with the upbeat rockers “That’s Right” and “Love You to Death,” before leading into the thought-provoking and inspiring track, “Drop Your Weapons.” From there, the old-fashioned amped-up blues ballad “Whiskey and Smoke” tells a tale almost everyone can relate to at one point or another; job loss and shady folks. The story is told with such soulful swagger and straight-up rocking riffs, the listener immediately takes notice to the range of passion Harnessing the Sun provides.

Another key track on Sun Signs is the bittersweet “Life is Good.” Not exactly a chipper tune, nor is it depressing, but simply real.

“There’s a slight bit of sarcasm in there, but a good dose of reality. We’re forced every day with advertising, it’s shoved down our throat from every angle, whether it’s political or standard advertising to increase commerce. The ramifications of religious advertising are overwhelming. It’s in our face everywhere we turn. You have to make a stand, find your own ground and realize life is good,” said Roberts.

From there, Sun Signs concludes with the up-tempo groovy rocker “Fools” and the energetic “Sea of Madness.”

All in all, Sun Signs is a very concise piece of music, with a wide assortment of emotions in a way similar of the Beatles with The White Album. The songs are all over the place in terms of themes and emotions, yet they’re all there at some point; anger, distress, joy, sorrow and sarcasm. Likewise is the experience of being alive. Life is random, consisting of all said emotions. And life is good.

Harnessing the Sun have also proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in terms of their live performance. The energy and passion of Sun Signs only amplifies when the band plays live. Their captivating live shows around the Youngstown area have began to build a strong buzz for the band, leaving fans wanting more.

“We love what we do and we try to kick ass doing it,” said Fratilla.

Harnessing the Sun will be performing in Youngstown on Nov. 1 at Papa’s Sports Grille alongside Idle Shades and Dakota Spells Disaster. Sun Signs is available on iTunes and can be purchased by clicking here.