MP3 Dropkick (re-issue) - ROCK: Progressive Rock
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9 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, ROCK: Emo
Dropkick began in the late 1980s as Dropkick Mistress, a quirky, North Carolina-based high-school garage band whose members embraced a wide variety of musical styles. Early on, aspects of classic hard rock, indie/low-fi alternative, and mainstream pop were all and equally found within the band's often-puzzling amalgam of self-penned songs.
Around 1989, Dropkick Mistress -- led by guitarist/vocalist Richard Smith -- settled on a solid lineup of fledgling musicians including Patrick Hiatt (guitar), William Smith (bass), and Strother Bullins (drums). Dropkick Mistress soon expanded to a five piece by adding a lead vocalist/frontman, a charismatic local rocker named Eddie Belcher, and began heading in an unabashedly harder -- yet still quirky -- musical direction. After performing together for nearly two years, generating a sizable local buzz, and recording several independent, self-distributed cassette demos, Belcher exited the band, as did bassist William Smith. Richard Smith then switched to bass while Hiatt, who has vastly improved as a writer and musician, became DM's sole guitarist.
Hiatt, Smith, and Bullins soon graduated from high school and attended the same university; Smith majored in English while Hiatt and Bullins became music majors. The band soon recruited then-guitarist Joshua Garber -- also a music major -- as vocalist, and Dropkick Mistress continued as a four-piece. In 1994, the band recorded a self-titled four-song cassette EP with local engineer/producer Wesley Easter and manufactured 500 copies of the release. 'Dropkick Mistress' featured three early versions of songs that would eventually appear on the 1996 Dropkick release ('I'll Never Say A Word,' 'A Taste Of Your Own Medicine,' and 'Last Time,' which was then entitled 'The Wish').
Not soon after the release of 'Dropkick Mistress,' conflicts regarding musical direction began to flare within the band and, in 1995, founding member/frequent lyricist Richard Smith quit the group. Now calling themselves 'Dropkick' upon the suggestion of fellow student and then-Mercury Records intern Tom Volpe, the band's compositions became dramatically more progressive and intricate; Hiatt and Bullins began to write increasingly-complex and meticulously-exact instrumental beds for Garber to sing catchy-yet-pensive vocal melodies upon. Dropkick invited fellow music major and bassist Ron May to perform on sessions for the 'Dropkick' CD, which had already begun. Soon after, May became a full-time member of the band.
While proud of what they had accomplished musically, the members of Dropkick were tired of pursuing an admittedly 'commerically challenging' stylistic direction and disbanded in 1997. Soon after, Hiatt produced a 1998 release by local singer/songwriter Jason Pike, which also featured performances by both May and Garber. May and Garber also continued to perform in an acoustic trio called The Well Hungarians.
Currently, three of the four members of Dropkick are still musically active; Garber now performs as both a solo artist and a band member in Cancun, Mexico, while May and Bullins continue to perform together in The Sundowners, a Charlotte, NC-based rock act.
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