Every year during the Whammy Awards voting season we at the whatzup office make note of a good number of new bands and artists who are beginning to make an impact on the area’s music scene. These are artists who seem to be emerging from under the radar and are on the brink of making an impact. Current Fort favorites The Lurking Corpses, North River Agents and Teays Vein, to name a few, are bands that we have discovered by this method in just the last couple of years alone.Well, we have another band, Point of Fracture, a band that received a significant number of write-in votes in five different Whammy categories this year, including Best Original Performer, Best Live Band and Performer of the Year.
The music scene first came to know this metal quartet as Throwdown, Inc., a hard rockin’ band with a variety of influences ranging from non-metal artists like The Beatles and Boston to harder stuff like Pantera and Korn. Throwdown, Inc. worked out their live show on area stages, playing shows around the area under that name for about four years, along the way gaining a reputation for high-energy performances.
Not wanting to be confused with Orange County national-level hardcore stars Throwdown, the members of Throwdown, Inc. decided to change their name. “The names were basically the same,” explains vocalist Jared Beer, “and we had ambitions to release our own music. We figured that we probably couldn’t do that with that name, so we found a name we could totally call our own.”
Point of Fracture soon became known for playing some of the best versions of hard rock cover songs that could be heard, including crowd pleasers by Sevendust, Killswitch Engage and Machine Head. But wait, before you say, “Oh, they’re a cover band,” Beer tells us it was just a means to an end.
“We’ve played both covers and originals for the last few years, but, really, the only reason we played covers was so we had a vehicle to help promote our original music. We are a completely original band now.”
Point of Fracture’s original music can be described as a combination of all of the above referenced bands, wrapped up into a tight package that creates a unique, hard-edged sound. Their goal in writing music seems to be rectifying the wrongs that have been permeating through metal in the last few years by playing music the way it should be played – from the heart. Point of Fracture’s music is simultaneously harsh and heartfelt, and anyone who has listened to them or seen them live can tell you that these guys truly feel every note they play and every lyric they sing.
The band’s stage show has made a big fan out of WBYR 98.9 the Bear host Mary Jane, a woman who knows good music when she hears it. She believes the band’s live performances and sound are rivaled by very few other bands in the area, and that the live performances are what ultimately sets Point of Fracture apart from a lot of their peers.
“POF’s music and stage presence are equally admirable,” she said recently. “They can get a crowd of over 300 people going the minute they crack their first note.”
Emulating bands like Disturbed, Slipknot and Sevendust, guitarist Matt Girres describes the Point of Fracture live experience as, “straight up brutal,” and bassist Mike Music adds that when people come to their live shows, they can, “usually expect the show to have a massive amount of energy that grows with the crowd’s energy. We also like to add a bit of comedy here and there to get a rise out of people.”
The band recently signed with SmartOlive Records, an independent label out of Long Island, New York that has national distribution and marketing. They are currently taking the summer to record their first full-length album for the label.
“We’re only gonna do a handful of shows over the next few months so we can concentrate on our album,” says Beer. “If all goes well this summer in the studio, we’re looking at a mid- to late-fall album release in retail stores and at Smartolive.com, with a possible club tour to follow. [Details about the club tour are] still in the works, from what I understand. After that, we’ll see where we are.”
For a preview of things to come, check out a few tracks at www.myspace.com/throwdowninc. or catch the band at the Freedom Fest in Paulding, Ohio on Saturday, August 2.