When we launched Studio 360's Battle of the High School Bands a few weeks ago, we expected fuzzy guitars, but we were surprised by the sheer breadth of heartbreak we received – a half-century of adolescent angst. We called up one of our judges, Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, to screen some of the early submissions.
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Thao envies the shredding on our oldest submission, "Don't Cry," recorded by The Cynch in 1967. "I wished I played that well in high school," she tells Kurt Andersen. "Or ever, actually."
"Don't Cry" by The Cynch
Thao was unfamiliar with some of the more exotic genres submitted, like a metalcore number called "The Lair," by Nebraska's The Villain. Recorded in 2006, it features thunderous double-bass drumming, finger-tapping guitar solos, and wailing vocals spanning several octaves. Kurt would like to hear Thao's cover version. "It would be a little more down-tempo," she quips.
"The Lair" by The Villain
Thao and Kurt are floored by the production values of some of the songs, but Thao will not be swayed by mere professionalism. "As someone who is elementary at best as a sound engineer, I will have great compassion for the quality of the song over the quality of the production. [Andrew and I] have the imagination to see and hear the potential of it."
The contest deadline has been extended! Submit your song by Sunday, July 21 at 11:59pm ET.