My apologies for being a bit late with the newest band of the week (or, more realistically, 7-12 day period). I know there must be so many annoyed readers out there (….), but this week’s band is definitely worth the wait. The featured group is a Phoenix-based outfit called Digital Summer. This band first came to my attention with a couple of songs that I heard on Sirius satellite radio about a year ago, and I was reminded of them when they started following me on Twitter (nice!). In the genre of hard rock/alternative metal, where it is so tough to stand above all the clutter, this band shows a penchant for great guitar riffs and catchy yet edgy melodies. It’s a shame that they are not more widely known, but then again, that’s why they’re one of Tommy’s bands of the week!
Digital Summer first formed in Phoenix, AZ in 2006, through the initiating efforts of brothers Kyle and Ian Winterstein. Kyle is the lead vocalist, while Ian plays guitar. The duo filled out the rest of the band’s lineup by recruiting Johnmark “Fish” Cenfield to also play guitar, Anthony “Guido” Hernandez for bass, and Ben Anderson for drums. The band’s first full-length album, called Cause and Effect, was released in 2007 and featured the single “Whatever It Takes.” This is the song I first heard on the radio a little over a year ago, and it certainly grabbed my attention. The aggressiveness, as well as the melodic yet raspy lead vocals, and the occasional background screaming, were the elements that I found to be most captivating. Stylistically, Digital Summer reminds me somewhat of Breaking Benjamin; while they don’t sound a whole lot like BB, Winterstein’s vocal delivery and the construction of the band’s songs are where I see the similarities. So, if you like Breaking Benjamin, or alternative metal at all for that matter, you will probably thoroughly enjoy Digital Summer.
After Cause and Effect, Digital Summer released an EP called Hollow in 2008, which was headlined by the singles “Rescue Me” and “Use Me.” The band’s most recent release, Counting The Hours, came out less than a year ago, in May of 2010. The lead single was “Just Run,” and hearing this song was confirmation for me that this is a high-quality band that deserves a ton of attention. It is probably my favorite track by them to this point, but in fairness, I have never heard a bad song by them. Some of my other favorites include “Hostage,” “Disconnect,” “Counting The Hours” (which features an infectious guitar riff), and “Suffocate.”
While the band has gained a following in its home state of Arizona, and has also been able to perform alongside big-name acts such as Sevendust, Drowning Pool, Godsmack, Alice In Chains, Disturbed, and Theory of a Deadman, they still deserve more widespread attention. The following quotations from the media and other bands (taken from Digital Summer’s Myspace page) show that Digital Summer is certainly something special:
“These guys are SICK!” – Morgan Rose, of Sevendust
“Fan favorites with a great live show; packed floor to rafters every time.” – Fitz Madrid, 98KUPD
“Strong and engaging…memorable after just one listen. And thats really what it’s all about.” -TAXI A&R Company
“A good STRONG band!” – Alex Varkatzas, of Atreyu
“Truly a hard working band that won’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to showing their passion for making great music in today’s stagnant rock scene!” – Shan Man, 98KUPD
“Full of emotion, raw energy, along with harmonious tunes, that are sure to make anyone hit the repeat button on their CD player!” – Jerry Manley, The Voice Magazine
“Modern hard rock bliss!” – One Night Stand Presents
“All in all great band who lets the music do the talking…and the talking is good!” – Metalmonthly.com
“These guys should be huge! This is commercial, modern heavy rock of the highest order!” – Melodic.net
“The crowds, screaming. The venue, packed. The band, intense. Their enthusiasm on stage is contagious!” – The Lumberjack, NAU
“Arizona based Digital Summer doesn’t hold back with their powerful track “Suffocate” Fans of Trapt, Sevendust and Chevelle need look no further for the next rock gods on the radio!” -GotRadio.com
“Digital Summer is the kind of band that grabs at your throat and won’t let go! Real talent with a real following. I can’t wait for the next show.” – Cori James, 103.9 KEDJ