Honestly, the Buffalo music scene could do without another "scenester" ensemble singing the same songs immersed in a wave of teen angst. The music industry doesn't need to put out another album buried under heavy melodies and recycled lyrics. Fortunately, I'm not the only one who is tired of listening to bands scream their vocal cords dry. The boys of Crush, the Everlasting set out to create their own musical identity, and that's just what they did.
Crush, the Everlasting is Julian Kowalski (guitar), Steve Gardner (guitar), Derek Frost (drums), Kevin Cheney (bass) and Pat Feeley (vocals). Julian, Kevin and Pat attend St. Joe's, Steve attends Williamsville North and Derek, Williamsville East. Although they're young, these boys have already generated an unambiguous originality that distinguishes them from generic, high school bands. "We try to take a more mature approach to being young," Feeley says. "We're trying to stay away from that cliche stuff."
And people are noticing.
Crush signed last summer with local Wake Up and Smell The Music! Records. "We recorded our demos with them at Parkhaven Studios. We went back to record another song, and we could sort of tell that they wanted to be involved with us. When we were ready to record our full EP, they decided to sign us," says Feeley.
Crush's music embraces addictive melody lines and perceptive lyrics complemented by distinctive vocals. "The writing process isn't easy. It can get frustrating. The songs are concrete now, but they were constantly changing right up until the day that we recorded," Feeley says. "I guess it's because we're perfectionists. We would never play a song that we didn't think was perfect. We're never going to settle for just OK."
You might have even heard of the boys before the days of "Crush." "We used to be called New York Times, but we really wanted to make an identity for ourselves, so we decided to drop the newspaper thing," says Feeley. "I really like the book, 'Tuck Everlasting' and the concept of staying young forever, so that's where we got everlasting from; and we just like the word, crush because it can have so many different meanings."
Since the beginning, Kowalski and Feeley have provided most of the framework for the group. "Pat and I have been in bands together since freshman year. We got together with Derek, Kevin and then Steve. This is the outcome," Kowalski says.
The band is definitely realistic about their future together. "It really depends on how much dedication we have. We know what it takes, and we're almost there," Feeley says. "We've got the mojo to keep us flowing."
Regardless of what becomes of this band, music is something that these boys will always appreciate. "I'd be a completely different person if I didn't play music," says Gardner. "I love that feeling you get when you listen to a really great song, and that's what I want our music to do for people."
Check out Crush, the Everlasting at 9 p.m. Friday at SoundLab.
Kathryn DeLong is a junior at Clarence.