By Kelline Linton, Chief Copy Editor
The Rocketboys (formerly Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys) will return to Abilene to perform in the town of its alma mater for the first time this semester.
The band will take the stage Saturday at Monks Coffee Shop, 233 Cypress St. The event, which includes three other bands, is from 7-11:55 p.m. and costs $7.
Mitch Holt (’07), guitar player and singer for the Rocketboys, said Monks was the band’s favorite place to play in Abilene.
“It has a really simple set up as far as sound goes, but it has a more intimate atmosphere,” he said. “They have good coffee, and it is special to a lot of us.”
Sarah Hagood, barista at Monks, said a good number of the coffee shop’s customers are fans of the Rocketboys.
“The buzz shows they are really excited for them to come,” Hagood said. “I expect there to be a lot of people.”
The Rocketboys will perform with three other bands: Ballroom Ballroom, a local band with mainly Hardin-Simmons University students as the members; Pompeii, a band from Austin that already played with the Rocketboys in the past; and Weaver at the Loom, a band from Wisconsin.
Weaver from the Loom contacted the Rocketboys out of the blue, and the band members liked its sound, so they decided to set up a show with the group, Holt said.
“They are a good band and will gain some fans after people watch them,” he said.
Holt said Pompeii is a fun band that is similar in style to the Rocketboys.
“They are like an indie band with fewer members than us,” he said. “They have a really fun show and awesome vocal melodies.”
And Holt said performing with Ballroom Ballroom also would be enjoyable for the Rocketboys.
“It’s always fun to play with people you respect and like,” he said.
The Rocketboys has a special surprise Saturday for its loyal Abilene fan base: the band will play new songs off a soon-to-be-released record. The CD, which the band members are recording in mid-March, will be their first full-length record. Holt said most of the CD’s songs already are written, but the titles of the songs and CD are not yet decided.
“We are really excited about it,” he said. “The songs are a lot simpler and more straight-forward.”
Holt said the band members took the best of what they liked about themselves and put it on this record. The lyrics are introspective, and the recording will be more indie sounding.
“Rocketboys’ fans are going to like it. It has our classic sound, the ambient indie rock sound, but more folksy,” he said. “People are going to be able to connect with the music in a simpler fashion than they have in the past. It’s a more timeless sound. We will maintain musical integrity and have the actual songs speak for themselves.”
Upon the CD’s release in June, the Rocketboys will have a CD release tour.
In the meantime, the band members are working on establishing themselves in Austin. Their first Austin show in January as a hometown Austin band was completely sold out.
After playing in Abilene, the band will head to Austin to perform at The Parrish on Thursday; they also will play in the South by Southwest festival in Austin before they begin to record their new CD.
“The Rocketboys are really talented and play really good music,” Hagood said. “They have a good stage presence and keep the crowd engaged.”