By Paul Knettel
Everyone loves a free concert, especially when it features one of the most well-known and successful bands to come out of ACU in the past few years. The Rocketboys – formerly known as Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys – will be playing a free concert during Summit next week.
The Rocketboys are made up of five ACU alums – Daniel Wheeler on guitar; Justin Wiseman on keyboard; Mitch Holt, guitarist and vocalist; Brandon Kinder, on vocals, guitar and piano; and Josh Campbell on bass and vocals. They formed while at ACU and developed a strong following across the country, writing and recording two EPs, two live DVDs and touring extensively, all while completing their degrees.
They have since moved to Austin to pursue careers in music, but they are returning to their roots Wednesday when they play in the “World-Famous Bean.”
The Rocketboys will be selling their first full-length CD, 20,000 Ghosts, at the show, even though the CD’s official release date is Sept. 29. The album was recorded and produced in Austin by Louie Lino (Nada Surf, Matt Pond PA) and mastered by Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective), and has 11 brand-new songs on it.
Several of the new tracks are available online and on an EP sold during their summer tour. They include such titles as Like Ice In Water and All the Western Winds, and they are an enjoyable continuation of the band’s resonating, uplifting sound.
The tracks are filled to the brim with rich guitars, intriguing rhythms and complex keyboard patterns, topped with Kinder’s soaring vocal melodies. Kinder said The Rocketboys are proud of this new offering, and that it represents “the next level of the band” as they grow together musically.
The band spent a year on the record from its conception to the final product. They will embark on a month-long nationwide tour promoting the album Oct. 8 in Dallas. Dignan, a band from McAllen and former tour mate of The Rocketboys, will join them on the tour. Dignan released its new CD, Cheaters & Thieves, in June.
For more information about The Rocketboys or to listen to tracks from their new album, visit myspace.com/rocketboys. The free show will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 23.