SoundAwake Will Keep You Wide Awake

| September 1, 2015


by Charlie Sullivan

Heavy metal gurus SoundAwake have been jamming on the local circuit for the past 4 years. The last year has seen some significant personnel shake-ups within the bands ranks and all and all for the better. Chris Bartch (guitar, vocals) and Chris Lycan (drums) are the lone hold outs from the original line-up. About a year ago they lost their lead guitarist and bass player and they were soon joined by Kirk Baumgard (lead guitar) and Jason Yoder (bass, vocals, this guy works his ass off). With the new line-up set the band started taking things a little more seriously and started working on some original material. The crew suddenly found themselves in dire straits when their vocalist bailed and found themselves in the grim position of auditioning vocalists. In walked Kirk Young (vocals) former front man for Pressure Point and the auditions stopped.

“We knew Kirk was a great fit the moment we heard him,” says Lycan.

“There was something about his attitude, the way he carried himself, he was serious about the music,” adds Bartch.

“Our last vocalist was a screamer, but Kirk was different, he sings, you can understand everything he’s saying, people can pick up on the lyrics,” says Lycan.

I sat in on a recent rehearsal and was blown away at how good these guys sound; straight ahead good old loud heavy metal and they rock the hell of it! The quality of the music the band is writing is stunning. At no time during the brief set I sat in on did the music become monotonous; the sound just kept getting more powerful as they started to find their groove. Baumgard lays down some killer lead runs on all of the songs while Bartch keeps the licks rolling and Yoder and Lycan carry a pounding rhythm that drives the sound. The lads are tight and their dedication to their craft shows on all of the pieces.

“I’ve liked all the guys I’ve jammed with over the years,” says Young, “But this band is special, we’re playing some great, great music and everyone is keeping it cool.”

During the interview the band let it be known that their already laying down some tracks in the studio and hope to have some of the music available after the first of the year.

“We have Kurt Murphy with DOA Entertainment helping us out with some of the recordings,” says Young, “We have twelve originals in the works.”

The band has an innate ability to keep the material from becoming a frenzy of noise. From the pop/metal laced “Tic Toc” to the heavy grinding sonic guitar assault of “Gotchyu” the lads keep pouring killer contemporary metal on the listeners. Young’s lyrics are poetry in motion the man just calls it like it is. The crew also laid down a metalized version of The Cars “Moving In Stereo” that they flat out owned. The band is also turning heads with national acts having had the opportunity to open for Dokken a few weeks back and Lizzie Borden to name a few.  They’ll also be opening for Riot on September 25 at the Buffalo Rose. After the shows fans want to know when the bands next show is, they’re digging these guys. SoundAwake plays it hard and heavy and you’re going to want to catch them locally before they become a staple on the national circuit; they’re that good.

“Heavy metal and mullets it’s how we were raised.  Maiden and Priest were the gods that we praised.”

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