I hate when I hear an amazing band that gets minimal recognition. This past week I was going through my old CDs and wanted to listen to something I might have overlooked. Hot damn did I ever. Sometimes I will go on a whim and buy a CD if I really like the album cover or label, which I did in this case. I found Laguardia’s Welcome To The Middle (2003) and I was interested within the first 15 seconds with the album starter Rosanna. The guitar and piano parts in the song are reminiscent of Radiohead songs like Just and Paranoid Andriod. The vocals are even vaguely similar to Thom York. The third song, Butterfly, has a haunting keyboard track that leads into a spacey guitar riff that really takes the song in a different direction. I love how the band can swiftly change between sounds so effortlessly. When the song moves into the chorus it then sounds similar to Muse during their Origin of Symmetry years.
I was trying to dig up anything I could online but had no success. The most I could find, which happens to be pretty sweet, was a piece from NPR where they had the band record themselves for a few days on tour. Unfortunately, the link dates back to 2003 and only one of the clips is available, but it is still worth checking out. The article says they used a Minidisc recorder to document their tour… Man I feel old. I remember getting a Minidisc player back in middle school expecting for it to “blow up” only to see it have a major fade out. I bought The Cable Guy soundtrack and Pearl Jam’s VS on minidisc. I regret some of musical choices back then.
Listen to one part of their “Life on the Road” here.
I was able to find one decent picture of the band and that was used in the banner. I found one picture in the album liner notes:
After not being able to find any images, youtube videos, and so on of the band, I decided to look up the members and see what they are currently up to. Vocalist Josh Ostrander and drummer Greg Lyons have been in the band Eastern Conference Champions for the past several years. I listened to their albums Ameritown (2007) and Speak-Ahh (2011), both of which are amazing and still maintain Laguardia’s sound. I’m glad that ECC is still successful and Ostrander and Lyons are able to continue creating smart music. Their songwriting, from both Laguardia and ECC, is well thought out and not standard time and structure (verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus). ECC also had their song, A Million Miles An Hour, featured on the Twilight soundtrack:
The way most people perceive a band’s success by being signed to a label is often misconstrued. Laguardia’s Welcome to the Middle was released on Universal Records and received minimal promotion, no radio play, and it was a huge disservice to the band. There are a few songs on the album that could have easily been on the alternative charts. The music industry is unpredictable and while their first band didn’t have lasting success at least Lyons and Ostrander are getting more recognition with ECC that is well overdue.
Listen to Laguardia’s Welcome To The Middle on Spotify.
The Box by Eastern Conference Champions: