We've written this here in the past (or maybe it was during our ghost life as an ink-stained alt-weekly), but one of the best parts of the Rumble every year is the discovery aspect. With four bands randomly drawn together, people from different scenes and cliques and circles all come together under one roof, there to root on and support their friends or lovers but also exposed to experience as many as three bands they've yet to hear. On first glance, that could be the underlying theme of the preliminaries' Night #2 -- four very distinct bands that will likely play for a room comprised mainly of people who are hearing them for the first time, whether it's the theatrical pop of Jack Romanov, the blue collar punk of the Black Cheers, Analog Heart's galaxy rock, or the we've-listened-to-everything-and-still-don't-know-how-to-peg-them rock and roll of Eric Salt and The Electric City. But don't go in totally cold -- check out their songs and backgrounds below. But be warned -- one of these bands features a dude from Darkbuster, but we won't tell you which. You'll just have to guess.
HOMETOWN: Westborough, Littleton, and Haverhill, Massachusetts
SONG YOU NEED TO HEAR: “Whoa”, off March LP Sun Here I Come
BIO:One night in 2010, singer Liz Bills awoke from a dream with a vision to start her own band. The next morning she posted a Craigslist ad and, after a few wacky auditions, found lead guitarist and Berklee grad Jesse Cohen and 17-year-old drummer Austin Ferrente, forming the nucleus of Analog Heart. In 2012, the trio recorded their first self-titled EP with Scott Riebling (Letters to Cleo), and began gigging all over New England. Later that year Liz Bills found herself competing on American Idol and placed among the top 30 females in Hollywood. A trio up until 2015, Analog Heart invited one-time frontman for the band Leaders Led, Guy Jerry, to join the group as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist. The band’s first full-length released their first full-length record, Sun Here I Come, in early 2016.
VIDEO YOU NEED TO WATCH: 2013 single “Elephant Song”
WHY THEY CAN WIN: After competing in the Hollywood round of American Idol, we don’t think frontwoman Liz Bills will shy from the Rumble’s competitive spotlight. But it takes more than a flashy smile to win over Rumble judges, and that’s where Analog Heart’s infectious big-room pop-rock sound comes in. As Bills positions herself as our scene’s Grace Potter, the boys push things higher with a ever-so-slightly alt-country brand of riffy guitar-pop (see “Hurry Up Our Love”). They could be the breakout band of the 2016 Rumble.