Words by Brielle Cotelo

In a small town of Templeton, located on the central coast of California, a small group of friends came together to form a five-piece band that we know as Night Riots: Nick Fotinakes (Guitar), Travis Hawley (Vocals), Matt DePauw (Guitar), Mikel Van Kranenberg (Bass), and Rico Rodriguez (Drums). And despite their small town roots, this high-energy band has found themselves doing extraordinary things.

Since their formation in 2008 they have opened up for Angels and Airways and the legendary Aerosmith. MTV called them “the most critically overlooked artists of 2012”, and, as if they could not get any hotter, Rolling Stone named them number 1 out of the top 16 unsigned bands in the nation.
This past summer, Night Riots took advantage of the spotlight and released their latest EP, Young Lore.

Their kick-off song, ‘Back to Your Love’ gives the illusion of being a slow, sappy love song during the opening seconds, but just as you are going to hit the skip button, the song takes an unexpected upbeat turn that demands your attention. “Take me back to your love/I never say it loud enough for you” Travis Hawley sings, sounding like a mix of Bono and Brandon Flowers.

Right from the start, the next track ‘Remedy’ intrigues you with its synth driven beat. The song continues its momentum and with infectious choruses of ‘woah-oh-ohs’ that make it hard not to chime right in. Meanwhile, ‘Spiders’ takes more of a darker turn; the soft chorus in the background and the deep beat of the drum adds to this feeling as Hawley sings “weave like spiders/we are taught to cast thread into the dark”.

The title track ‘Young Lore’ ties the whole thing together with a humble piano riff reminiscent of classic Queen. The comparison is further enforced when the song builds up to the chorus which sends a universal message of “live now while you’re young.”

Overall, this small town band is becoming colossal with its catchy choruses, uplifting messages and raw intensity that they put into every song. If you haven’t already, I definitely suggest taking a listen to this EP because disappointment is not one of the feelings you’ll get from it.

Night Riots
“Young Lore”
© July 30th, 2013



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