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Hard Rock



Published: Fri, October 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Nyabinghi has one of the best sound systems around, a band member says.

By JOHN BENSON

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

Formed out of friendship, Springfield Township band Relic is quickly rising up the totem pole of local bands making noise in the Mahoning Valley area.

It's the initial bond of camaraderie that singer-songwriter-guitarist Dave Billock believes has made the band something special.

"We're just five guys who happen to be friends and are just looking to have a good time," Billock said.

The band dates back nearly two years, but its current lineup -- Billock, Luke Balogh (synth), Travis Hatmaker (bass), Roger Lewis (drums) and Bobby Wolff (guitar) -- was solidified roughly two months ago. The group falls somewhere between Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack and Shinedown, with the 2002 Springfield Local High School graduate stressing the hard rock outfit isn't afraid to show off a melodic, sensitive side when needed.

"We attract pretty much people who like heavier music but aren't quite into the screaming your ear off type of deal," Billock, known as "Davo," said.

Demo noticed

Already Relic's two-song demo, which features tracks "The Rain" and "Finding Myself," is garnering local attention. The band plans to begin recording material for its full-length debut in January with a hopeful summer/fall 2007 release.

For now, Relic is honing its live show. With roughly 30 dates under its belt, the group is headlining Saturday at the Nyabinghi. Billock admits it's quite a jump for the band.

"We've played there twice, and I think Nyabinghi is one of the best places in the area for local bands to play," Billock said. "The stage isn't the biggest in the world, but it's definitely more than adequate for anybody around here, and the sound system is one of the best in the area."

As for the headlining slot, he said, "We played a couple opening gigs when we first started out, and ever since then venues have been contacting us, wanting us to play there and headline shows and things like that."

Needs exposure

Billock said Nyabinghi actually allowed Relic to somewhat book its own show, naming its openers and giving the band more of a financial stake in the box office. Although, the singer said, the group could earn more money than normal, it's the exposure they're after.

"It's about bringing people out and introducing ourselves to a broader spectrum of people," Billock said. "Hopefully we can do that. I think people should come out, have a good time, a couple of beers and just really enjoy some good music."

Ultimately the members of Relic are planning to take their music as far as it can go. In the meantime, they hope to be the catalytic spark that returns Youngstown to its previous local music standing.

"I feel that the local music scene has really gone down in the past couple of years," Billock said. "I really would like to start seeing people go to shows every week, like they used to, and I'd really like to see bands want to play shows around here more, like they used to. That's one reason we're just trying to bring the local music scene back a little bit."




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