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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Arson Garden
Arson Garden was possibly the best rock band ever to emerge from Bloomington, IN. Their wonderfully fierce, melodic music has drawn comparisons to bands as diverse as Sonic Youth, Television, and Throwing Muses. Their simultaneusly etherial and crunchy sound was marked by excellent songwriting and musicianship.

The group was fronted by siblings April Combs (lead singer) and guitarist/singer James Combs; other members included drummer Joby Barnett, bassist Clark Starr, and guitarist Michael Mann (no known relation to filmmaker Michael Mann).

Their live act was phenomenal and well-reviewed:

"Hypnotic. . . Aggressive. . . This is how music was meant to sound," - Boston Phoenix.

"One of the best indie (independent label) bands in America," - St. Louis Riverfront Times.

Their albums included Under Towers (1990; re-released in 1993 from Vertebrae Records), Wisteria (1992 from Vertebrae Records), Drink a Drink of You (EP, 1992 from Vertebrae Records), and The Belle Stomp (1994 from American Empire Records). I highly recommend Wisteria and The Belle Stomp for those new to the group.

Sadly, the group broke up in 1995. James Combs and April Combs formed a band called Snacktime in Chicago, but that group broke up in 1997. James Combs is now solo and recording on Ubiquity Records (his solo releases include Remoter and Please Come Down).

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