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Pure energetic rockers

BY REBECCA KOONS | APRIL 23, 2010 7:30 AM

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mp3 samples: The Sound Thoughts

"Hourglass Broken"

"Good Morning Mistakes"

The Sound Thoughts always performs with the audience’s interest in mind.

During one song of each performance, the band “throws the audience a curve ball,” with a group of mismatched cover tunes, in an effort to appeal to both younger and older audience members, Seth Hansen said.

Formed in 2008 by Tim King (lead guitar, vocals) and Derek Allison (drums), the Sound Thoughts began as a collaborative endeavor in song ideas. By April 2009, the band was rounded out by Grant Jennings (bass, vocals) and Hansen (rhythm guitar), and the act was taken into the recording studio and on the road.

The rock quartet from Cedar Rapids will perform at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., at 9:30 p.m. today, with special musical guests Midwest Trend Kill, Geronimo!, and Final Alibi. Admission is $5.

Allison said the Sound Thoughts’ primary influences consist of alternative-rock bands Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and Weezer — a testament to the relentlessly energetic music the band produces. Most, if not all, of the group’s catalogue provides listeners with huge guitar riffs and vocals, driven by melody and hooks.

Greg DeGood, a friend and fan of the Sound Thoughts, said he believes it is this, along with a different take on traditional, mainstream rock that sets the group apart from countless other local bands.

“Bands in the Cedar Rapids area are mainly rock and blues, and cover bands are mostly heavy metal, hard-core, and death-core,” DeGood said. “They’re a really straightforward rock band and all-around great musicians.”

The Sound Thoughts’ début album, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Disaster, took eight months to complete, and it was recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely in the group’s home studio. Overall, the greatest challenge in the production of the album was finding a stable environment in which to record.

The creative process for the band is one of democracy and cooperation among the members. King and Allison are the main producers of music and lyrics that are highly reflective of the band’s real-life experiences and emotions. Jennings and Hansen step in to make necessary tweaks and structural adjustments to the songs.

“Sometimes, what we start off with sounds totally different from when they are first presented to a crowd or recorded,” King said.

As a relatively new band, live gigs are crucial for the Sound Thoughts. The group is all about preparation and professionalism, from having a solid supply of earplugs and Gatorade to setting up the stage perfectly and having enough guitar picks.

All the energy one hears in the Sound Thoughts’ studio recordings is magnified in its onstage presence.

“We never shy away from bringing the rock when necessary,” Hansen said.

Fan Peter Looney was introduced to the band through a solo King added to a Breaking Even song. Having not missed a performance since the first time he saw the group live, he firmly attests to the members’ enthusiasm during shows.

“The energy is simply amazing,” Looney said. “It almost wears you out.”

The band is seeking every avenue to expand its fan base. From ambitions to grow online content to simply adding more shows and experience to its collective belt, the Sound Thoughts seems prepared for the road ahead.

“The future seems promising at this point, and we’re all extremely excited to see where it goes,” Jennings said.


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