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The best kept secret in music


"Hartford Advocate"

Connecticut Bands Get Theirs
Rock awards showcase bands from around the state

by Thomas Pizzola - March 20, 2003

Local Motion
Last Friday I went to the Webster to see the Connecticut Rock Awards featuring Double Think, The Eventide, Side Effect, CO2, Base 2, Sicboy, 7th Enemy, Glennnbyrnie and Windfall. UnSygned Artist, a talent-scouting and artist-development agency based in Bristol, hosted the event, which is planned to become an annual gig. It also featured sponsorship from Radio 104, Creative Touch Studios and the Hartford Advocate. At first I was a little leery of the legitimacy of the event, but that changed slightly after I talked to Corey Wilson, CEO of UnSygned Artist.
Who decided what bands would be up for the awards? After all, Unsygned Artist is a talent-scouting agency that bands pay money to in order to get their music heard by those in the industry. Wilson, though, explained that Connecticut bands, whether or not they were signed with the agency, sent CDs and the agency, along with people from local independent record labels decided the top five in each category. From these five the judges picked a winner.

This allayed some of my fears about the event. Even though I will go on record as saying that I'm not so sure that bands should be using talent agencies to get their music out. Bands should go out and tour and develop a reputation the old-fashioned way. Plus, there's a little bit of an old-school punk in me that says bands should handle, at least at this level, all the promotion themselves, not pay someone else to do it. But like I said, those are just minor reservations from an ornery critic.

So, let me get to the awards. Enfield-based CO2 took top honors by winning the overall Connecticut Rock Award. Jazz hoppers The Silent Groove won in the Creativity category, while Swivel Hips took home the Funk/Groove Award. Side Effect took home the Modern Rock Award, while Red Chester won Best Pop/Punk Band. FRO took home the Musicians Award, while Rob Taylor won in the Best Solo Artist category and Hedcase won the Hard Rock Award. Base 2 won the Best Single Award, while Windfall won the People's Rock Award.

"This is fucking awesome," said CO2 lead singer/guitarist Lee Layne. "I can't explain how I'm feeling right now. I'm speechless. We're the new band on the block going up against bands that are much bigger ... It means a lot to me."

And Layne should be happy because CO2 did turn in one the evening's best performances. In fact, Layne makes for a pretty intense frontman. You can literally see the veins popping in his neck while he sings. While I was happy to see the local scene represented, I did manage to see some very good rock bands from other parts of the state. 7th Enemy, from Danbury, received the best response from the crowd as loud, boisterous chants of "7th Enemy" were heard several times during the band's set. They won a Best Performance Award for their blistering set. Basically, 7th Enemy lays down a tight, power-rock groove bolstered by the intense vocal stylings of singer Gavin Brennan and the monster power riffing of guitarists Jerry Patry and Dav Yaz. It was also nice to see Base 2 in fine form, as Jamie Seth and the boys delivered another rocking set. In addition, Sicboy did a fine job with their metal-tinged mosh music.

All in all, it was a nice night of Connecticut rock action that I think leaned a little too much toward the hard and heavy; maybe some diversity next year, eh guys?

The Monster Band and Groovski play Sully's Pub in Hartford on Fri., March 21. When Words Become Weapons, Cancer To The Stars and My Favorite Year play Michel Angelo's in Rocky Hill on Fri., March 21. Sugarfist, Normal, Shattersphere and Rebecca Nurse play the Webster Underground in Hartford on Sat., March 22. The Feed plays Sully's Pub on Sat., March 22. And don't forget that the mighty Queens Of The Stone Age and Turbonegro play the Webster Theatre in Hartford on Wed., March 26. Rock awards showcase bands from around the state

Thomas Pizzola can be reached at

- Thomas Pizzola


We have a 3 song CD recorded, with 4 more currently being recorded. Behind that we have many great songs waiting to be tracked.

We have regular airplay on WMRQ Radio 104 ( as well as the Internet's biggest radio station, (

We've written a song called "What Do You Want?" for possible inclusion in a Florida Motion Pictures soundtrack.


Feeling a bit camera shy


With over a million listeners a month and a #1 Song (MIND) on, and weekly rotation on Clear Channel's very own WMRQ Radio 104.1's Spinning Unrest, PLUS winning top honors at the 2003 CT Rock Awards (sponsored by The Hartford Advocate and Radio 104 WMRQ), CO2 has quickly made a name for itself in New England's Music scene.

CO2, A quartet from Hartford, CT delivers a powerful punch of music seldom seen.
Blending influences ranging from local bands such as Godsmack, Staind to Linkin Park and Fuel, CO2`s music roots straight from the heart of emotional upbringings, to positive messages for people to relate to. Lee Layne, lead vocalist and guitarist takes you on an endeverous ride right to your emotions.

With diverse backgrounds in music, each member of the band contributes uniquely to the foundation
Chris Lopresti, Guitars and backing vocals
Steve Traks, on the Bass and modulations
And the main back bone of the band Tony Colapietro on percussions.
Make no mistake this is the band to watch!