Fade to Blue
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Fade to Blue

Band Rock Pop


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"Fade To Blue - Sentenced to Life"

It’s hard to get into the music business. Actually, that’s not true – it’s hard to succeed in the music business. Feel free to substitute the word “business” with “fiasco,” “nightmarish headache,” “popularity contest,” “ill-conceived marketing gimmick,” what have you. Most bands toil away for years - slowly building a loyal fan base and developing their abilities and personalities - because they enjoy it. I mean, why else would you do it, really? Fade to Blue has been doing all that since 2001.

Starting in the musical non-hotbed that is Columbus, Ohio, three friends got together and started to perform. Kasey Kish (drums,) Chris Costine (lead guitar,) and Dan O’Connor (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) soon added Kevin Miller (bass guitar,) and Christy Kish (keyboards, backing vocals) the following year. During the next few years, Fade to Blue released a demo, performed to ever-growing crowds, filled venues, honed their skills, and scored airplay on 101.1FM WWCD (CD101) and 97.1FM WBNS. In 2004, they released a full-length album, Sentenced to Life.

All in all, it comes together as fresh, refined, expressive pop-rock. There’s a lot of familiar sounds here – not that that’s a bad thing. Musically, you get some of the flavor of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Sundays, a little Blur, maybe some Cowboy Junkies, and bit of the ambitious sonic layering of U2. Throw in the Mighty Lemon Drops, the Alarm, and the National – and I think that’s enough for the comparisons. At least for now, anyhow.

Sentenced to Life starts off with “Live Your Life,” a good rocker, upbeat on a couple levels. Dan O’Connor admonishes you to stop sitting on your ass and try to take some chances with your life. Chris’ guitar work is reminiscent of Unforgettable Fire era U2, and the solid rhythm section propels it along. With backing vocals from Christy, this one really is a foot-tapper. “Live Your Life” really sets the course for the rest of the album – crisp, melodic and moving. A familiar theme in many of the songs is a positive message. It shows up in a lot of the lyrics, including “The Game of Life” and “Walk Around the World.” There’s a strong, upbeat feeling, and the music reinforces it. The song crafting isn’t too preachy, and the musicianship comes across pretty solid. These songs are the ones that, musically and emotionally, evoke Toad the Wet Sprocket the most. The overall point seems to be “yeah, things can suck at times, but you need to figure out what works for you, and try to achieve it.” Seems like an appropriate point of view for a young band, working to find their way through it all.

“Grounded,” “State of Mind” and “Complete” all tackle another theme common to music – love. Again, there’s a positive feeling overall – no emo or goth tendencies to be found. But, as I said, they’re a pop-rock band, and the songs fit that style. “State of Mind” incorporates nice keyboard play, along with Kasey’s precise drumming to carry the tune. “Complete” is a redemptive song, capturing the emotions that you feel when a relationship just works.

It’s not all “here’s a big heavy message – listen to it” type of deal. There’s some straight-up fun stuff. “You Girl” is the album closer, a rollicking poppy tune with guitars ranging all over the place; jangly, subdued, dominating, fluttering, soaring. Christy’s keyboards play a strong role on this one, and Kevin’s bass really anchors it. “Rockstar” is probably my least favorite on the album, because it just seems like I’ve maybe heard it before. The lyrics are a bit trite, and overall it just doesn’t deliver the goods. Following that is “Get Up, Get Out” which reminds me of the Alarm. It’s somewhat of a complex song, and that can be off-putting, but give it a few listens and it really sinks its teeth into you. And it has teeth, for sure.

After Sentenced to Life, Fade to Blue also released a 2-song demo, containing “By Now” and “Something Or Nothing.” There’s a definite advancement between the releases - a refinement and articulation that was not quite achieved on the full length. There are more subtle elements that might have either gone unnoticed, or have been over-emphasized. Some keyboards appear at the right times, then take their place in the background, really feeling appropriate halfway through “By Now.” Dan pushes the sense of lost love and resolution through strongly. The guitar work is quite expressive, with lead and rhythm guitars playing off each other very well, while the bassline really punches up the beat.

On “Something or Nothing,” the tom-tom really solidifies the flavor, punctuated by a fluid acoustic guitar riffing and a smooth bass jam. Then it all comes back together and blends - rising, harmonizing, and flowing through to the end.

Fade to Blue may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not really edgy, or intense, or inventive. But in a music landscape full of bands struggling to stand out by being the new flavor of the month, Fade to Blue fills a gap that’s been growing for years – good pop-rock. All the pieces seem to be in place – solid writing, refined craftsmanship, and strong dedication. And that’s pretty good. There’s a lot of talent here, and a lot of potential.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Mike Rowe

All written content copyright © 2004-2005 Randomville Magazine unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
- Radomville


FADE TO BLUE * SENTENCED TO LIFE: Fade To Blue (FTB) was formed by five
friends with diverse musical influences and interests. FTB is currently a
quartet, growing their fan base and skills playing at various gigs in Ohio
and beyond. FTB's sound is a blend of upbeat pop and rock, reminiscent of
other classic bands such as REM yet original in their own right. Sentenced
To Life is Fade To Blue's first full length release featuring eleven
colorful tracks. The CD opens with the catchy, 'Live Your Life' that melds
keys and effected vocals with an up-tempo rock rhythm. 'Complete' flows on
a snappy beat and snazzy guitar leads that circle the hook "complete".
'You Girl' closes the album on a lively note with its spirited
instrumentation and storytelling. Fade To Blue is working on a new record
in hopes of building on the momentum of the energetic Sentenced To Life.
* Recommended Tracks: (1,6,11) [USA/OH 2004 - web] (Review by Laura Turner
Lynch for Kweevak.com) - Kweevak.com

"WNCI Columbus"

“I couldn't get to sleep last night because some song named "Fade" kept playing in my head.”
-Chris Davis, WNCI DJ
- Chris Davis


“Good stuff, I can see you guys on the Radio soon.”
-Buzz Fitzgerald, WBNS DJ
- WBNS Columbus


LP - Sentenced to Life - November 2004
Several songs with airplay on three Columbus Stations. Songs played are:
Live Your Life, Game of Life, Complete, Rockstar, State of Mind, and Grounded.

Two Song Demo Released in December 2005
By Now, Something and Nothing

Stations are WWCD - CD101
WBNS 97.1
WCBE 90.5



Fade to Blue is a pop/rock band based out of Columbus, Ohio. Starting in 2001 with friends and fellow musicians, Kasey Kish (Drums) and Chris Costine (Lead Guitar) united with Dan O’Connor (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar) to begin writing songs. In early 2002, the band looked to broaden their musical horizons. Fade to Blue combined its musical talents with two experienced musicians, Christy Kish (Keyboards, Backing Vocals) and Kevin Miller (Bass Guitar). With the compilation of these five individuals and their diverse musical backgrounds, Fade to Blue’s sound has evolved to what it is today.

After the release of their three song demo in early 2003, the band experienced an ever growing success. They were now playing to packed venues on weeknights and weekends, receiving consistent radio airplay and eagerly continuing to work on new material. With the new material, the band knew that it was time to enter the studio again. In late 2004, Fade to Blue released their first full CD titled: Sentenced to Life. The eleven track disc accents the bands ability to compose upbeat pop/rock music and boasts at least one song lyrically written by each member of the band.

In 2005, tracks from Sentenced to Life filled the radio airwaves around Central Ohio. The band was now playing larger venues while attracting an expanding fan base. Fade to Blue had their first opportunity to perform out of the state of Ohio and found themselves playing sold out shows in Knoxville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia. In late 2005, the band became a quartet with Christy pursuing her career as a full time mother and teacher. Shortly after, the band then decided to enter the studio where they recorded their most recent release, “By Now.” While continuing to play energetic, live shows, Fade to Blue has currently signed a promotional contract with Foley Entertainment and is continuing to tirelessly promote their music.


- 3 song demo released in 2003
- Performed at the PromoWest Pavilion for Aids Rock Ohio Band competition
- The song “Complete” featured on Musicians for Life compilation CD
- Released Full length CD titled Sentenced to Life in November 2004
- Raised $1500 for The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO) by organizing CD
Release Party/Charity Fundraiser
- Songs “Fade,” “By Now,” “Live Your Life,” “Grounded,” “Rockstar” “Game of Life” “State of Mind”
and “Something or Nothing” received airplay on WWCD CD101 (101.1FM)
- Reviewed by The Other Paper of having “sounds reminiscent of U2 and the Sundays”
- Supported The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio’s (DSACO) annual Buddy Walk
- Reviewed by The Beat of playing “crisp, appealing pop-rock.”
- Performed at the Newport Music Hall to benefit the Mid Ohio Food Bank
- Won 2005 Battle of the Bands Competition in Athens, Ohio (hosted by ACRN)
- The song “Complete” aired on 97.1 FM-WBNS
- Performed at the Germaine Amphitheater as a supporting act for Toby Keith and Lee Ann
- Released single “By Now”
- Signed promotional contract with Foley Entertainment
Opened for Eddie Money