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The best kept secret in music



Having already conquered their hometown scene with its contagious brand of energetic Pop/Rock, the supple Columbus sextet FENSTER (fensterband.com) continues its regional expansion with a local CD release party Friday at the York Street Café in Newport. Fenster's third album, Patient With Downtime, shows a natural maturation, particularly in songwriting, and further makes the group's most instantly recognizable trait (a horn section) less of a novelty and more an intrinsic part of the overall texture. There's an impressive dynamic to Fenster's methods, as they merge diverse rhythms, insistent guitar work, those punctuation-mark horns and an expressive vocalist who drives the bus with confidence and personality. The pieces work together flawlessly on cuts like the Soul/Rock throw-down, "Overdone," and the amazingly catchy "Circles," with each member showing they know how to not step on each other's toes, letting the strength of the songs and their arrangements shine through most effectively. With so much diversity, it would be easy for lesser bands to get lost in the influences and genre-flirtations. But, in the end, Fenster comes out on the other side with a unique, energized sound. The adrenaline that surges through every cut on Patient gives it a cohesiveness that belies their multiplicity. 859-261-9675. (See Music.) -- MIKE BREEN - Mike Breen


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Fenster captivates audiences across the Midwest with its self-styled, horn-driven rock. The six-member band combines smooth vocals, powerful guitar, and dynamic rhythms with the red-hot intensity of its horn section to create original songs that embrace elements of U2, Incubus, and Rocket From The Crypt. Coupled with an energetic stage show, Fenster proves time and time again that it is a musical force all its own.

Discography includes the self-titled Fenster (1999), Causing Problems (2000) and the new album, Patient With Downtime, released at the end of January 2004. CDs can be found in stores throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Online purchases can be made through CDBaby.com and the Virgin Megastore.

In October of 2003, Fenster returned to the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH. Taking advantage of a city filled with industry people and music fans, Fenster included 1000 demo CDs in the festival’s welcome pack. The discs were provided to Fenster free of charge in exchange for providing the disc-maker’s name and contact info, Duplium, on the cover.

Fenster has performed with Splender, Mando Diao, Foghat. The English Beat, Donnie Iris, , The Pietasters, Mephiskapheles, The Toasters, and many others. Fenster was also featured on a compilation with Hoobastank and a participated in a showcase for Maverick Records and Pure Tone Music.

Fenster has created and self-promoted several successful theme shows that helped generate buzz for the regional music scene. The Brass Kickin’ Horns Fest featured bands from various genres with horn sections, including jazz, funk, ska, etc. It’s success lead to two more years of the event and this year the band plans to host the show in various cities in the region. The 80’s Rock Show invited local bands to perform some of their favorite 80’s covers and two of their original songs in a prominent cover venue. A compilation of songs from the performing bands was pressed by Fenster and handed out to several hundred patrons, exposing some to local, original music for the first time.

The band has participated in many events benefiting groups, like Columbus AIDS charities, Anti-Racist Action and Pet Therapy for Cancer. The band also appears on the Gift CD, a compilation CD of Columbus artists sold to help the city’s homeless.

Fenster’s song, Circles, was included on a compilation sponsored by Music Rebellion. The CD is currently being distributed to 300 college and independent radio stations throughout the United States.

Fenster goes all out to amass a large following throughout the Midwest, playing over 100 shows a year to large and enthusiastic audiences in a six-state region. The band’s appeal has caught the eyes and ears of many college students. With the inception of its continuously growing street team, Fenster is gaining a larger and very dedicated following at The Ohio State University. Many of the over 60,000 OSU students are fast becoming Fenster fanatics. Giving back to its college-aged fans, the band offers accredited internships to students interested in the music business. The internship was featured in the OSU alumni magazine, which has a circulation of several hundred thousand nationwide.