Harmless Habit
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Harmless Habit

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Hard Rock




"Harmless Habit - 'Underclass'"

Harmless Habit - 'Underclass'

October 26, 2016

Bryon Harris

Harmless Habit is an alternative rock band that you do not want to miss. Drawing influences from classic rock bands and contemporary alt punk rock bands (Ozzy Osbourne, ACDC, Guns n Roses, Black Sabbath, Queen My Chemical Romance and Green Day), Harmless Habit delivers a sound that is undeniably and uniquely their own; Harmless Habit delivers it all: tight musicianship, hard hitting drums and bass that know how to add a punk groove that will keep you on your feet, lyrics with meaning, guitar greatness galore (guitar fans take note), and a vocalist that has range, expression, and power.

The first track off of 'Underclass' is “First Class Tragedy.” Jumping right into the action, this song begins with guitar and vocals. From the start, it is clear that this band has a strong sense of melody. Lead singer Joey Vece is exceptionally talented. He knows exactly when to add more edge to his voice and when to give the music more punch; in addition he nails the more melodic parts with ease. This rocking song will get your blood pumping with its groovy guitar licks, fat bass, hard hitting drums and beautifully melodic chorus. “First Class Tragedy” is first-class, featuring excellent songwriting, great musicianship, and a kick-ass chorus. It is the perfect introduction to'Underclass.'

The next track on the EP is “Going Under.” Lined with political undertones, “Going Under” is a phenomenal display of what good rock is all about; it's got message, meaning, musicianship and man is it good. Not only does Harmless Habit show that they have the ability to shred, but the song also shows that the band can implement meaning and value into their songwriting. “Going Under” is a testimony to the authenticity of Harmless Habit’s music and it is a personal favorite.

Third on the track list is “Traffic.” It is one of Harmless Habit’s heavier songs, beginning with an intro featuring some nice wailing guitar. Joey Vece shows off his grungier vocal side highlighting his versatility as a singer. “Traffic” is full of raw attitude, driving listeners to the the end with heavy energy, moments of stop and go, and great guitar leads. "Traffic" is paired nicely with the next track on the EP “Swing.” The opening of "Swing" is fantastic with a riff that mixes groove with hard rock. "Swing your best because when I go down, I come right back again." The ending is a head grinding melt-down with the entire band in synch with the vocals giving it their all in full rock glory.

The last feature of the EP is the song “Underclass.” This high energy song is a perfect end to an EP that is superb. Starting off with a solid intro with some fiery guitar licks and a steady slamming beat from drummer Rinn Rucker, this song provides a nice change of pace. From sweet guitar solos, to sections with vocal layering and chants, “Underclass” was a great way to tie together this EP.

Needless to say, Harmless Habit delivered a wonderful EP, 'Underclass'. Harmless Habit will be releasing a new single, performing at “Locals Live” contest at the Mohegan Sun in CT, and touring in the spring/summer of 2017. Harmless Habit’s music is available on all major music platforms.
Harmless Habit
'Underclass' - Bryon Harris

"Starset - "vessels" CD release show"

Ohio based Starset circled the atmosphere until they floated into Columbus for their CD release party in front of their hometown crowd Friday night. The fans lined up around the building and down the block for this sold out show. Starset came armed with gifts for everyone in the form of the brand new “Vessels” CD as they entered PromoWest’s Express Live. Fans spilled into every crevice of the venue to settle in for what was to be an “out of this world” evening full of surprises.

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Columbus has a very large and thriving local music scene & the crowd welcomed Liberty Deep Down from Powell, Ohio. They had the crowd participating in a flashback sing-a-long of “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys. Up next was the part Boston part Columbus band Harmless Habit. This was a band that I had actually caught their first show a year ago. These talented & energetic guys have been busy. Their growth was amazing to see & they also busted out a Backstreet tune to go along with their set. They announced that they were finishing up their last semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston then coming back to base themselves out of Columbus. A band with brains and badassery!

Next came hometown favorites 8LB Pressure to the stage. They shared the stage with some big name acts in 2016 and it looks like 2017 is starting off with a bang! They took the lighter rock that we had heard so far and pounded the stage out their heaviness that completed the spectrum. Looking at the crowd singing along wearing 8LB Pressure merch…you could tell a lot of their fans had shown up to support.

At last it was time for Starset to take the stage and it was my first time seeing them. I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first the lights dimmed to reveal the backdrop, 2 side light panels, a glass encased box where the drumset should be…then toss in a cellist and violinist & I am thinking WTH is next? Then slowly I could see a futuristic computer looking ground control machine aka the “emulator” sitting center stage. Brock Richards and Ron DeChant appeared hauling their guitars wearing white spacesuits that lit up. Next came that glass box that had me full of wonder. It started with back lighting as the 2 screens started to flicker. Then the next thing I knew me senses were on overload. I didn’t know where to look first and my eyes kept darting around the stage. A lit up glass enclosed drum set with Adam Gilbert in a spacesuit appeared. At the helm of the emulator stood a mad scientist looking front man Dustin Bates…3, 2, 1, BOOM! Starset has landed!

Starset began with “Into the Unknown” where it became clear fast that I had in fact entered the unknown. The entire package of Starset had every one of my senses on red alert. The second song was “Halo” and that was the point I imagined myself as part of the video game. The tech rock mix rattled with pleasant distortion and visual stimulation made this a multi-player “game”. In fact the entire packed house of the venue were almost in a state of trance. The crowd moved as one and fed off of the bands energy and lights. The band played the usual favorites like “Carnivore” and “My Demons” but also gave the crowd what they came for…new music from “Vessels”. “Frequency” and “Ricochet” were two that really stood out and sucked me into Starset’s Black Hole. This tour JUST kicked off. Be sure to catch them on this tour. I know we will be catching them again at Welcome to Rockville. Starset’s CD release party for “Vessels” could not have been a more impactful “LAUNCH”…Starset shook us to the core, took us on a space journey, & was simply “out of this world!” - Playitloud media group

"Starset Vessels album release demonstration"

SHOW REVIEW: Starset Vessels Album Release Demonstration

Posted by Devon Anderson

Starset9 copy

January 20, 2017. A day that will go down in history for many reasons. But, for this rock and roll writer, that day meant Starset at Express Live! in Columbus, Ohio. Not only was this the first concert for the year for me, but it was also a grand celebration for the hometown favorites – Dustin Bates, Brock Richards, Adam Gilbert, and Ron DeChant – and their new release, Vessels, which currently (as of this write up) sits at number one on iTunes.

I had the foresight and fortune to be able to purchase VIP for this event, and if you are on the fence about whether or not you’d like to go about this, I highly recommend it. Not only do you get to get a picture with the guys and a bit of conversation along with your autographs, but they also put on a short acoustic set that you only get to see if you’re VIP. That perk alone – and it is a perk, as they sound fucking phenomenal acoustic – is well worth the price tag for the pass. I recommend it 110%.

As both groups of VIP passholders finished up their sessions with the group, I watched the Express Live! venue fill up quickly around me. The atmosphere was still a bit laid back as people wandered about, chatting with friends – both old and new – and purchasing merch for one of the four bands we would see that night. That’s right, friends. Four bands. One night. Epic awesomeness was sure to ensue.

I made my way to my usual spot, right on the rail in front of the stage, and got ready to be blown away by the evening. It didn’t take long for the air to start buzzing, and not that way, ya heathens (at least, not at this point in the night, but I digress). The first band was Liberty Deep Down out of Powell, Ohio. Man, let me tell you, that band is going places. I instantly became a fan, and not because they sang their own version of “Everybody (Rock Your Body)” from the Backstreet Boys. They played a short set that really left me wanting more.

Next up was Harmless Habit, a pretty great band with a sound a bit edgier than Liberty Deep Down. Harmless Habit got the crowd moving, jumping, and singing along. They were really good, and I was a touch more excited than I should have been when they sang another Backstreet Boys hit, “Larger Than Life” along with the vocalist from Liberty Deep Down, Dom Frissora. I wondered if this would be a theme for the night; would every band bust out some BSB for us to enjoy? Alas, no, Harmless Habit was the last one to do that for us. However, they did cover a song, “Sleep” from Starset frontman Dustin Bates’s former band, Downplay, which was really, really well done and good to see. It was a killer rendition, and one that longtime fans of all Dustin Bates projects could appreciate!

Followed by Harmless Habit was 8 Lb. Pressure, another local band out of the Columbus area. I was told that they’re a semi-regular act on the scene for supporting bigger artists, and I can understand why. The crowd was eating them up, singing and rocking their faces off. They got us all more than ready for Starset to come out and do what they do best. Give them a listen, if you haven’t.

After the supporting acts cleared the way for Starset, and the final stage setup was completed, the place filled up. I mean, FILLED UP. I became good, fast friends with the girl beside me, and thank God since we didn’t have much choice. We were on top of each other for the rest of the night. It was clear that all of Columbus came out to support Starset, and man, it was incredible to witness.

Even more incredible was the stage setup. Adam Gilbert, on drums, had his very own Pandora’s Box to play from, flanked by two large screens for video and lights. Dustin’s prized emulator sat front and center, and both Ron DeChant (bass, keyboard, backing vocals) and Brock Richards (guitar, backing vocals) had their spots on either side of the stage. I was so pleased to see a cellist and violinist touring with them, as those two play very important roles in the sound of Starset. Once the lights went down and the new Starset logo comprised of three parallel lines shone from the back of the stage, we knew. It was time….

Leading off with “Into the Unknown,” Starset wasted no time getting the crowd acclimated to their new tracks from Vessels that had just dropped that day. The crowd went absolutely apeshit as Dustin belted out the lyrics, including those growls that I have really grown quite fond of, and the others did their parts as well to completely rock the crowd to the core. Dustin took sporadic, very short breaks in between each song where he thanked the crowd, pointed out that he had been able to walk to the show from where he lives, and took the time to show appreciation for a few key people who were there in the audience (including representatives from their label, Razor and Tie, and local radio station, The Blitz). I always appreciate that touch as a concert-goer. I like it when artists take the time to show appreciation, and the fact that Dustin said, “thank you” after almost every song was not lost on me. Midwest manners at their finest, folks, and a meaningful gesture to boot.

Their set was nonstop energy and driving, pulsing force. From “Down With the Fallen” to “Richochet,” (oh, that song is so damn good live) and “Dark On Me” to “Carnivore,” Starset took the crowd through a more-than-impressive seventeen-song set that was an excellent mix of prior releases and tracks from their new album. I was honestly super pleased to hear “Everglow” and “Frequency” live, since they’re two of my favorite tracks from Vessels, and “Monster,” of course, since it’s such a smash hit on radios. “Everglow” would be the song I’d choose for my first dance at my wedding, if I wasn’t already married. It’s so, so good on the album, and I promise you it’s even better live. From start to finish, their set seemed flawless; I don’t think anyone who was paying attention would disagree.

Every single person around me – and including me – seemed to know every single word and wasted no time proving it. At one point, I stopped moving and just listened; it was such an interesting symphony, coming not only from the stage but also from the crowd, and goosebumps rippled over my skin. I had to imagine that this is what musicians do this for – the love and energy of the crowd. It was electric.

Speaking of electric, the video images on the screens, alongside the light show on the Pandora’s Box, brought such an awesome aesthetic to the show that many fans of the band have come to rely on. Even the new white suits worn by Adam, Brock, and Ron garnered attention from the crowd. It was easy to see why they were chosen – they simply glowed underneath the stage lights. You don’t just get a concert at a Starset Demonstration; you get a live experience for the ears and eyes that you won’t soon (or ever) forget.

The band was tight, Dustin’s vocals were even more incredible than I’d remembered them from the last time I saw them, and the entire night was absolute magic. Starset is a band that is definitely amazing recorded, but you have to see them live to fully appreciate their sound and what goes into them being as successful as they are. I’m still waiting (along with others, I am sure) for an acoustic album or a live album. I’ll take one of each, thank you very much.

As the final notes of their usual show-closer, “My Demons” ripped through the air and the band said their goodbyes, it was like I’d come down from a cloud of pure, exhausted bliss. My body was rocked, my voice was completely gone, and my ears were ringing, but man, I’d do it all over again, again and again, since every time I have seen them has been so different and so incredible. I am STILL enjoying a little post-concert hangover (they’re totally real, folks!), and I have no regrets. If these guys are coming to your area, and for many of you they are, do yourself a favor and go. You will not be disappointed. Not one bit. And spend a little extra coin and get the VIP. Tell ’em I sent ya.

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Review by Devon Anderson, RockRevolt Managing Editor/Journalist
Photos by Tara “Pit Princess” Williams, Play It Loud Media Group

Starset Set List
1. Into the Unknown
2. Halo
3. Down With the Fallen
4. Antigravity
5. Ricochet
6. Dark On Me
7. Rise and Fall
8. Telescope
9. Frequency
10. Satellite
11. Everglow
12. Carnivore
13. Bringing it Down
14. Back to the Earth
15. Monster
16. The Future is Now
17. My Demons - Rock Revolt Magazine


Underclass - 7/15/2016



Harmless Habit formed in 2015 after drummer, Rinn Rucker, and guitarist, Jon Suh, met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The two began to collaborate and form a vision of what would soon become Harmless Habit. Rinn and Jon met Joey Vece, also a Berklee student, during the same year. With Joey joining as the front man the band quickly began to take shape.  In the spring of 2016, Harmless Habit was in Columbus, OH for recording sessions. It was then that bassist Nick Fratianne and guitarist Cooper Bourne would join the group. Harmless Habit was now complete and the band went on to record their first EP, Underclass.

Band Members