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The best kept secret in music


"Tunes On Tap"

Who said alterna-metal and hardcore couldn't be domestic partners" Syracuse's INBORN rocks it like a bastard child of Tool and Starkweather, and Conquered Onondaga Community College's Battle of the Bands in late April." - September 17, 2003 - Nathan Turk (Pabst Blue Ribbon)


Aggro-groove act Inborn, with recent recruits Chris Lohm on rhythm guitar and Travis Hewitt on bass, were as tight as John Jamelske's dungeon crawlspace. "They're great, they've definitely showed us what they're worth," said singer A.J. Cole of the new members, who both joined over the summer. "They've progressed and they're very reliable." The churning "Understanding" and new tune "Myiasis" highlighted the quintet's set, their last before returning to the venue Jan. 16 to celebrate the release of their debut five-song EP.

- Nathan Turk

"Best Local Band"

Best Local Band

1. GRIND (Cover Band)
2. Under the Gun (Cover Band)
3. Inborn (Original Band)
- Syracuse New Times

"Inborn To Be Wild"

Inborn to be Wild

"Even though they were totally pissed that their stuff was ripped off, they went out there and they were totally into it," recalls Inborn vocalist A.J. Cole with more than a slight tinge of reverence. In spite of being robbed of their respective Paul Reid Smith guitars, worth about $2,000 each, Cole's bandmates Chris Nalle and Chris Lohm were soldiers on Oct. 11 at the Bridge Street Music Hall. "They didn't show that they were hateful," Cole marvels. "I know I wouldn't be able to do that, I'd be there with a grumpy face."

Most would agree, especially since the chintzes who broke into the group's van that night were never nailed. But Cole doesn't dwell on the event in conversation, instead realizing, "Thankfully, that was all that was stolen," and shifting talk to the band's new album, which was recently completed.

Since September the group has been holed in the home studio of Conan Fioramonti, front man of local country act Conan and the Showdogs. Others who have helped realize the band's fruit, a five-song volley of melodic, floor-pit-friendly neck metal, include Bill Aldrich of Wizard Sound and local guitarist Will Flaherty. "They've been putting a lot of time into it," Cole says of recording, which got off to a false start more than a year ago when original drummer Josh Patch and bassist Shawn Molchonoff jetted for Florida and college, respectively. The band was back at square one when it re-entered the studio last September, although Cole says the furlough was long enough for successors John Winslow (drums), Lohm (rhythm guitar) and Travis Hewitt (bass) to acclimate.

In fact, the only hitch the quintet faced was the mysterious loss of Cole's vocal tracks the first week of January. "I went in and put two days of vocal tracks in, and we lost every single one of them," Cole laments, blaming a crashed hard drive. "But I'm glad because I think it came out better the second time around {since} I was battling a little bit of a sinus infection before." He laid them anew in two hours, which isn't bad, considering the disc clocks in at more than 30 minutes.

The five cuts include live staples "Breakaway," "The End of Everything," "Understanding," the crushing "Burnt" and "For This." The latter is Cole's favorite, if only for "the fact that I'm not screaming," he yuks. "I don't scream at all; I'm pretty much able to let it all out vocally."

To be sure, singing is a catharsis for the 22-year-old Cole, who pens the lion's share of the band's lyrics. He says most deal with shitty girlfriends, bad relationships or life in general, including "Myiasis," named for the pleasant condition of having larval infestation of your flesh. "I would say that song's definitely about a sour relationship that's similar to myiasis. It deals a lot with, you know, what if I had made different decisions, what if it been a little different."

Of relationships he admits, "Lord knows I've had too many. I think everyone has a bum relationship, one where you want to hurt yourself, where you want to be mad. But you can still walk away. It's just a relationship, it's nothing to lose your life over. Self-respect is definitely a big thing in our music: respect for yourself, and respect for others."

Not surprisingly, Cole is less jive and more jiving, having been a steady Freddy in Inborn since late 2002, when he was snagged from his old group Thrown to Tragedy. After a shared 2002 bill with Inborn, who at the time were called Inconclusive, Cole bum-rushed an open audition and presto. "They must have liked something, because they gave me the job," Cole reflects.

Inborn's climb afterward is best articulated by that great poet Vince Neil: "Years gone by, I'd say we've kicked some ass." Well, make that year gone by. In 2003 they won a battle-of-the-bands contest at Onondaga Community College, which happened to be Cole's debut gig with the band, and later made the second round of the K-Rock/Bleachers Band Search Competition. "That's probably one of our favorite shows we've done," Cole says of the June Bleachers gig. "People came out of the woodwork to see us."

Accolades aside, the band also serves its members aesthetically, which is reflected not so subtly in its moniker. "If something is bred into you in the womb, kind of like breathing, you know, that's inborn," Cole says. "Playing music is inborn." As if affirming a collective drive that not even $4,000 in stolen equipment can vex, Cole is affirmative when asked if he's speaking for his band, answering instantly, "Sure thing."

Celebrate the release of Inborn Friday, Jan. 16, at Bleachers, 602 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool. Opening the 9 p.m. show are Merit and South Side Kings. Admission is $5 for those 21 or older, or $10 otherwise. For more information call 451-4841 or visit

- Nathan Turk


---It Couldn't Be Done (EP)

-Break Away
-For This
-End Of Everything


Feeling a bit camera shy


Amazingly rich vocal melodies, catchy guitar riffs and resonating rhythms. It seems that playing music is what matters most to these five
young talented musicians whose varied musical influences include the likes of modern rockers Staind, Nirvana, Korn, Nickelback, Our Lady
Peace, 311 and Silverchair. Put all those bands into a blender and what comes out is Inborn. The result is the combined creative talents of lead
guitarist Chris Nalle who pens the bulk of the music and lyricist and lead vocalist AJ Cole. Combining their talents to form Inborn in late 2002 they
both rose from the ashes of their former bands Inconclusive and Thrown To Tragedy, respectively. Despite a few personnel changes, in the very short time they have been together they have snagged a win at The Battle Of The Bands Contest
at Syracuse’s Onondaga Community College in early 2003. Even more impressive, however, was their being chosen out of 45 bands to compete in the second round of The K-Rock/Bleachers Band
Competition in June, 2003, therefore, ranking them as one of the top 16 bands in Syracuse.

Their 5 song debut demo disc is packed full of heart pounding rhythms, plenty of soaring guitars, striking bass lines and prolific vocals. Their “in your face” live performances speak for themselves. When their set is over you are left with the
extraordinary feeling that these five performers are serious about the original music they have created. Perhaps they didn’t chose to play like this but rather their music seems to have chosen them. They are poised to make it to the top and are ready
and willing to go wherever it may chose to take them.

Lidia Pierce