Local Stranger
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Local Stranger

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I thought all the bands brought out some very vocal supporters and put on good performances. Beaumont GM Jon Lunkwicz told me he thought that the firt two groups on the bill, Seventh Day and Local Stranger, were the best out of all the bands that have played in Club Wars Championships.

MUSICIANSHIP
Local Stranger had my high score for this one. I thought their playing was solid and the vocals stood out over the others on the bill.

SONGS
Local Stranger's stuff almost sounded like they could be covers. Maybe that's what caught my attention about them. One sounded like it could be a DIO song. Another sounded like Alter Bridge and one like Jackyl. They closed their set with a dead on cover of Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath. - Jim Kilroy


Here we have a band settled in Kansas City/USA playing Classic 80s Melodic Rock/Metal, US style, think DIO. Their debut CD has just been released independent and I can easily call this a high quality release with original Hardrock/Metal played at a very high level. The band has a great guitarplayer (Art Kirdendoll) who can play solo's perfectly while also throwing in some cool BLACK SABBATH guitar riffs, but more interesting is they have a fabulous lead singer, who sings with an incredible diversity, which ranges from calm and very melodic (AORish) during the calmer songs right up to screaming like DIO in his best days! In fact, this singer (Rick Gillis) has got the perfect Metal voice when he starts screaming, a reall Pure 80s Metal voice not heard since GRIM REAPER and sounding like a cross between JEFF SCOTT SOTO and RONNIE JAMES DIO. Screaming in my book is screaming like the 80s Metal singers did, which is raw with a sort of soulful tone. The music is pure 80s US Melodic Metal, yet with a touch of Melodic Rock and Groovy Bluesy Rock here and there ("Black jack blues"). The DIO similarities are very clear most of the time ("On my way"), although a song like "One night stand" is pure 80s Melodic Rock. However in general this is pure DIO/GRIM REAPER 80s Melodic Metal where we raise our fists in the air and shout out loud along with the lyrics of each song. The music alone is very impressive, but their lead singer makes this band score even a bit higher, because this guy has got all it takes in becoming America's best new pure Metal singer! Only point I need to add is the fact that the songs are a bit short, with just 32 minutes for 10 songs, so make the songs a bit longer next time, which should be not that hard if you consider the fact that the band has a great guitarist in their line-up. The band is already working on a new CD which I can not wait to hear. - Strutter Magazine 11.11.05


Local Stranger comes from the United States and here it is their professional self financed debut album with the title "In The Shadows". The band has included nine tracks and more than half an hour of pure melodic rock/metal. Local Stranger offers us on this album a combination of melodic rock and metal music especially inspired from the 80s. Their compositions are well worked with interesting ideas and I can say that Art Kirkendoll, the guitarist had done very good work and we can hear interesting guitar riffs. Imagine a combination of JEFF SCOTT SOTO, DIO and GRIM REAPER and you will have the music from Local Stranger. Last but not least don't forget that the band has included a lot of their personal sound on their album and in the next few months they will be back in the studio in order to write their next album. - Behind the Veil: Antonis Maglaras


Discography

CD titled In The Shadows can be heard on CD Baby.com. We are currently holding a top 10 playlist on 90.1FM and on the trades for the last ten weeks.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Local Stranger was founded by James Hammontree in the mid 90's. Art Kirkendoll, virtuoso lead guitar player, and James have been friends for years. They wanted to build a music project that had a chance for lasting success. Rob Slahck, a classically trained bass player, joined Local Stranger in 2003, and with a singer/drummer the three piece band enjoyed some marginal success for over a year. They had to let the original drummer go due to personal issues. In December 2004, Ron Voll was asked to join the band as a drummer. Rick Gillis entered the studio about two weeks later and he completely blew the room away with his voice. Rick's presence all but guaranteed Local Stranger's future success.

With the newly revamped line-up, the magic began to flow. Local Stranger was quickly given the opportunity to play in a few of the larger clubs, and struck gold with an appearance in Club Wars VI. As round one began, only five originals had been written; the show at The Grand Emporium was Local Stranger's second gig. They played well enough to secure a spot in the next round. A blistering Semi-Finals performance netted a slot in the Finals at The Beaumont in June 2005. While Local Stranger came in 3rd, they won the praise of the General Manager of The Beaumont, which turned out to be every bit as good as winning Club Wars outright.

July 2005, after only 7 months together, the four musicians entered the studio to produce their debut CD 'In The Shadows'. The studio crew raved at Local Stranger's talent and professionalism. Recording was done over a mere 3 week period. The final mix was completed early October and the CD was released on October 26.

After playing at The Beaumont in late October, the band returned to the studio to write more music for what will be their second CD. They made an appearance at Gail's Harley-Davidson for her one year anniversary, and had an interview on 90.l to promote 'In The Shadows' where we have held a top 10 playlist for the last ten weeks. Local Stranger played another show at the Beaumont June 9, 2006 and is scheduled to play Kansas City Live's Summer Concert Series at Gail's Harley Davidson on August 5, 2006.

The delivery of our performance is what sets us apart. The songs are energetic, they are the kind of songs that make people want to raise their fists in the air and shout out the lyrics. Our influences are the legends of rock.