The Combat
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The Combat

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Pop


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The Combat EP (Table Records)



Meet a bunch of guys who tend to make things more difficult than need be. Somehow The Combat can make any situation obscene and challenging (like trying to develop a band name) yet the only thing that seems to come easily to them is making sweet music.

The Combat is an alt/pop/rock four-piece band based in London, Ontario. It is comprised of Bryan Strang (19, Vocals), Will O’Donnell (20, Bass), Jae Espinoza (19, Guitar) and Dawid Cieloszczyk (20, Drums) – See, told you this group is a challenge – It’s pronounced “Dah-veed”.

The Combat amalgamated at The University of Western Ontario, although its formation didn’t come easily. Initially, Bryan and Jae formed a short-lived hip-hop/rap group in high school, after meeting as weight partners in a gym class. The two entered university with the intention of forming another band, one similar to Down With Webster, and searched for a drummer and bassist. They met Dawid, who fit in and fulfilled the drummer requirements. Ironically, it turned out Dawid had actually attended the same high school as Bryan and Jae, unbeknownst to all of them. Fate, however, remained dedicated to making things more complicated for this bunch and held off on their encounter until Western. Next Will came along. He was studying music at Western and played in another band at the time, but left to join The Combat boys.

Now that the band had their line-up solidified, they were able to commence the music making. When these boys get together at rehearsal it is indeed combative. Their overly complicated antics may include everything from crude, humorous debaucheries to arguments regarding philosophy, yet they perpetually create music that makes sense to them. They have a wrestling writing style that ranges from pop songs to ones much dirtier and heavier. The fight is ever present but it fuels the fire of growth and inspiration.

In November 2010 The Combat selected and recorded three tracks to release including “Already Gone”, “On and On”, and “Nothing to Say”. Despite their taxing schedules, they fortunately recorded at the renowned Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology in London with their producer Alastair Sims. Bryan states, “we were getting off school, heading over to the studio, and leaving the studio at six am to get ready for school at eight am the next day”. Jae recalls, “When we were in the studio ‘till five am recording, it got to the point where all of us had talked so much that we could not understand what each other was saying. So Will resorted to drawing wave pictures of the solo he was trying to get Bryan to play. It seemed to work.” Nevertheless, the studio time was incredibly productive for the band.

In the end, The Combat delivers melodic vocal harmonies, edgy bass, raw guitar and tight drums to create a catching alt/pop/rock sound reminiscent of influences such as Cage the Elephant, Mute Math, Death Cab for Cutie and Kings of Leon. In 2011 The Combat looks forward to their song releases, more studio time and upcoming shows to deliver music to their fans as a beautiful war machine.