New Orlando releases from Vegas Choir Boys and Dylan Houser

Vegas Choir Boys
Vegas Choir Boys Photo by Aimee LeCours

The new release by Vegas Choir Boys is actually a blast from the past, with perhaps more history than activity. VCB were an Orlando band that was on the scene in the early 2000s. Even if you don't remember them, you'll likely be familiar with the members' subsequent pursuits.

Guitarist and vocalist Bob Hershberger formed Bob on Blonde with drummer Waylon Thornton and built a strong recording name with his Five Spot Records. Thornton became one of the scene's most visible drummers of the 2000s in bands like Mumpsy, Vox Palma and Danny Feedback. And lead singer Aaron Wright is best known as the last and longtime owner of hallowed downtown club Backbooth.

Well, the only recorded legacy VCB left behind was a lone self-titled EP that only made the rounds on some home-burnt CDrs. But apparently, though they liked the actual songs, the bandmates were never quite happy with the recordings.

Fast-forward about a decade to a fateful weekend in 2015 when drummer Thornton and bassist Ryan Cox were individually back in Orlando to visit. Hershberger seized the opportunity and brought them in to begin re-recording the songs.

Then the current of life pulled again ­ — until the pandemic ground everything to a halt in 2020. That's when Hershberger revisited the project, finally laying down his guitar tracks and bringing singer Wright in to record.

Now, about 15 years later, Hershberger says they finally, retrospectively, have a record that they're proud of. I don't know what the original recordings sounded like, but the new EP is one for the books. Vegas Choir Boys is five anthems of melody and brawn, a vivid bottling of the band's blend of alternative rock power and pop savvy. It's now freshly released on all platforms.

Both as Formaldehydra and as the incumbent curator of the annual Orlando pre-International Noise Conference shows, Lakeland's Dylan Houser is a key pillar of the Central Florida noise scene. But his latest release under his own name isn't just released by Illuminated Paths, it's totally dialed in to the label's famous vaporwave frequency. The album boasts seven tracks of nostalgic atmosphere that feels like Dirty Beaches filtered through a warped Florida lens. It's available digitally and on cassette on IP's Bandcamp.

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