Built To Spill

We’re kicking off our Follow Friday with the cream of the midwest emo crop: Built To Spill! Fronted by Doug Martsch, this newest addition to the Ernie Ball family is one of the most versatile in indie rock. From their own passion-belting sound, filled with fuzzy guitar and iconic riffs, to lo-fi rock with Calvin Johnson in The Halo Benders, to playing as the touring band for the legendary Daniel Jonhston, the Built To Spill crew can do it all.

Sometimes [music is] like you’re completely unfree. You’re completely trapped by it when you’re playing it. Because you’re just doing the exact thing you’re supposed to do. There is no freedom. But some parts of music, there’s lots of freedom. When you’re creating it, you can go anywhere.

Doug Martsch, KEXP

In celebration of their iconic album, Keep It Like A Secret, turning 10 years old, Built To Spill has been roaming around, rocking out venues across the U.S. Catch tickets to see them live on their official website. Plus, keep an eye out for the release of their tribute album to the late Daniel Johnston, Built To Spill Plays The Songs Of Daniel Johnston, slated to release this year.

Built To Spill rolls with Ernie Ball Power Slinkys and Hybrid Slinky Stainless Steel Bass strings.

Listen to the best of Built To Spill down below.


Let’s talk “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y. ” — LoCash is pure country. The Brust brothers — Chris and Lucas — are masters of the craft. This duo’s style combines rootsy, bluegrass sounds with the innovations of modern country. Don’t worry, LoCash won’t forget any of the country staples, either, from camo hats, broken-in boots, and dirt roads, to small towns, country girls, and trucks.

On the way to the studio, we had a phone call with all the attorneys and managers, all the behind-the-scenes stuff. Not a lot of fun. We come in, and I guess we looked a little beat down, a little jaded.’ Crowder and Hubbard helped LoCash change their perspective, pointing out the bigger picture: ‘[They] go, ‘Hey, guys, if you could just see to the end of the tunnel here, when you get past all this, it’s gonna feel like a party.’ We were like, ‘Ding! We should write that song!’

Lucas Brust, The Boot

LoCash is talking about their latest album, Brothers, in that interview. The album just hit the shelves, so check it out below. If you want to hear that twang for yourself, head over to their official website for more information.

LoCash sling Ernie Ball Paradigm Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms and Everlast Coated Phosphor Bronze Medium Lights.

Gouge Away

Next up is the Floridian hardcore group, Gouge Away. With powerful vocals from Christina Michelle piercing through their gritty riffs, listening to Gouge Away is like a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Their sound is unmistakable. And, yes, for those of you wondering, their name is directly inspired from The Pixies 1989 Doolittle track of the same name.

‘I think hardcore punk is more about bands that talk about important subjects, promoting messages through their shows,’ said Michelle, mentioning Philadelphia’s Paint It Black as an example. ‘Burnt Sugar is in the direction of mental health, which is really important, affecting everyone in my life…including me, too.’ Michelle’s frazzled bark makes her seem angry because she was angry during the songwriting [process].

Christina Michelle, Post-Trash

Last year, Gouge Away released “Stray,” a single which took their sound in a more mellow direction. Check it out, along with the rest of their discography, down below! Catch them live by looking for tour dates near you on their official website.

Gouge Away get gnarly with Ernie Ball Paradigm Not Even Slinkys and Hybrid Slinky Stainless Steel Bass strings.

Listen to the hardcore sound of Gouge Away below.


Speaking of the midwest, let’s talk about the Iowa natives, Saul. Started by the Bedsaul brothers (hence their name), this hard rock group delivers pure octane with their heavy tracks. “Brother” caught on like wildfire after its release, and their latest single, “Trial By Fire,” has caught wind as well.

No difference exists between us. We all live, breathe, and survive as best we can. SAUL boil hard rock down to its human core. The Iowa quartet — brothers Blake Bedsaul [lead vocals] and Zach Bedsaul [lead guitar, backup vocals], William McIlravy [bass, backup vocals], and Joe Nichols [drums] — encase undeniable melodies inside of mind-numbing polyrhythmic riffs.

Saul Official Bio

Saul‘s ability to put complex rhythm and melodies into a digestible, yet impactful song is astounding. 2019’s “Trial By Fire” oscillates between a classic nu-metal sound and modern chugging riffs. You can witness it for yourself; head to their official website for tickets.

Saul uses Ernie Ball 7-String Cobalt Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms, Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Medium Lights, and Regular Slinky 5-String bass strings.

The National Reserve

The National Reserve has spent the past few years cutting their teeth in the bars of Brooklyn. Their knack for performance has sent them from out of the dimly lit night clubs and into the shining spotlight. Frontman Sean Walsh and the gang craft their Americana sound out of “late-night soul and bluesy, boozy rock ‘n’ roll.”

Walsh is now planning to bring all the fun and fire of The National Reserve’s fiery Friday night sets to the rest of the world, eager to pack as many folks into his band’s late night scene as possible. ‘Music is really powerful,’ says Sean Walsh. ‘It changed my life, which is why I do it. If I can reach people with our music, maybe change their life, that would really be incredible.’

The National Reserve Official Bio

The National Reserve is on tour right now, bringing their tasteful tunes to venues across the east coast. Don’t miss out on your chance to see them live and get your tickets from their official website soon!

The National Reserve get bluesy with their Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys.

Check out The National Reserve below.

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