Roundhand Rowan live at The Hardscuffle (CMC) in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

When I moved into my new house in Nashville a couple days ago, I had a decision to make.  Should I stay at home and keep unpacking or put it off to go see some friends at a hardcore show?  Well, I’m glad I went with the later because I got to see Roundhand Rowan take the stage with full production.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t get out to too many hardcore shows, but these guys had some fresh ideas and killer stage presence.  Their creativity was reflected the most in their breakdown sections with different time signatures and various intricate combinations of rhythms and melodies.  I’m sure glad that I brought my -15db earplugs because like most hardcore rock shows, it was loud.  Here’s a photo from the show with sweet production.  (I did what I could without the luxury of an SLR)

Roundhand Rowan, aka RHR, is a melodic-hardcore band from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and last night was the last out-of-state stop on their summer tour.  The band is composed of Jesse (vocals, guitar, synth), Cody (guitar, synth, vocals), David (drums, vocals), and Derek (guitar, synth, screams).  They started playing together two years ago, and have really started to develop within the last year.  RHR has shared the stage with The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria, Gwen Stacy, For Today, and many more.  Check out their music video for one of their songs called “They Hunt the Defeated.”

One of my favorite things about Roundhand Rowan (besides the gut-wrenching screams from Derek) is their message.  A lot of hardcore, screamo, or metal bands out there don’t relay a very positive message in their music.  Roundhand Rowan has made it a point to “spread love and positivity to those they entertain.”  Even though their music is hard, loud, and one of the furthest things from Jack Johnson or Colbie Caillat, RHR strives to “lift up others to rise over the negativity perpetuated in this world.”  These aren’t your typical cookie-cutter straight edge rockers, but they certainly long to express a positive lifestyle through their music.

I talked with a couple members from the band for a while after the show.  Having toured with a band myself, I know from experience that the road can take a toll on a person physically and emotionally.  Despite a busted van and trailer, the guys seemed to be in good spirits coming into the last leg of their travels.  Touring with little to no budget is a huge test for any independent band.  The financial struggles alone can cause doubt and frustration to set in.  RHR might have been tired, but their spirits were high and they put on a good show.  For more information on Roundhand Rowan, check out their Facebook page or Myspace.

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

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