Typically, my memories of growing up in Cleveland is all the connection I need to the Midwest (or thereabouts -- I still think Cleveland is more akin to a coastal city than say, Boise). I stick to the coasts, as terrible as that sounds. While there are certainly good bands sprouting in the pastures and prairies of Nebraska, Idaho, North Dakato, and all surrounding States, that stuff doesn't appeal to me as much as a Baltimore group does. And, to make another terribly generalized statement, most of the Midwest's musical offerings are the U.S. version of a British pub band or the 1970s bar band transplanted to a modern age. Bland beyond conception.
That being said ... Provo, Utah's Alligators have really caught my ear. I'm a little stunned, but not afraid to admit my adoration for this quintet (I believe it's a quintet ... they have experienced a confusing number of lineup shuffles).
The Alligators are a pretty standard pop-punk indie band, but with a multitude of twists. The keyboards add a Metric-like post-punk edge; the female vocals soften the blow of spiky guitar hooks and heavy, straightforward bass lines; dueling guitars bring a complexity and layeredness that is rare.
But what would one expect from such a dynamic crew? The members met in a [high school?] film class, formed the Alligators, split because of work, a trip to Japan, and more school, but eventually found themselves all back in ... Utah and picked right back up where they left off. Check out a couple tracks below. Get more on the MySpace page.
the Alligators - Touch
the Alligators - I'm Dungeons, You're Dragons