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Songs We Love: Connections, 'Month 2 Month'

Connections.
Connections.

Tracing the origins of Columbus, Ohio's Connections would take you back to the mid-late '90s, when singer Kevin Elliott and guitarist Andy Hampel were out of high school and in a band called 84 Nash. The only band signed to the Rockathon label despite having no formal relationship to owner Robert Pollard's better-established pursuit (behind the mic with Guided by Voices), 84 Nash got to tour extensively with its benefactors. From the sound of it, that experience still informs the backbone of Connections' every move — five guys with loud amps blasting out of a basement on a regular basis in service of keeping some manner of truth in rock 'n' roll.

Ragged and persistent, "Month 2 Month" (from the band's fourth album, Midnight Run) couples Elliott's lyrics about hardship and uncertainty with a triumphant zeal ("I'm better off that way!") nearly outpaced by the amount of energy coming out of the band. The central riff pogoes on-the-one all around the room, with bassist Philip Kim and drummer Mike O'Shaughnessy locked in behind Hampel's and Dave Capaldi's guitars as they shift from the rough edge of power-pop to the frantic exuberance of a Capaldi solo that builds to the track's finale.

Connections' home of Columbus has consistently been a hub for independent rock, punk and pop of remarkably high quality since the 1980s. (Its label, Anyway, which has documented a healthy amount of that town's scene, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.) Longevity and generations of both passing the torch and reaching across the table have been a consistent boon to the town's unique musical output. Songs like "Month 2 Month" are evidence of maintaining a tradition: records handed down to the next crowd of kids on the come-up, who turn out remarkable likenesses in their own image.

Midnight Run comes out July 22 on Anyway.

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