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Boise Records' Battle of the Bands, Aug. 20, 21 and 23, The Bouquet

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As my stint as one of the judges for the Boise Records' Battle of the Bands at the Bouquet drew near, I started to really look forward to it. I would see/hear some bands I was familiar with and liked, and would get to hear some local bands that I'd not heard before.

Owner Lloyd Parrott received hundreds of submissions for the three-night event—Punk on Monday, Metal on Tuesday and Indie on Thursday—and winnowed the list down to five bands for each genre. Parrott said choosing just 15 bands was tough. I thought (and he agreed) that picking one winner for each night was the real bitch, but worth the work: The prize for each night's winner was 20 hours of recording time at Boise Records.

Monday night, we were pounded with the sounds of Killing for Peace, Bovalexia, A Thousand Effigies, The Casket Chronicle and Sprockets. I love the raw energy of punk music, and every band was a shining, sweaty example of what punk music can still be. All of the bands brought their anarchy A-games and deciding a winner was close to impossible. So much so, that though A Thousand Effigies deservedly won, Parrott awarded Killing for Peace an unexpected second place and 10 hours recording time in his studio. Watching Sprockets' drummer, Dustin (who, it turns out, I'm distantly related to by marriage), play was one of the highlights of the night.

Tuesday the assault came from metal by Ripchain, Mortal Enemy, Heibarger, Vintegaas (out of Portland, Ore.) and October Tree tearing it up. The music was loud and powerful and, again, the bands made my job damn hard. Heibarger took the honors.

Indie night made for a cool finale to the week. The bands—Sindicate, Animal Crackerz, Uncle Bud, Ambient and Malachi—were a mixed lot and not one of them was bad, leading Parrott to offer another second place prize of 10 hours to Uncle Bud while first went to Malachi. Parrott's partner, Ryan Neal, said the extra 20 hours on top of the 60 hours they'd already awarded was going to put a serious dent in his downtime for awhile, but would be worth every minute. I wonder if he realizes just how many minutes 80 hours is?

For more information, visit BoiseRecords.com.