Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

In a sparse apartment, back behind a curtain in one of the furthest corners on the floor, there comes a rumble. Bass, guitar, drums and keys, all finding one another in a maze of amplifiers, pedals and cords. The Spotted Atrocious, a band and an idea, is being put through its paces by the men raising it.”We’re having a growth spurt” Ryan Warfield, guitarist and singer for the group, said. The group, the brainchild of Warfield and bassist Mitchell Way, has only recently evolved into the animal that it is today. With three other members, Mark Mullen on keyboard, Chris Hall playing drums, and Liam Tinney on lead guitar, the group has come a long way in a rather short period of time.

Starting while they were in high school, Warfield, Way, and Tinney were members of the now disbanded Far From Proud, a band out of Mechanicsburg, Pa. and have years of experience of playing with one another. The two newest to the mixture, Mullen and Hall, have quickly found an ability to mesh and collaborate with the other members of the group, with songwriting and instrumental duties becoming an element of the band that switches as much as the rhythms and pace of the music they make.

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From poppy, uplifting rhythms with soulful keys to songs in which the synthesized keyboard acts as a lead guitar, with the bass and drums working close and furiously; The Spotted Atrocious is enjoying the diversity and exploration that comes with the new elements they are incorporating into the venture.

“If the first song isn’t for them, then maybe the second (will be.)” says Warfield when asked about the band’s style.

The collaboration in the group is something new to each of the members involved as well, with every member having the ability to play at least one other instrument and write material.

This aspect is something that holds appeal for Hall and Mullen, both members of other groups.

Hall says that he is really getting elements of creativity with the rest that he doesn’t get other places.

Mullen is almost the exact opposite since the pressure to write has been taken off of him, and replaced with the ability to have fun and experiment with his sound.

He talked of their last show almost whimsically, about stumbling into the venue on four hours of sleep, with coffee instead of blood and on a last nerve, until he got to play what they all have dubbed “spaceship sounds,” and the enjoyment of leaving it all on stage left the band feeling no pressure.The ability to change positions instrumentally is a large point of pride with everyone involved, with the goal of being able to switch positions mid set being very important to them.

This aspect has also helped the whole idea shift from Warfield and an acoustic guitar to something of what it is today.

But it isn’t close to being finished yet either, with the growth and addition of personnel, The Spotted Atrocious is become an animal similar to the one dreamed up by Dr. Seuss after which they are named.

“Any person at any time can contribute to The Spotted Atrocious” Warfield said, “Just as long as they share a passion for things.”

The hope that Way has for the band is that it stays “lyrically charged” and Warfield wants the music to be infused with meaning without becoming conceded.

What may seem like a tall order doesn’t seem to daunt the group, who converts bedrooms into practice areas to come together and not only practice, but to fly by the seat of their pants and jam together in between formally written songs.

With recording plans up in the air, the band has live performances set up for The Champion Ship in Lemoyne (information available at championshippa.com) on Feb. 27 and March 27 at Fennario’s in West Chester, but with a willingness to “.rock for two people if they’re with me.” as Warfield puts it.

Kory Dench can be reached at KD608724@wcupa.edu.

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