Small-town life is supposed to be pretty predictable: One's business is widely known by everyone, and the life path of high school, parenthood, and blue-collar career (without passing Go or collecting $200) seems difficult to avoid.
Despite the looming threat of being a product of their hometown, though, the five members of Sharon-based band Old Accusers are carving their own path through the underground music scene.
The band formed in the summer of 2009, spurred by a discussion during a late-night coffee run at the local Denny's. If you haven't heard Old Accusers' debut EP, Of and Beyond, released this past February, it's hard to describe what you're missing. The band puts forth a mixture of technical '90s-era hardcore in the vein of Coalesce and Botch, but with a dash of shoegaze-influenced guitar leads and a deep emotional twist that becomes very evident when looking at the EP's lyrics. Many of those lyrics are intended as a "commentary on the area we grew up in," explains guitarist Phil Gioan: feeling suffocated by the seemingly inevitable fate of a life of mediocrity in rustbelt America.
While the band still calls Sharon home, its members feel a sense of belonging within the Pittsburgh scene.
"We've kind of been adopted by Pittsburgh in a way," vocalist Neal Dudash says of the bond that's formed between Old Accusers and many Pittsburgh hardcore and punk bands. While many musicians and show-goers living in Pittsburgh always have something negative to say about the scene, Dudash says the band is grateful for it: "I don't take any scene for granted based on where we came from."
Despite the difficulty of pigeonholing the band genre-wise, it's easy to see what Old Accusers is at its core: five friends making music with zero compromise. "We're not capitulating to the mainstream," says Gioan. "We're not trying to water our sound down; we're not trying to do anything to appease anyone. We write songs that we want to write."