Plus two bands to catch off-site
The Worn Flints
6:30 p.m. Friday, Bozo
Music often serves a cathartic role, allowing both listeners and creators chances to celebrate, seethe or mourn. The Flints’ most recent album, Gloria Avenue, released earlier this year, served the latter purpose, singer/guitarist Kenny Stiegele penning a series of heartbroken songs as he recovered from the 2018 death of his sister, Valerie Piechuta. There’s plenty of hurt throughout (“Morning Light” can shatter), but there’s also hope, as well as a needed reminder to embrace those closest to us because none of this is forever.
7:10 p.m. Friday, Off Ramp
The first snarls song I heard was “Plain Jane,” an unlikely title from a band that bills itself on Facebook as “glitter emo alt-rock from Columbus, Ohio.” But while the tracks posted to its Bandcamp are uniformly excellent — particularly “Lonely,” a melodic indie-rock scrapper that sounds perfectly at home in an era where the likes of Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy are tearing up the current Pitchfork scene — it’s the unreleased tunes the quartet played at our Bands to Watch showcase earlier this year that have me most stoked about its future.
7:20 p.m. Saturday, Off Ramp
OG Vern rarely sounds rushed. On songs like “Jerome Bettis,” words seem to drift from the Akron-born rapper like slowly exhaled smoke, and he even adopts a leisurely pose on “Hustle!,” a title more reflective of the daily grind than the urgency with which he delivers his syllables. Considering the hot, humid summer weather — conditions that always seem to ramp up come ComFest weekend — the MC is well served taking his time on stage here, too.
Bonus: Unchipped and Weed Demon at Used Kids
Both bands were dropped from ComFest at the urging of the festival’s insurance company, which would not have provided the needed coverage had either performed. Scoot on over to Used Kids at 2500 Summit St. in North Campus to see what had the suits so concerned. The free concert begins at 6 p.m. Friday, June 28, and all donations raised will be given to Grrrls Rock Columbus.