Rock This Town
My Finest Hour's Time Has Come
Photo By Lindsay Blume
By Chris Quay
My Finest Hour wants to punch you in the face as much as possible.
"We eat babies sometimes," lead singer Johnny Goebel said, and bassist Matt Stottmann added, "If you come out and see us live, we'll melt your face."
Of course, the 23-year-old singer was kidding, though there may be some truth to the melting your face part.
For a Louisville scene that seems to be thriving with a good amount of hardcore emo punk bands, My Finest Hour adds a little more might and fight to the cache.
Last summer, the band lost the WLRS Battle of the Bands in the final round, missing by one point the chance to open for Chevelle at WLRS Fest. But My Finest Hour still got to play to a crowd of thousands on the second stage.
Goebel said that show was "the beginning" for the band.
Goebel and drummer Wes Fehler, 19, played in the local hardcore group Seven Days After until that band broke up in 2003. Goebel then began looking for others to start what would become My Finest Hour.
He found guitarist Will Elliott, 21, via an ad posted on the Louisville Music Index, a local music website. In need of a bassist, Elliott and Goebel posted a notice on the bulletin board at Ear X-tacy. Stottmann answered and was soon recruited.
Since the first show in February 2004 at the Lang House — during which Goebel accidentally broke the head stock of his guitar and Stottmann's bass stopped working — the band has gotten its act together, playing numerous shows and releasing a six-song CD, "Burn This Town To the Ground."
And just recently, the band added another guitarist to the arsenal when Adam Dennison, 22, jetted from Waterproof Blonde to join.
Bands that carry the hardcore emo punk label seem to be coming out of the woodwork, but there's definitely a demand for bands that play with raw intensity.
"We don't write music that alienates anybody," Stottmann said. "With indie rock today, you've got pop-punk and hardcore, and you can find a taste of everything in what we write."
My Finest Hour clings to a familiar vulnerability in some of its softer moments, but for the most part, it's a charge of crunching guitars and emotional outbursts.
The band is working on a demo that hopefully will translate into another CD release this summer.
In between shows and studio time, the band is on the prowl for representation. "We're definitely looking for a label right now," Goebel said.
Meanwhile, the band has a show on April 2 at one of its favorite venues, Douglas Boulevard Christian Church.
"You play churches, you play community centers, because the kids don't really care about the venue," Goebel said. "They will come see you regardless of where you play."
The band has also applied for this summer's Warped Tour. For more info on My Finest Hour, check out www.myfinesthour.net.
"Performing has kind of become a drug," Goebel said. "That thrill of being in front of people, it's a rush. It's a feeling unique to its own."