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Preview: Empty Walls, Weird Science, Death to the State / Jan. 25 / The Smiling Skull Saloon

By Jennifer Castaneda, Contributor

The Smiling Skull Saloon / Mon., Jan. 25, 2016

After spending a couple weeks at home and barely getting back into the gist of the school routine, you’re probably already getting stressed. Why not calm your nerves with some music? The lineup--Empty Walls, Weird Science and Death to the State--captures the essence of Athens' scene.

Headling is Empty Walls, a lo-fi punk outfit originally from Saint Petersburg, FL. The band recently released its first EP, entitled Rough Draft. This will be the group’s first time in Athens.

Athens-based Weird Science is another impressive part of the lineup. ACRN had the pleasure of speaking with Zachary Fuller who shared, “I did not set out to have a project named Weird Science. It was really only going be a one night thing, which we needed a name for. It just seemed to work. We decided to keep it because we kept getting offered shows, it kind of just grew on us.” He shared that there is one message in the music: “Be excellent to each other. Not always an easy thing, but the more you exercise that belief the easier it is to pass along.”

Influenced by old school, hardcore, punk rock and thrash metal, Death to the State will also be hitting the stage at the Smiling Skull. Mike Lannan, the songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist for the group spoke to ACRN. “The inspiration for the band name is freedom. It’s screaming fuck you, with middle fingers in the air. It’s a rebellion against whatever is an oppressive force in your life. Be it the government, church, or your job. Whatever.” Lannan described the music as being open to interpretation. “It’s about doing what you want . . . an inward look at ourselves as a society. War. Corruption. Drugs and alcohol. Homelessness.”

Additionally, Lannan shared that the band has seen some crazy things at shows, especially at the Smiling Skull. “The audience is right there in your face. Two shows in a row this bigger dude went flying into my mic stand in the middle of a song. Just soldiered through the song yelling the lyrics out as loud as I could.”

Monday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. at the Smiling Skull Saloon, bring your friends and some dollars in your pocket.

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