Battle of the Bands is Saturday

·2 min read

Jun. 27—Odessa Arts will host the inaugural Battle of the Bands finale on July 2 inside The Ector Theatre.

Door entry is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show will begin at 6 p.m.

Battle of the Bands entries opened in May to any West Texas bands who uploaded a video on to Odessa Arts website. In mid-June, voting began at $1 per vote for entries.

After voting closed, the top four bands were selected. The finalists include SoulStrum, Murder Monroe, Gone by Nin9, and Never Too Young. The judges selected are Stephen Ray, program specialist inside the Texas Music Office, Sam Logan, owner of Endless Horizons Record Store, and Adam Nunley, executive director of The Ector Theatre.

The prizes include a music video shoot courtesy of Young Guns Entertainment, album cover design, and headliner for July 29th Hot Summer Nights concert.

SoulStrum formed in 2005 amid the West Texas dust of the Permian Basin music scene.

SoulStrum's sound is a sonic barrage of soulful rock mixed with southern songwriting. Frontman Stephen Stroope leads with vocals and delivers a sermon in song through lyrics about life through the eyes of a believer. Original guitarist Weston Jordan continues to expand the borders of sound by exploring every tone that can be made by a six string. Erik VanCuren joined the band in 2011 and brings crunch into the rhythm section through guitar and bass. Zeke Stroope runs the engine of the band through drums.

Murder Monroe was established in April 2017 by Marilyn Benefield, Taylor Jones and Robin Murray. They released their self titled EP in August 2017, which was submitted for consideration to the 2017 Grammy Awards. Although not nominated, they were able to excel to the final platform to be considered for a nomination. Murder Monroe released their sophomore album in September of 2018, the release said.

More recently, they have released several different cover songs which are available on all digital platforms. They have opened for several different bands including: HED PE, Brett Michaels, Jack Russell's Great White and Crazy Town.

Best known as a local Alt Rock Band, Gone By Nin9 and their sound has developed and grown in popularity since early 2020. Influenced by the community, culture, and sounds of their hometown, they perform music that speaks to fans across the musical spectrum, the release said.

Their signature style has become synonymous with a diverse collection of melodies and compositions.

Never Too Young consists of Leon Carrasco 16, Ian Chavez 14, and Aiden Armendariz 14. Prior to this project, Leon and Ian have been bandmates. Aiden has recently joined.