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Who? Richmond, Virginia’s Conshafter includes Dave Cykert (guitar), Chris Konstantinos (vocals), Sarah McCalla (bass), and Travis Wilson (drums). They’ve got a new record, A Slow Drive Off a High Dive, but despite early gigs with the likes of the Killers and Puddle of Mudd, they’re not quitting their day jobs: Cykert is a scientist and Konstantinos is a stock market analyst.

What’s the Deal? Conshafter employ the Get Up Kids’ superior song-titling skills (like last album’s “Porn Star Moustache”), the epic hooks of Weezer, a dash of the Pixies acceleration/deceleration dynamic, and just a pinch of Cars-flavored new wave. Sounds like it has the potential for Frankenstein-style disaster, but the elements are stitched together so well, you’d never see the scars and bolts. The standout track, “Murder City,” born out of recent violence in the band’s hometown of Richmond, manages to be both menacingly ominous yet jet-propelled by bouncy punk fervor.

Fun Fact: Hip-hop legend Keith Shocklee of the Bomb Squad will be producing the band’s forthcoming follow-up to this self-produced effort. Famed for his work with Public Enemy, Shocklee had been a fan of Conshafter since he got hold of their 2002 demo tape. “Working with Keith has been an honor and a dream come true,” says Cykert. “His work with Public Enemy was groundbreaking.” BRIANA MOWREY

Now Hear This:
Conshafter – “Murder City” DOWNLOAD MP3

Talk: Does High Dive make a splash, or is it a bellyflop? COMMENT

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