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Hundred Plus Club rocks the big stage: Former UB rockers to take garage, indie sound to Fall Fest

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Though they originally considered music just a hobby, Buffalo-based rock band Hundred Plus Club are now gearing up to play in front of thousands at UB Fall Fest.

The group, composed of four former UB students, is one of six student/alumni acts performing alongside musicians like Lil Uzi Vert and New Politics. Students will get a taste of the band’s pure indie rock and local flair during the show.

The band boasts sounds like Interpol or Tokyo Police Club, embodying a love for diverse stylings. The group first met one other at Williamville’s Transit Middle School, performed for the first time in 2015 at downtown Buffalo’s, The Waiting Room and released their first project, For You in 2016.

“Making music was once something we all just did together. It then naturally progressed to what it is now,” said Zain Shirazi, a UB alumnus and the band’s vocalist and guitarist. “We go through phases of things that we like to do but this band just stuck.”

Today, the group is no stranger to performing in Buffalo and beyond. The quartet has opened for acts such as California band Finish Ticket as well as duo, Hank & Cupcakes.

Besides playing venues such as the Waiting Room and Mr. Goodbar in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village, the Hundred Plus Club has taken its talents to larger audiences. Most recently, the band performed at Buffalo-based music festivals, Herd Fest and Infringement Festival.

Thanks to their early ’00s alt-rock vibe, Hundred Plus Club delights not just on stage but on their records as well.

On their 2016 EP For You, the band accomplishes album-heavy content in just six tracks. Songs like “Reversed” are strong with summery guitar strums and cool vocals. Other numbers like “Reminders” bring distortion and heavy drums to the mix alongside a boost from Shirazi’s sincere vocals.

Other tracks like “Mildly Impressed” host loopy instrumentals that race catchy lyricism around a musical track. Overall, it’s a project that proves variety can sound cohesive and that the band learned from past recorded songs, as well.

“The recording session was split over two sessions that lasted about two days each, so three songs were recorded each day,” said Rafi Bloomberg, the band’s bassist. “After we talked to Michael Moretti from Admirable Traits [Records], he wanted us to release something with his [label]. So we took the first three songs we recorded and new three songs to make up For You.”

Nick Borgosz, owner of Cheektowaga-based World of Noise studio, contacted Moretti regarding the local act after the first three songs were recorded for For You. Moretti, co-founder of Admirable Traits Records, then invited the group to perform at 2016’s Herd Fest in Buffalo.

With a plethora of performances in the books, Fall Fest is far from a worrisome experience for the group. Burak Spoth, the group’s drummer and recent UB grad, says the opportunity doesn’t nerve them in the slightest.

“I don’t think we’re thinking about performing any differently than we usually do. We’re just going to go up there and do our thing. Plus, it’s great that there is diversity in the line-up,” Spoth said.

Bloomberg agrees that the diversity helps, especially looking at past years’ rap-centric lineups.

“It’s nice to see someone from the alternative world – like New Politics – just to be involved, as we fall into the general sense of alternative rock, too,” Bloomberg said.

Hundred Plus Club hopes to make the most out of their opportunity during the fest, playing songs from both For You and newly recorded tracks as they anticipate the mega musical opportunity.

“Hopefully we get some new fans from performing on Saturday,” said Josh Gidwitz, the band’s guitarist. “I think the exposure could get them to listen to our new record that comes out. If we can get at least 20 more fans on Facebook, it would all be worth it.”

Following their performance on Saturday, Hundred Plus Club is gearing up to release their upcoming project with Admirable Traits Records. The project, currently mastered, will be the group’s second with the label and will be accompanied by a single and music video.

After Fall Fest, concert-goers can catch the band at Milkie’s on Sept. 23. The show will be alongside Rochester garage rockers, Total Yuppies and indie act, Cooler, with a cover of $5.

Benjamin Blanchet is a senior arts editor and can be contacted at benjamin.blanchet@ubspectrum.com.


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