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Listen Up! - Alex Kasznel & The Board of Directors

Sometimes you walk into Everybody’s Records looking for the new Khruangbin and walk out a fan of a great local band you hadn’t heard before that just happened to be playing a matinee show with a pro-wrestling themed punk rock band (The Foleys, if you’re curious). Cincinnati, as always, keeps me on my toes.

I wasn’t able to get the new Khruangbin, unfortunately, but I did pick up the latest EP from Alex Kasznel & The Board of Directors, Parachute. I went ahead and grabbed their debut, as well, Everything’s Important and Nothing Matters. And I snagged their other singles they released on Bandcamp.

Very much a “right place, right time” kind of thing - I was in the middle of wrapping up a long afternoon of running errands - I was able to catch the band performing live at Everybody’s Sunday afternoon. At first, admittedly, I kind of just wanted to get the record I was looking for and get out, but after searching for a bit, then asking, to no avail, if what I was looking for was available, there was a hook, or some melody, that caught my ear. I walked over and started to listen in earnest then ended up staying for their whole set (my apologies to The Foleys for not checking them out, I did have somewhere I needed to be).

What I heard was exactly how they describe themselves on Bandcamp - “Pop punk for grownups.” It was catchy, sincere, fun, insightful, energetic, and really, for me, all the things I look for in this particular genre. They were tight live, even in that small space, sounded great and had a good time performing to and for everyone milling about, snagging records and CDs, walking around the store or stopping, like me, to watch and listen.

So I picked up their latest release, a four-song EP called Parachute, on purple vinyl, and immediately put Everything’s Important & Nothing Matters into my CD player on the way to my next stop. They cover a lot of ground over the course 15 total tracks, released, it looks like, throughout 2023. Love, death, growing up, growing old, trying, failing, trying again. It’s never not strange when such heady topics are played with an ear toward listenability and catchiness.

Again, I find myself surprised and delighted by what’s happening in Cincinnati right now. There’s so much good music, so many great bands and artists, from all across the spectrum. I’ll never be able to listen to or absorb it all, but man, being able to walk into a local independent record store on a Sunday afternoon and walk out a fan of a local band you hadn’t heard before? Just awesome.

Give Alex Kasznel & The Board of Directors a listen here and follow along with all things Board of Directors on Facebook here. Catch them live on April 13, as part of a Benefit Show for Diem Mueller at Legend’s - details here.