Rock Gone Wild

By Jenna Croyle

When you think of Alternative Rock bands, certain groups come to mind, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Babes in Toyland, The Smashing Pumpkins, Magic Dirt, The White Stripes and many more.

Locally, many artists have been very important to the genre over the decades, paving the way for today’s musicians to take Alternative Rock to the next level. This week’s featured band, X7 has put a new look on the face of Alternative Rock in Erie.

Formed in the early part of the Millennium, X7 is made up of Michael A. Kraus on Vocals and Guitar, Hans Hetz on Bass, Geoff Bliss on Drums and Kevin Pentycofe on Keyboards, the band continues to give new meaning to the word innovative.

Taking much of its influences from bands like Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails, Beatles, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, X7 is an energy driven musical powerhouse that never stops the rock.

When you are watching the band on stage, you can immediately feel the natural chemistry that each member has with not only each other, but also an almost symbiotic relationship to the music.

With music that seems to be constantly evolving, X7 gives a great deal of respect to the style and structure of each song along with a strong dose of artistic expression in every verse that has a cathartic influence that overcomes you as you listen.

The bands Keyboardist and newest member, Kevin Pentycofe is truly one of the best Keyboard players in town, adding that special something to every note he plays. Seeming completely absorbed, dedicated and committed to his craft, Pentycofe flows flawlessly from note to note with superb musical insights.

Geoff Bliss is able to play a variety of music and have his style impact the way the overall sound of the band, raising the music to new highs beat after beat. Bliss’ fantastic rhythm and attention to detail creates a powerful sound that is very distinctive and surprisingly original in the world of drummers.

The band’s Bassist, Hans Hetz has the Essential Alternative Rock Bass Lines to propel any song to greatness. Hetz seems to center his playing on simplicity and minimalism, while developing his own style, earning him his place as one of the most amazing Alternative Rock Bassists in town.

Finally, as the X7 front man, Michael A. Kraus lends a powerful and melodic nuance to the band with his talents as the Lead Singer and Guitarist. Rock is all about the show, Kraus turns every show into an experience with his unique Rock voice, charismatic stage presence and excellent finger work.

As a truly talented individual, Kraus raises those around him up to true greatness making X7 a force to be reckoned with as one of the leaders of Rock in Erie. Kraus’ unique ability to connect with his audience is without doubt the secret to the success of X7.

There are many good bands that just weren’t around long, X7 has the staying power that only the true legends of rock have.

If you are looking for a hard hitting, fist pumping, high energy, big rock bang show experience, then an X7 show is the place to go.

For more information on X7, band members and show dates, please visit their website.