Talk about influence. For a time there in the '90s, it seemed that people in the Midwest were even sneezing differently — louder, more dissonant, more staccato — because of bands such as the Jesus Lizard, Shiner and Molly McGuire. Classrooms were disrupted; relationships were destroyed. Now, more than a decade later, bands such as the Life and Times carry on and evolve the Midwest rock legacy, while new bands — St. Louis's Riddle of Steel, Kansas City's the Slowdown — rise and reinvent that brain-shaking, noisy-shoegaze sound. One of the weirdest and most jagged of the first wave, Season to Risk, arose in KC in 1989, converting primal backbeats, metal-shearing guitar and grinding, distorted bass into a bed of shattered musical glass for manic singer Steve Tulipana to prance upon barefoot. Touring for the better part of nine years, releasing two albums on Columbia Records, a couple of others on Thick, and appearing as a demented house band in the post-apocalyptic movie Strange Days, S2R had an intense run that flamed out after 2001's The Shattering. Though band members have gone on to other projects (Roman Numerals, Olympic Size), S2R has reunited for one show every year since the breakup. 2010 marks its 21st anniversary.
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