In my senior year of high school one of my friends formed a band called Hot Soup. They played three or so shows at our local coffeehouse to about 15-20 people each time. The band imploded soon after that and I was left with nothing but a memory of one of the greatest bands I had ever seen. They were basically a grunge band that grew up listening to Grateful Dead. The dueling guitars and frantic drumming laid a background for sweet-and-sour female vocals. I really miss those guys, but that place in my heart has been filled by another local band: Bored to Tears. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch Bored to Tears at two different benefit shows over the past few months. From the opening notes I knew that this trio of Lawrentians had something special. Here is the part of the article where I try and make comparisons with Bored to Tears and some popular bands. You will notice that the bands I list don’t necessarily go together, which should show you how unique I find them. Mark Johnson’s vocals bring to mind Morrissey’s emotion and yelping ability. His vocals and guitar-playing style also remind me of a modern-day Buddy Holly – the singer, not the annoying Weezer song. Mark’s clean vocals are complimented by those of bassist Asher Perlman, a cross between Kurt Cobain, Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes, and Fat Albert – see the lyrics to “Worthwhile Day” with its “Hey Hey Heys.” The amazingly talented and powerful Sara Wexler rounds out the band on drums. Sara’s style seems rooted in equal parts marching band and grunge drumming along the lines of Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney. In fact, Bored to Tears and Sleater-Kinney share the same love for thumping off-kilter rhythms and playful melodies. I know that describing a band can never truly capture what the band actually sounds like. I mean, from week to week I try to describe a band and I usually only brush the surface. But with Bored to Tears I need only brush the surface since you can hear them for yourselves around campus throughout the year. The reason for going to one of their shows would be the infectious songs that they write. “Parachute Missing” has a great scream-along/jump-along chorus in “Their Bond and Their Bods Was Too Strong to Fall to Its Death.” And then there’s the angst-filled “You Should Try Harder to Love Me,” which can rock you apart even if it is played, as it usually is, using only a mandolin. Then there is arguably their catchiest song (it’s been in my head for five days now): “My Baby Says,” with lyrics like, “my baby says I should stop hanging with those thugs.” And there lies another important part of Bored to Tears. The lyrics are at times funny, at times sad, and at times as witty and sarcastic as any David Sedaris essay. My two favorite rhymes are “you know I would never be dangerous” with “you know I would never endanger us.” And don’t forget the great sway-along song “Time to Put Away the Sad Songs.” So next time you see a poster for Bored to Tears, check them out. I don’t need another Hot Soup in my life.