Micah Bentley

Wheels on fire

Breaking into your 20s can be harder than breaking into the music industry, but the acoustic-driven alterna-rockers in the band Micah Bentley have done both with a guileless acquiescence. Between 18 and 23 years old, these strapping young lads -- including Micah Bentley himself -- dish out lovingly listenable tunes with casual piano and nuanced guitars that ooze indie lo-fi sensibility. The quintet's self-released EP My Heart Beats Fast satisfyingly skirts the fine line between sincere sentiment and sappy sentimentality that most growing-pain bands blindly trip over. Influenced by acts like Britain's Embrace, MB manages to evade the exceedingly tired gagmo trap of soft/loud arrangements, and instead prefers rockscape balladry layered in jangly piano and hummable optimism. MB has quickly made a prominent name for itself by caravanning on weekend road trips all over the Southwest, and plans to venture eastward in the spring. Listening to lead singer/songwriter Bentley's moody jams, you'd never guess that he moonlights as -- get this -- an ass-tearing skateboarder sponsored by Salvation Skates.

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