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(Left to right) Rent Free bassist Michael Wells, leader singer Paul Nern and twin brother Weston Nern, who plays drums, lounge on the back patio of The Union after their sound check.

Best underground bands

Published April 11, 2022

6 Southeast Ohio bands you should know about

By Grace Koennecke | For The Post

While many don’t consider Southeast Ohio to contain much besides cornfields and abandoned shopping centers, the region is actually home to many unique and talented musicians. From indie to folk to alternative and even punk-rock, Southeast Ohio is the right place to find good music.

If you’re not from the region, or at least don’t go to school at Ohio University, here are six bands you should know about that are on the rise:

Rent Free

Composed of twins Paul and Weston Nern as well as Michael Wells, Rent Free is a widely known band on OU’s campus. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Green Day, The Beatles and Blink-182, the band has a sound that is reminiscent of 1990s rock. Currently, it is signed to Brick City Records and just released its latest single “Angry Punk Song.” Rent Free is even planning to put out an EP soon, meaning that you should definitely start listening to its music now as it begins to spread out to the masses.

You can learn more about Rent Free here.

In Flow

The garage rock band from Athens is also a big name on campus, playing weekly shows at The Union to avid fans. Its sound definitely gravitates toward the alternative music genre, with impressive vocals that easily remind listeners of the classic rock days. In Flow recently released “Flowers,” an upbeat and guitar-heavy single that will make you want to jump up and down, banging your head to the beat. Its self-titled EP also just dropped, which marks the beginning of In Flow’s lively state as a band.

You can find more information about In Flow here.

This Violet Hour

Ewan Seymour, a freshman at OU, is the frontman of This Violet Hour. The alternative-rock band finds comfort in Athens, as its roots lay here. Playing shows at The Union is how its members spend their pastime, along with recording EPs for eager fans. Opening for other local bands like Velvet Green, the group has gained a slow and steady following. If you’re into bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, This Violet Hour is worth the listen.

You can see more about This Violet Hour here.

Vincent Florist

Laying its foundation in Cincinnati and spreading to Athens, the trio only has two songs so far in its repertoire but will be releasing an album soon. It has been able to open at The Union for bands such as In Flow and A-Go-Go, allowing it to increase its fan base. Ethan Philips, Josiah Slaughter and Dylan Campbell’s musical chemistry is evident in their work. Songs such as "The Garden” and “Your Life” prove Vincent Florist has potential and that it is serious in its craft. If you like 1990s alt-rock, go give it a listen!

You can read more about Vincent Florist here.

Velvet Green

The group of six, including drummer Shea Benezra, guitarists Sam Debatin and Harper Reese, keyboardist Liam McSteen, bassist Mitchell Spring and vocalist Cora Fitch, is well-known in the Athens music scene. Forming in 2018, the band is usually always headlining at The Union, bringing psychedelic pop and funk sounds back into the rock genre. Velvet Green has even been able to expand outside of Athens, performing in Columbus recently at A&R Music Bar. This band is ideal if you’re nostalgic of early 2000s pop-rock.

Learn more about Velvet Green here.


Fullsend mixes blues, funk, rock and reggae together to intersect genres that listeners may not have thought were possible to meld together before. Also signed to Brick City Records, the band has played in Columbus at The Summit Music Hall and Woodlands Tavern. With two live albums under its belt, it’s clear the band values playing for fans live. If you’re interested in experimental music, Fullsend may just be the band for you!

Listen to their music here.

AUTHOR: Grace Koennecke
EDITOR: Mady Lewellyn
COPY EDITOR: Anna Garnai