Something Corporate: a band proving the piano can rock

By Melinda Casto
May 27, 2004

Mention the words “piano rock” to anyone, and odds are you’ll get an expressionless reply. After all, how does a piano have any connection with rock ’n’ roll these days? (other than the highly overrated stylings of Elton John) In recent years, “tickling the ivories” has had little to do with body-convulsing rock beats, but one band is managing to take the underground world of smoke-filled clubs and transform it into a rupturing room blazing with a solid mixture of piano and pure rock. With their soul-savvy lyrics, unyielding rock sound and infamous piano pounding, Something Corporate is changing the way people will respond to those two words: piano rock.

Something Corporate is an Orange County, Calif.-based band that has been sweeping the touring circuit for almost five years now. The band consists of Andrew McMahon on piano and vocals, Josh Partington on guitar, Clutch on bass and Brian Ireland on drums. Putting together a band with your friends from high school – and making it a sensation – isn’t an easy thing to do, but Something Corporate has managed to take their garage band beginnings and form a completely original, mind-blowing sound that is spreading from coast to coast.

Originally signed to Drive-Thru/MCA Records, the band has released three CDs in the past three years. “Audio Boxer,” their first release, is a seven-track EP that features angst-ridden teenage lyrics backed by raw melodies. The band’s most widely known track, “If You C Jordan,” was released from the EP and jumpstarted their journey to success.

Their next album, “Leaving Through the Window,” was released in May 2002 and includes such songs as “I Want to Save You,” “I Woke Up in a Car” and “Fall.”

With the release of “Leaving Through the Window,” the band took off on a tour across the United States to promote the album, and was embraced by thousands of soon-to-be fans. After almost a year of touring, the band took a few months off to write their third release.

“North” was released in October 2003 and has sold more than 250,000 copies. With more mature lyrics and a strengthened musical background, the album was destined to take them far. “Space,” the first track to be released off the album, made an immediate connection with the Something Corporate fan base and helped introduce them to more listeners through radio play. As of this writing, the band was getting ready to release a second single, “Ruthless.”

With heavy amounts of promotion in tow, the band has been traveling cross-country playing nightly to sold-out crowds of piano-rock-hungry youths. Touring has played a major role in the achievements of Something Corporate and is proving over and over again that this band really can rock. Earlier this year, the band co-headlined a tour with Yellowcard.

Their live shows are packed with punk-rock punches and heart-tugging interludes. McMahon is infamous for his feet-stomping piano outbursts and has even been known to set the piano on fire, driving the crowd into a sweaty, rock-laced, heart-pounding frenzy. The band has a remarkable stage presence that cannot be ignored. The crowd is always engaged, whether the band is pounding out a guitar-heavy track or slowing it down with an audience favorite such as “Konstantine.”

Something Corporate – or SoCo, as their fans refer to them – is truly one of the best bands to emerge onto the indie-rock scene in quite some time. As the band continues to pursue music, it is becoming clear that Something Corporate has a magnetism that cannot be ignored. Their talent and desire to play music is driving the band to new heights every day. By relating to their audiences through heart-connecting lyrics, melodies and an overwhelming stage performance, Something Corporate is surely on its way to becoming the next big thing. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on the “next big thing,” would you?

Melinda Casto is a junior majoring in English studies at Malone College.

Information from Something Corporate's official website was used in the reporting of this article.

Related link: Something Corporate's official site