The Kingbolts, they're a band you will only hear in one place, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Our campus correspondent, Sarah Attkisson took us through this underground music scene that's a slice of millennial lifestyle with a sprinkle of the 80s and 90s punk.
Besides being home to the University of Mary Washington, the town of Fredericksburg is home to an annoyingly endless number of breweries and restaurants to fill the eating and drinking desires of even the most eccentric tastes. It also boasts a fast-paced music scene filled with every genre imaginable. Even ones that don’t exist yet.
One of the most notable bands in Fredericksburg is an atypical-sounding and fantastically flamboyant rock and roll group known as The Kingbolts, who are considered "the" premiere glam-rock-punk bands in the Fredericksburg, VA area.
What, you may ask, is glam-rock-punk? It’s a combo of the hair metal of the 80s, the grunge of the 90s, and the underground punk scene of the early 2000s. And how many, you may wonder, glam-rock-punk bands are there in the Fredericksburg area? Exactly one, that I know of.
The Kingbolts formed in May of 2014 after front-man Joe Hammock and guitarist Matt Montoro performed a lesser known Rolling Stones song together at a jam session downtown. Montoro says that playing “a more obscure [song] that I was not familiar with… would be indicative of our less typical song selections.” When asked to describe the band’s style with a little more oomph, he called it “CBGB rock,” harkening back to the CBGB club in New York City where unusual sounding groups were able to have their music heard.
“This is the rock and roll that came about in the early seventies… that introduced many of these groups that brought along punk,” he continued. “Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, etc. were a new brand of stripped down rock with a little extra angst mixed in,” which ultimately inspired the gritty and glamorous sound of The Kingbolts.
I'm sitting at a local pub, The Kingbolts get the vibe going with a song by Tom Waits called Goin’ out West. The decidedly punk-ish Joe Hammock takes the lead, as guitarist Montoro strums away at the melody, and Joanna Smith mans the bass guitar with the smooth perfection of a silk cloth gliding seamlessly over a bed of pebbles.
"Well I’m... 'Goin out West' where the wind blows tall because Tony Franciosa used to date my ma'"
In addition to searing their brand on the college masses, The Kingbolts have also gained the respect of other local Fredericksburgian musicians. Brett Minard, the guitarist for the local band VaMos, had this to say about The Kingbolts: “They’re sort of an homage to golden age danceable rock and roll music of the 70's and 80’s… It's almost like if The Jayhawks, The Talking Heads, The Stooges and The Rolling Stones all decided to form a super group. While there are darker-moodier sounding tunes in their repertoire, you never really feel down listening to them.”
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Brett can often be seen creeping around Kingbolts venues, waiting eagerly for some of their good stuff. Band on band love. What better endorsement is there?
At Legume Kitchen and Bar, The Kingbolts sing the refrain of Goin’ out West before breaking into a decidedly smooth and sexy version of Devil Inside by INXS.
"I don't need no make up I got real scars I got hair on my chest I look good without a shirt"