Music Review: Detention


When listening to the band Detention, buckle up! This rising group of teens brings feelings of freedom. Their energetic sound is an experience to remember. Originating from an area around Akron, OH, the young rock band brings a fast-moving, catchy, and melodic sound to the table. The four members are the youngest of the Top Ten Picks, yet their sound suggests that they are knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of music styles.

The Band

These teenagers have a genuinely good sound with feel-good messages delivered through inclusive, upbeat punk rock. Lead singer Elliot Carter’s (age 16) pop-punk singing voice is an orotund vessel for the engaging messages the band expresses, especially on stage. Watching Elliot and the rest of the band is like watching pure life brought to a stage. “We write the music to put a message into words,” Elliot said. “We play the shows to have fun relaying that message. If it’s not fun, what’s the point?!”

Listening to the echoing guitar intro to Dead Malls sets the stage for the lyrics to describe “a post-industrial retail hellscape,” which paints a chilling yet intriguing picture of suburban Ohio. Founding member Fritz Dannemiller (age 18), who wrote the majority of the instrumentals for the enticing track “Dead Malls,” plays the bass and sings backing vocals in the band.

Some of his influencers are The Black Keys, Mom Jeans, Tyler The Creator, and The Front Bottoms. Founding member and drummer Luke Konopka (age 14) adds a crisp sound to the songs and sets the pace for a quickly escalating head bob. Guitarist Evan Cox (age 14) brings light into the songs with his creative textures. When asked who his influences are, he said, “My influences are ever-changing, and I can never pick favorites. My playing and creativity are influenced by too many artists to count. I always say if I can pick a favorite song by someone, I haven’t listened to them enough.” Detention has had several noteworthy appearances since emerging from the Akron area.


The band has performed live at private parties and community events, and has competed in the highly regarded Tri-County High School Rock Off at the Rock Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. They won first place against 12 bands in the final round and against 32 other bands entirely. This was a significant milestone, reflecting the hard work and talent the band pours into their art. Detention played a sold-out show on Studio C. 91.3 The Summit FM. The band announced their plan to perform at the SXSW 2020 festival in Austin, Texas, but due to changes caused by the pandemic, SXSW canceled in-person shows.

Many bands have had their breakthroughs performing live at the Austin entertainment festival, so it was a heartbreaking moment for Detention; but the band persevered. Their originals are released on music platforms, where their songs are on playlists, like the listener-curated DistroKid Punk playlist. Besides that, the band is featured on Akron Recording Company’s LP Where the Hell Is Akron Ohio? Vol. 3 with their song “Emphatic Yes.” In their most recently written song, “56 Minutes,” the production quality really shines through the song’s the lyrically catchy and instrumentally moving sound.

This song’s music video was shot at a skatepark to relay the song’s animated attitude and illuminate the desperation of longing to see someone who is far away. Despite this, the song is not sad, but empathetic and fun. Their music serves as an outlet for people of all ages who have been unable to see their loved ones during the pandemic. Check out their upcoming performances at


Thomas McDonough: A Symphony of Success A Detroit native, Thomas McDonough has spent the past thirty years orchestrating his symphony of success in the music industry. His journey, originating in the heart of Detroit and expanding to the international arena, is a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence and his steadfast commitment to fostering talent. In his early career, McDonough was deeply ingrained in the pulsating music scene of Detroit, cutting his teeth at WROM Radio Detroit. Here, he refined his broadcasting and music management skills, recognizing the potency of radio as a platform for artists and the significance of curating content that echoes with its audience. Transitioning from WROM, McDonough delved into the world of record labels with RL Recordings. His tenure there was marked by successful artist partnerships and chart-topping hits, a testament to his innate talent-spotting ability and effective management skills. This phase of his career solidified McDonough's standing as an influential figure in the music industry. Currently, McDonough is a leading executive at MI5 Recordings, a division of the colossal Universal Music Group. His role extends beyond talent discovery and nurturing; he also crafts strategic initiatives to help artists realize their full potential. His visionary leadership has propelled numerous successful artist campaigns, enhancing MI5 Recordings' prestige within the music industry. In addition, McDonough contributes at Creek Music Group and shares his vast industry knowledge through Music Addict, offering guidance to budding artists and fellow music enthusiasts. Thomas McDonough's lifelong dedication to music has left an irreplaceable legacy in the industry. His passion for unearthing new talent, his deep understanding of music production, and his strategic business acumen continue to inspire and influence artists and music lovers globally. His musical journey continues to unfold, promising more thrilling chapters in the future.

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