By Gabriel Ortiz
When listening to the band Detention – buckle up. This rising group of teens brings feelings of freedom and an energetic sound that is an experience to remember. Originating from an area around Akron, OH, the young rock band brings a sound to the table that is fast-moving, catchy, and melodic. The four members are the youngest of the Top Ten Picks, yet their sound is reflective of a bunch who are knowledgeable and experienced in a length of music styles. These teenagers have a genuinely good sound with feel-good messages portrayed 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?!”
That message is brought out by the deeply rooted background in the post-industrial midwest. 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 shivering, 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, much like his knack for music. 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 local area surrounding Akron. The band has performed live at private parties, community events and competed in the highly regarded Tri-County High School Rock Off at the Rock Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, where they won first place against 12 bands in the final round and against 32 other bands entirely. 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, it was a heartbreaking moment for Detention and many others, but the band continued on. 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 shines through the lyrically catchy and instrumentally moving sound. The band released a music video for the song, shot at a skatepark to relay the song’s animated attitude, illuminating the desperation and longing to see someone who is a significant distance away. It is not a sad song, but an empathetic and fun one. What is unique about Detention is their natural way of attraction both on stage and on screen. Their sound serves as an outlet not just for teens but also for adults who, during the pandemic, might want to see someone who lives something like 56 minutes out of town but likely can’t? Detention has an upcoming show on January 23rd, on the CD 92.9 Big Room; more information on their performances and the band, in general, is available on their website at detention.live.