Epic Suburban Angst
The Districts’ soulful garage-rock ruckus was born from the restlessness of small-town suburban alienation. Fronted by the enigmatic Rob Grote, the quartet formed in their hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania back in 2009, initially for a one-off performance at a high school coffeehouse show. Working past the requisite Led Zeppelin covers, they discovered an immediate chemistry, channeling their existential teenage angst into emotive rock epics. “Small-town boredom combined with the alienating feeling of watching the nature and farmland around it get sucked up by shopping centers led us to play music and find other sorts of respite,” says Grote. But that urge grew into something bigger: Tons of local gigs followed, along with some important exposure in nearby Philadelphia, a self-released LP (2012’s Telephone), and a self-titled EP on trendsetting indie-rock label Fat Possum. “Rocking Chair,” the centerpiece of the new EP, crystallizes their powerful style: massively melancholy electric guitars, a thunderous rhythm section and Grote’s twangy tornado of a voice. “It’s definitely a fun thing to do in a small town with not much to do,” says drummer Braden Lawrence. True—but it is already so much more than that.