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Suggesting a head-on collision between Devo and !!!, or what the Screamers might have been like if they'd come from a Southern college town at the dawn of the 21st century, VCR is a gleefully chaotic punk band who's set aside guitars in favor of a bank of cheap synthesizers, laying out a wall of bleeps, buzzes, and shrieks over a traditionally breakneck bass-and-drums rhythm section. Describing their sound as "adventure funcore," the members of VCR met in Richmond, VA, with most starting from scratch over their previous musical experiences; lead vocalist and keyboard player Chad Middleton had previously played drums in several bands, and Steve Smith became a bassist after several years of playing guitar, while Casey Tomlin had worked in hip-hop and electronic acts before making noise with VCR. (Drummer Christian Newby and keyboardist Mya Anitai round out the lineup.) VCR began rehearsing in November 2002, and after several months of woodshedding made their live debut in May 2003 at a friend's birthday party, and they soon earned a reputation on the Richmond punk scene for their raucous live shows; anything could happen, from throwing dozens of boxes of cereal into the audience to ripping through a set of electro-processed Misfits covers at a Halloween show. In August 2003, the band recorded their debut EP during a marathon 72-hour session at a friend's home studio; originally released in an edition of only 100 copies, the recordings somehow made their way to the independent punk label Side One Dummy, who signed the band and released a revised version of the EP, simply called VCR, in the spring of 2005. Jason Laferrera, who produced and recorded the debut EP, had a contact at a studio in Amsterdam who offered him a bargain deal on recording time, so the band headed to the Netherlands, cutting their first full-length album, Power Destiny, on a relatively luxurious 12-day schedule; while overseas, the band scheduled a tour, playing dates in Europe, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland. Power Destiny was released in the spring of 2006, with the band touring heavily in support. ~ Mark Deming

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2003 in Richmond, VA

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