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Although Ohio-bred, Chicago-based indie rockers Powerspace are part of the same Fueled by Ramen empire that unleashed Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and The Academy Is..., the young quartet features a subtle change from the emo-tinged punk-pop that made the label's name. Powerspace specialize in a cross between hooky power pop à la Fountains of Wayne, ironic glam metal in the tradition of the Darkness, and heavily '80s-influenced dance-rock textures that recall early MTV stars like INXS and Duran Duran. Powerspace formed at Ohio's Miami University in 2005, when two high-school friends from the suburbs of Chicago, guitarist Tom Schleiter and bassist Daniel McMahon, reunited on campus. Schleiter had been in a local band at Miami University with drummer Kevin Kane, and when the slightly younger McMahon started college a year later, the trio formed its own group. After auditioning a succession of lead singers, McMahon and Schleiter reconnected with another former high-school classmate now at Miami University, Alec Cyganowski, who took over the role of frontman. After working the southern Ohio tour circuit, the quartet recorded a self-released demo EP, Houston, We Have a Party, in 2006. The demo and the band's increasing live reputation created a flurry of label interest, settled when Powerspace signed with Fueled by Ramen. Quitting school and moving back to Chicago, Powerspace recorded their debut album, The Kicks of Passion, in early 2007 for release that summer. ~ Stewart Mason

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