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Much like the Hold Steady, Marah, and several other indie groups of their generation, Pela takes influences from outside the usual hipster circle of accepted forebears, including such once-unfashionable classic rock icons as Bruce Springsteen and U2 as well as more familiar indie prototypes like the Replacements and Guided by Voices. Pela formed in Brooklyn in 2004, consisting of singer and guitarist Billy McCarthy, lead guitarist Nate "Natron" Martinez, bassist Eric Sanderson, and drummer Tomislav Zovich. The nascent band released two hard-to-find EPs, 2005's All in Time and 2006's download-only Exit Columbia Street, before signing with the indie label Great Society Records. Their full-length debut, Anytown Graffiti, was released in the spring of 2007.