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River City High

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River City High formed out of the ashes of Fun Size and Inquisition in early 1999. Based out of Richmond, VA, the lineup of singer/bassist James Menefee, guitarists Mark Avery and Bob Anderson, and drummer Jay McMillan had a love for old-school rock & roll. Their added touch of '90s hardcore was first captured on their debut EP, Richmond Motel, which was released by Big Wheel Records in February 2000. Drawing the attention of Doghouse Records, the two labels worked out a deal to "share" the band, and another EP, Forgets Their Manners, was subsequently released that summer. Relentless touring found the guys on the road for over 200 shows a year through 2003, as the full-length Won't Turn Down appeared in the fall of 2001. Their hard work eventually paid off with interest (and a resulting record deal) from MCA Records. River City High spent the next year writing and recording for their major-label debut, but when MCA ultimately folded in 2003 (mostly absorbed by Geffen), the guys were let go without ever releasing the finished product; McMillan and Anderson subsequently exited the group that November and Gregg Brooks (drums) and Chip Cosby (guitar) eventually replaced them. Pushing forward, River City High issued their next record, the EP Extended Play, in mid-2004 with the help of Doghouse. The band further won the year's MTV2 Dew Circuit Breakout contest, ultimately beating out Mock Orange and the Kite-Eating Tree for the $50,000 grand prize, which they put to good use recording their next album. They joined forces with Takeover Records in the fall of 2006, and the resulting Not Enough Saturday Nights was released soon after. ~ Mike DaRonco

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1999 in Richmond, VA

Years Active:

'90s, '00s