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Reaching all the way back to Bob Dylan and the Band's pioneering blend of mythic Americana and shaggy rock & roll, alongside more recent points of comparison like Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and My Morning Jacket, Roy (a band, not a dude) blend spiky post-Pavement indie rock with folk and country influences for a sound that's connected to the musical past but not beholden to it. For over a decade, singer and guitarist Brian Cook and drummer Dave Verellen were the mainstays of Botch, a Seattle post-hardcore act specializing in heavy riffs and showy time-signature shifts. Roy began as a side project in 2002, bringing Cook and Verellen together with singer and guitarist Ben Verellen and bassist Mike Cooper. Naming themselves after the small rural town near Tacoma where Dave Verellen lived and worked as a firefighter, Roy debuted with 2003's Tacomatose EP, followed by 2004's Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption. Though Roy toured extensively behind their two records, the band went on a temporary hiatus while Cook and Ben Verellen turned their focus to another side project, the more Botch-like heavy math rockers These Arms Are Snakes. Roy reconvened in 2005 to write and record their second full-length album, Killed John Train, which was released by Lujo Records in the spring of 2006. ~ Stewart Mason

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