Making Hay

Haymarket Riot struggles to distinguish itself from the alt-rock darlings of yesteryear -- and may yet succeed

Haymarket Riot, from left: Billy Smith, drums; Fred Popolo, bass and vocals; Mike Bennett, guitar; and Kevin J. Frank, guitar and vocals.
Shawn Scallen
Haymarket Riot, from left: Billy Smith, drums; Fred Popolo, bass and vocals; Mike Bennett, guitar; and Kevin J. Frank, guitar and vocals.

America should probably prepare itself as well. That's not to suggest Haymarket Riot will ever build a franchise to rival Ian MacKaye's; the group probably isn't that ambitious anyway. Instead, Haymarket seems intent on building a unique establishment based on the band members' own varied tastes -- tastes that will, with any luck, withstand the test of time. In other words, even though Haymarket Riot is still generating those inevitable comparisons with the critics' darlings of yesteryear, the time may come when critics describe new bands by name-checking Haymarket Riot. If the hearty fare offered by Bloodshot Eyes is any indication, that time is near.

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