When local bands form, they become part of their city's DNA. Even in the digital age, music can reach an audience years after its members have passed, so the mere act of writing, recording and performing adds to the ether of St. Louis art. Music is an aural look into the lives of the people, and by taking account of the bands we lost in 2014, we can learn more about each other through the music of today.
See also: Six Reasons Why Bands Break Up, A Comic
From Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months St. Louis 2014: We have repeatedly sung the praises of pop-rock quartet Blind Eyes, so it was especially sad to see the band bow out with a farewell performance in March. The group consistently delivered bouncy, danceable guitar rock that managed to be both effortlessly catchy and lyrically incisive. Frontman Seth Porter bent his crooning vocals around both swinging grooves and near-punk blasts of eighth notes in a way that always complemented the melody of the song and brought it together. Blind Eyes also appeared to be climbing to new heights with the late-game addition of guitarist Andy White, who slid perfectly into the group's established sound while bringing welcome lead-guitar heroics to the fold. Last year's World Record EP showed how promising his addition was, but it now remains as a marker of what could have been.
Every major city's music community has a person like Matt Stuttler -- someone who works like glue to keep things together. On top of booking, promoting and playing some of the best shows in town, he also runs Eat Tapes, a local cassette label. Between helping others with their own musical endeavors, Stuttler somehow found the time to hit the stage with rock outfit Burrowss. The band hurried through classy hooks with rushed beats and searing guitar work in a feedback-laden mess.
Remember that Pete & Pete episode when Pete's dad challenged Inspector 34 to perfectly eat a plate of BBQ? When 34 finishes without making a mess, he fails the contest because BBQ is supposed to be messy. Stuttler has an innate sense of songwriting, and thankfully he's learned a lesson or two from Pete's dad. If you missed out on Burrowss, Stuttler's new group Shitstorm sounds like a direct sequel. What started out as a solo project has morphed into a classic power trio.
This one especially hurts because the Ded Bugs never cited any real reason to split -- outside of the fact that 25 is a nice round number. Although the band has slowed in recent years, it accomplished things most punk groups dream of, like touring Japan and opening for the Dickies. After five albums and two and a half decades of playing live, the Ded Bugs bowed out in November to make room for the next generation. Guitarist Matt Meyer is especially focused on the future, as he mentors for young rock band Million Hits.
For roughly four years, Doom Town was the barometer for punk rock in St. Louis. Led by the bass and guitar duo of Ashley Hohman and Ben Smith, the band had constant output that consistently challenged what it means to be punk rock in a city with such strong roots in the genre. With five releases and a successful European tour, Doom Town leaves behind an audible legacy that future bands in this city will draw inspiration from -- whether they know it or not. Hohman and Smith formed rock foursome Self Help near the end of Doom Town, which can be found further down this list.
Follow through for more bands that called it quits this year.