Ashbury Keys is a Texas-based alternative rock band centered around brothers David and Darwin Keys. David Keys acts as the band’s principal songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist. Darwin Keys provides stand-up (!) drums and vocals. Bassist and vocalist Bill Walter rounds out the band’s core lineup.
Ashbury Keys features its own “Brit-Tex” brand of rock that reflects early Brit-Pop influences (such as the Smiths, Oasis, Candy Skins, and the Wonder Stuff), but as displayed through a distinctly Texas filter. The band recently completed its second year of successful shows in the United Kingdom, playing shows in London, Liverpool and Manchester, which has served to grow the band’s affinity for the UK.
The band’s catalog contains three full-length cd releases (Ashbury Keys, Dancersand Growing Up) and two EPs (Wake Up and Do You Know Who You Are). The releases resulted in multiple nominations for Best Alternative Rock Band by the Houston Press, performances on nationally syndicated television shows, song placements in MTV's The Hills and Degrassi, featured tracks on industry websites such as kings of a&r and notlame.com, and significant airplay on college and internet radio. The band has provided live showcase and conference performances in venues from Los Angeles to Chicago to Austin, and shows supporting acts such as Paper Route, Oleander, Evan Dando, the Deftones, Splendor, Blue October, Bob Schneider, and the Subways.
Staying on the Front Stage, Ashbury Keys had an extra slot due to another band’s no-show. Again the drummer did his stuff standing up, which meant his hair was brushing the low ceiling. What a storming set they did – much the same as their Live Lounge performance but to a bigger and much more enthusiastic crowd. The place was jumping, literally. Again the stand out songs were “Hero” and “Suspicious Minds” which had everyone up and dancing. You couldn’t fault this performance –strong bass line, great guitar, thumping drums, an engaging front man, good vocals and tight harmony. All the ingredients to deliver fantastic stuff. Full Review
Texas brothers David and Darwin Keys are joined by bassist and vocalist Bill Walteron this new EP. It’s got a blended sound, just add equal parts of Foo Fighters, Noel Gallagher and Taking Back Sunday. Each of the five tracks give us solid hooks and loud guitars, starting with the pounding drums and guitars of “Swimmer.” And these guys can still do the melodic as evidenced by “Hero” with its great minor chord shifts. The bands versatility is displayed through the punk beat of of “Oh My God” or the ballad-like start of “Break.” And if you want to hear more, then listen the full length LP Growing Up. Full Review
Keep an eye on Ashbury Keys. The Houston trio's Wake Up EP is a reminder of that odd point in rock history when straight-up-the-middle bands like Semisonic and Matchbox 20 somehow got passed off as "alternative." You can hear flashes of the Wallflowers in "Wake Up," Weezer in "Hero" and blink-182 in "Oh My God," but Wake Up does not sound dated or derivative at all. There's very little grunge, just solid songwriting, catchy hooks and choruses, and at least one ballad ("Break") begging to soothe a bunch of young girls whose bumbling boyfriends just can't ever seem to get it right. Catch Ashbury Keys at Fitz in June. Full Review