Rhythm Method to Go To Battle of Bands Final

Rhythm Method, Harvard's newest music sensation, last week rocked its way to a berth in the finals of an East Coast college battle of the bands and a chance at a recording contract.

The four-month-old rock band, which includes two Harvard undergraduates, will compete against three other student bands April 26 in the first annual Energizer Rock-n-Roll Challenge at Villanova University.

To win a spot in the contest finals, Rhythm Method first was chosen along with three other area bands from among 150 entries to compete last Friday night in the regional semifinals.

The Harvard band, which has been playing the local campus and club circuit, then beat Brandeis' Bachelors of Arts, Boston University's The Promise, and the University of Rhode Island's That'll Learn Ya, according to Wendy Wertz, spokesman for the competition.

"I think we won because we tried to be as professional as possible," said John N. Axelrod '88, Rhythm Method's leader. "The other bands were really good, but they never tried to be better than a college band."

Rhythm Method, whose other members are John O. Sousanis '87, Warren Hill, and David Schommer, has already achieved local success. One of the band's original songs reached number five on the WFNX-FM Radio Beat Chart, and Beat Magazine named the group one of the top 10 bands in Boston, Axelrod said.

The contest's overall winner will receive $5000 in cash, a $5000 scholarship for its school, and a recording contract with the Nola Recording Studio, Wertz said. MTV is also considering airing the contest, she said.

To bring home the gold, Rhythm Method will have to beat the New Buicks from Georgetown University, the Beat Clinic from the University of Delaware, and Byzon Iz Pyzon from State University of New York at Fredonia, Wertz said.

The nationality known comic Sinbad, who has appeared on Star Search and The Cosby Show, will host the competition. A panel of celebrities, including Eric Bloom, lead singer of the Blue Oyster Cult, will judge the four college bands.

Axelrod said he thinks his young band has a good chance to conquer its competition in the battle.

"I think we have a pretty good chance," he said. "We won the semifinals because our songs are of such high quality. There is no reason why we can't win it all."

"We also want to try to organize buses to go down to Villanova," Axelrod said, adding, "The sponsors of the contest have said they will pay for it."

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