But the less-than-a-year-old band also contradicts the rock stereotype. Two of their members, brothers Andrew (guitar) and Matthew (drums) Cooper, are classically trained musicians - and that's not common in true blue rock and roll-and the band's name sounds more like a 1980s sneaker brand than a hard rocking outfit. To make no mistake about it, the Commercial Underground are here to rock and they're doing it without fitting into any of the niche rock genres (metal, hardcore, indie) that Bend bands often find themselves tucked into.
"We don't want to be lumped into that metal thing, or any other thing. We like it heavy but we want to be eclectic," says Andrew of the band's range of rock.
On stage, the Commercial Underground does often shift styles, not afraid to stroll into a James Brown cover or another funky tune when the spirit strikes them - which is why the band has become a bar favorite around town. "We like to say that we're heavy rock and roll that you can dance to," Matthew Cooper says.
The Commercial Underground's sound is a bit more grounded on the EP they released earlier this year - it's gritty, yet for the most part melodic rock that relies on the vocals of Matt Emery for classic Bon Scott-style lyrics and the Cooper brothers for a solid base. Some of it is on the simple side, but "Maiden Voyage" shows some promise of a band that could elevate to this fledgling band (they're nearing their one-year anniversary) to a much larger and complex sound. - Mike Bookey