Garage rock wasn’t born in Lawrence, but this might be where it’s being perfected.

Tire Fire is the latest super group to explode into the scene. We’re seeing some familiar players in this one. Frontman Ron Miller formally headed Up The Academy, a band so fierce it left Lawrencians in a bit of dismay when the group disbanded. But scenesters rejoiced upon learning the news of Tire Fire.

We had to wonder who could possibly keep up with someone as quick-thinking, guitar-furious, and heavily endowed in songwriting as Miller. The answer was obvious when the band started up. Joining him on bass was Kyle Gowdy, of Mouthbreathers, one of the more adept and nimble guitarists in town. It just makes sense to see JP Redmon (formerly of Stiff Middle Fingers) heatedly banging on the drums, he might be the only musician in Lawrence with enough stamina to keep up with Miller.

Tire Fire is exactly what Replay shows have been missing. Utilizing three of the most brutal players of the last five years, the racing and hair-raising songs combust into a raging inferno of tempo and rock. Long after their set ended, we could feel the heat off the embers from this band. With all that those three musicians have going on, we hope Tire Fire keeps turning up the heat on Lawrence.

The Shivas are probably the grooviest fucking band to pass through Lawrence. Psych rock and surf rock harmoniously blend for a stimulating and electrifying set. No one brings chilling screams and soothing vocal harmonies together like The Shivas. The result is rhythmic heaven.

The laid back and lovable mop-topped rockers are light on their feet, but fast on the frets. The Shivas boast such a diversity from song to song that if you’re not down with one number, there will most likely be something for you later. Not into raging psych solos? Try a poppier number with a catchy chorus on for size next. They’ll execute the songs perfectly, sometimes with a sway in their step and a smile on their faces. These folks are truly the kings of chill.

Words and photos by Fally Afani



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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