Indiana based punk bands FBF and The Distractions release new albums on home grown record label.

It seems that a lot of the time you hear the plea on social media from people claiming there’s no good local music anywhere. It would appear that they simply aren’t looking hard enough. Lately, the Midwest has been home to some of the rawest, realest, most cutting edge bands out there especially when it comes to punk or variations within the genre.

South Bend, Indiana is mostly known for its Notre Dame Fighting Irish college football fanatics and it’s possible that the same Irish fury trickles down into the music scene of the area. Two of its own, FBF and The Distractions made a significant dent in the local punk scene and have joined forces to create the local record label Smoking Cat Records.

Both bands joined together during Thanksgiving weekend for a record release party of grand proportions. They played out at Cheer’s Pub, one of the area’s best small rock venues. Both bands invited local friends and the word spread. Treating VIPs to free beer and pizza while making sure to give friends and family face time for coming out on a busy holiday weekend. Both bands were on point with timing being tight for fast beats and fierce lyrics. Some say punk should be sloppy and slightly out of tune but there’s a way to do it where it sounds intentional and doesn’t rape your ears and they’ve got that trick down. Both bands contain accomplished musicians that know what they’re doing and how to have one hell of a good time and making sure everyone else does too.

Longtime home town buddies FBF played their debut album So Here We Are (Smoking Cat Records) in its entirety and had a fun conversation on stage about how they argued over which order to play the songs live. FBF are the masters of the catchy punk tune with songs like “Three Chords and the Truth” coming off like a current anthem for unsteady times in this country and if someone noteworthy got a hold of it, the band would have a huge hit on their hands. Having a raw, no nonsense classic heavy punk style with well written lyrics make FBF a staple on anyone’s playlist.

The Distractions have been lurking around the area since 2008, the band has recorded a smattering of EPs and one full length album before releasing  their current CD Union (Smoking Cat Records) with label mates FBF. The Distractions have been performing their brand of melodic punk for nearly a decade and they’re always on the bill whenever any punk acts travel through. Keeping true to their Midwest punk roots, there are clear homages to other hardcore and pop punk styles in their music but ask any true enthusiast in the regional genre and they’ve heard of them.

Both of these bands aren’t looking for fame and money. They are friends that play for friends and for the punk of it all and they do so genuinely from the bottom of their hearts.

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The Distractions


Smoking Cat Records


About The Author

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Northeastern Indiana, Alex Savage is a Senior Photojournalist on staff who has been with us exclusively since the very beginning of Naional Rock Review. Specializing in rock and Scandinavian metal, she's known for her raw and moody style of music photography.