By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Sitting in what amounts to Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios' executive suite, the members of Denton's Record Hop abruptly pause their conversation to watch a truck pass by on the railroad tracks, hauling with it multiple boxcars.
"That truck has a train horn on it!" exclaims Ashley Cromeens, lead singer and guitarist. Bassist Corey Ward shuts his eyes and nods in agreement.
This is not typical behavior of a group of thirtysomethings with real careers and responsibilities. But such youthful exuberance has allowed Record Hop not only to stick around for the past eight years, but also remain influential in a town like Denton.
The band's upcoming May 28 show at Dan's Silverleaf with Brutal Juice and Baboon will act as a family reunion of sorts for Denton's old guard, each band on the bill bearing deep roots in the city's rock scene.
"We can thank Brutal Juice's existence for Corey being in this town," says guitarist Scott Porter, explaining that Ward's experiences seeing them as a teen when they toured through Houston influenced his decision to attend the University of North Texas.
Of the three bands on the bill, however, Record Hop is the only one still actively writing. In fact, the band is currently working on a new crop of songs for an upcoming album.
"Right now, we have, like, five new songs," says drummer Tony Wann. "Once we get 10, we'll record them."
With only two full-length releases in its eight-year existence, the band maintains its own stubborn way of doing things, not believing there is a "right way" to be a band.
"It's the thing that kind of proves our mentality is working," says Porter. "For us to be able to do what we do and not have to worry about big-picture shit, and just concentrate on being the best band we could be and have people still respond to it, then that gives me hope with the next record."
The band knows the current state of rock music no longer lends itself to "making it with a capital M and a capital I," as Porter puts it. As Record Hop moves forward, the band fully supports the burgeoning Denton DIY house-show scene that they themselves have been a part of for so long—and even helped hone back when they ran the Denton DIY space Secret Headquarters.
"With people really tending to the DIY scene, it doesn't really seem like there's going to be a drought again," says Porter of Denton music's ebbs and flows. "For the first time in years, there's no stopping what I consider the beating heart and soul of this town."