(Ampline Photo: Keith Klenowski)

It’s release night for two of the three bands performing at Rumba Cafe on Friday. Cincinnati’s Ampline will be issuing Passion Relapse (Sofaburn Records), their fifth studio album, while Columbus’s Bicentennial Bear will be dropping a new two-song digital single (“Wolves” and “Hustle Missle”).

Kevin Schmidt (bass), Rick McCarty (drums) and Mike Montgomery (vocals, guitar) formed Ampline in the early 2000s and were originally an instrumental, post-punk band that probably would have earned a deal with a respectable major label in the mid-90s, post-Nirvana signing frenzy had they been around. The last few albums have included vocals and the latest doesn’t stray from the template and can proudly fit into your collection of Seaweed, Chavez and Quicksand records.

When you get a chance to hear Bicentennial Bear’s “Wolves” (buy now), see if you hear Dig’s “Ride the Wave” in the vocals of the first verse (maybe it’s just me). Proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center so not only are you getting two great brand new Bicentennial Bears songs, you’re supporting a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and seeking justice.

Doors at 9, Brat Curse kicks things off at 10pm with Ampline hitting the stage at 11pm and Bicentennial finishing things off at 12am. Cover is $5.


(“Low Light” is my favorite song on Passion Relapse but apparently was first released as a single in 2012)