Over Hawthorne Heights
Originally called A Day in the Life, these emo/punk pop kids from Dayton, Ohio, changed their name, shuffled around a few members and started down a new poised-for-success path as Hawthorne Heights in 2001. With a combination of sad romantic ballads and foot-stomping aggression, they gained a strong fan base by booking themselves on national tours with larger acts like modern prog rockers Coheed & Cambria. The band was eventually signed by Victory Records and their well-received debut, The Story in Black and White, came out in 2003. They updated their approach on the 2006 follow-up, If Only You Were Lonely, by softening their lyrical stance, incorporating melancholy keyboards and adding upbeat melodies that were a perfect counterbalance to their screaming backup chants. In November 2007, the band experienced a devastating loss when guitarist Casey Calvert was found dead on their tour bus. The accidental overdose was caused from a mix of prescription medications. Hawthorne Heights bounced back from the tragedy, releasing Fragile Future in August 2008, an album that carries on their tradition of simple hooks and big pop-punk choruses.