Some time in (maybe) 1997, Dana White (eventually of Holden Caulfield) helped book a two-day hardcore/punk/indie fest at the Common Grounds in Charleston. The shows featured a number of local acts such as Malicious Intent, as well as a few out-of-town bands, including Codeseven, who was excellent. One of the other highlights of the weekend was Blankface, who was from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Though Blankface is not from West Virginia or the region, they were a part of one of my favorite local shows as a teenager. Also, after doing a little web search, their material is pretty obscure and this particular record I only found available for $30 on eBay.
This album isn't spectacular, but it is fun emo-punk in the vein of early Saves the Day, or a less-punk Lifetime or Samiam. It's melodic but also gritty and energetic with pop-punk-esque vocals and lyrical content that you would expect form a mid-90s emo band (before "emo" was a bad word). The band broke up in 1997, and guitar player Mitchell Marlow went on to play for Filter (yes, "Hey Man, Nice Shot"). Fourteen years later, I still re-visit every once in a while, so that says something.
Album: A Better Day
For fans of: Saves The Day, Lifetime, Braid
DOWNLOAD: Blankface - A Better Day