Rock 4 Rights hits House Cafe with Stockyards album release

By Alex Fiore

The rock canon becomes a little bit fuller this weekend following a release from local grunge punk quartet the Stockyards.

The group will release its debut EP, titled “Sunshine Smiley Face,” during the Rock 4 Rights show 6 p.m. Sunday at the House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

The show marks the two-year anniversary of the Stockyards’ first show, which coincidentally took place during the same benefit concert. The group is comprised of bassist Cody Daniels, drummer Kevin Sawa, guitarist Alex Baldyga and vocalist Danny Collins.

Daniels said he enjoyed the recording process and hearing his music in a different way.

“It was cool hearing our songs in a different light,” Daniels said. “It’s a lot different than the live experience. You can really hear every subtlety.”

Anyone who purchases the EP ($5 for the traditional black vinyl, $6 for blue) will also receive a download code to download a digital copy of the album.

Daniels said the idea of having a physical piece of music was appealing to the group.

“It’s something tangible,” he said. “Vinyl produces a better sound.”

Sawa said the name of the EP serves as an apt metaphor for the persona of the band.

“It’s like, ‘everything is OK, but everything is not OK,’” Sawa said.

The six-track album features songs like “Treading Water,” “Wasted in DeKalb” and fan favorite “No Coast.”

Daniels said his favorite track is “Treading Water.”

“Danny’s vocals were so raw on that track,” he said.

Sawa said he enjoyed the challenge of creating the group’s first studio recording.

“Going in and getting it done right was a fun experience,” he said.

Daniels said the biggest challenge was deciding when the album was done.

“It’s tough knowing when to say it was finished,” he said. “You want it to be perfect.”

In addition to the release, the Stockyards will perform at the Rock 4 Rights concert with local bands the Phantom Scars, Smile Sweetheart, Nobelium 102 and Barefoot Elephant.

NIU student group STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition will sponsor the concert and the $6 cover charge will be donated to charity RAISE Hope For Congo. The charity promotes advocacy of human rights awareness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dave Anians, STAND president and junior community leadership and civic engagement major, said the group was happy to find a worthy charity for the event.

“We’re going to raise some awareness and hopefully raise some money for a good cause,” he said.