A longtime force in the underground alternative rock scene, Kicking Harold has tasted the limelight many times but has never been able to maintain a spot in the mainstream long enough to break through.
Starting in 1994, the band was originally made up of members Brian Anderson, Ed Shemansky, and Tim David Kelly. The three played their first gig after putting together a few songs just to have fun, and strangely enough, the president of Headliner Records came in and signed the band on the spot. Cutting Ugly and Festering over the next few months, the record arrived in 1995 and began to create a stir in indie circles. MCA Records picked up on the growing fan base and approached them with a contract. Signing only days later, Kicking Harold reissued their debut the next year and found themselves popping up on alternative radio all over the country. Scoring gigs with Bad Religion, Helmet, and the Deftones, the band gained a massive buzz with fans, but the label started to lose faith and started withdrawing the publicity around the record. Sure enough, by 1997, the band was without a label and Anderson quit out of frustration. Shemansky and Kelly continued to write and record without support, and put together Return of the Bulb Men in a series of tense recording sessions. Drafting in Todd Ramsey to replace Anderson on bass, Headliner took the band back but limited the release of their record severely due to its avant-garde tendencies. Instantly becoming a collector's item, the record's frustrating release convinced Ramsey to leave before doing much with the group, and English singer/guitarist Sam Varma and bassist Eddie Patrina became the newest members to join. Performing all over the country, Kelly recorded the Burn One Down EP during the tour, but again Headliner lacked any faith in the record and it became even more obscure than their last record. Band tensions began to run high, and in 1999, they split apart in an attempt to reinvigorate themselves. Kelly released a much higher profile solo album (Growing Up Naked) which got a nice response from college radio, inspiring him to bring the band back together with the new lineup of Todd Ramsey and drummer Michael Keeley in the summer of 2001. Recording Space Age Breakdown throughout the next few months, the band released and recorded the record the following year on Mityma Music. ~ Bradley Torreano, Rovi