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Who Split Marilyn? 

Scene readers' Best New Band fractures.

Knifedance's Tom Dark, at the band's January 20 Beachland show. - PHOTO BY WALTER NOVAK
Who Killed Marilyn, Scene readers' Best New Band of 2006, has split, leaving frontman Chris Marinin with the group's name while the rest of the players form a new band.

"It was pretty much a mutual thing," says keyboardist Steve Tolodzieski. "[Marinin] wanted to move in a new direction that we didn't necessarily want to go."

Tolodzieski says the ex-Marilyns' still-unnamed band is "musically along the lines of Who Killed Marilyn. Everything sounds a lot more dynamic."

Better known for ambition than execution, Who Killed Marilyn had become a popular draw over the last three years, headlining shows at Peabody's and the Pirate's Cove. The band broke out last year with a regional tour and full-length debut, Escape the Scene. (Scene panned the disc, but the band's passionate followers loved it.)

Marinin says Marilyn will continue in the same direction, playing hard, eclectic, post-emo rock with a new lineup that includes original WKM guitarist Rick Kziazka and Audiblethread bassist Eric Dolence. Marinin has already recorded a new EP, for which he played most of the instruments himself and used drum tracks from ex-Marilyn drummer John Badzinski. He's aiming for a spring release.

Marinin also has as new, heavier band with Geoff Funk, the former bassist for Pittsburgh's Reasons for Leaving, which toured nationally. The singer plays guitar in the new band, which he says is "way heavier, way faster -- like Alexisonfire meets Converge, plus fast and heavy, with melody."

" Finalists have been announced for the 11th annual Mountain Dew MDX High School Rock-Off. The concert will be held Saturday, January 27, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (One Key Plaza). The bands include Audio Euphoria (Orange), Nicholas Megalis (Broadview Heights High School), Elephant in the Living Room (Bay Village), Eunuch (Brunswick), Thrifters (Lake Catholic), and Thee TV Oh Dees (Avon). Doors open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12, which includes admission to the Rock Hall.

" Ripper Watch: Beyond Fear/Iced Earth vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens joined Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, and Slipknot bassist Paul Gray at California's NAMM Convention Saturday, January 20. The all-stars performed Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" and Kiss' "Cold Gin" and "Parasite." Owens is recording vocals for the next Iced Earth record.

" Fans of the defunct Racermason have reason to rejoice: Singer Mandy Lashua and guitarist Derek Lashua -- also formerly of the Frans -- have a new group with former Snowforestars guitarist Daniel Holmes. Usersetsmode has posted a rough mix of its first track, "Again," at www.usersetsmode.com. Mandy's haunting, atmospheric vocals return, but the guitar-driven sound has a tense rock edge. Derek says the band will release a disc and make a live debut by spring.

" Former Mushroomhead frontman Jason "J. Mann" Popson welcomed Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Holgan to Cleveland in the first week of January, to record drum tracks for Popson's new supergroup recording project, Absentee. The former Death drummer laid down percussion tracks at Mars Recording. Popson doesn't have a complete lineup or release date, but promises it will be "an exercise in brutality."

" Visit Scene's C-Notes blog (online at clevescene.com/blogs) to get the week's concert announcements a day early. This week: an exclusive report from Fall Out Boy's Agora show, complete with a color photo gallery.

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More by D.X. Ferris

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