MEET THE BAND: Rob Kovacs (vocals, piano), Alfredo Guerrieri (bass) and Stephen Klunk (drums)
CALL IT A COMEBACK: After forming in 2003, the local indie pop band Return of Simple, a "guitar-less trio of classically trained musicians" named after a Langston Hughes novel, released a couple of records and became a fixture on the local scene before splitting up a few years ago. The band initially played nothing but Radiohead covers but then started to write and record original tunes. It released a demo and then put out Saffron in 2006. The group eventually relocated to New York in 2009. A few years ago, after getting "burned out" in New York, Kovacs moved back to Cleveland and started a new band, Math & Logic, which lasted about six months. "My music in Math & Logic just didn't work so well with guitar," says Kovacs. He decided to go back to a trio and bring back the Return of Simple name. The group recently announced it'll reunite for the first time in seven years to play a show at the Grog Shop. For the latest incarnation of the group, founder Kovacs has recruited a couple of new band mates, Alfredo Guerrieri and Stephen Klunk. The Grog Shop gig will mark the trio's first show since it played in April 2011 in Brooklyn, New York.
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Saffron opens with the Ben Folds-like title track, a song that features upper-register vocals and a bouncy piano riff. "There are moments on the record that I'm proud of but other songs that I never should have put on there," Kovacs says. "I recorded the whole thing at home. Song-wise I'm proud of the tunes. We'll bring back some of the tunes for the Grog Shop show as well as some Math & Logic songs." Kovacs has also been working on a new record that he says is 98 percent done. Chicago-based producer Sean O'Keefe (Hawthorne Heights, Fall Out Boy) mixed it. "The new record will be a mix of songs like the ones that Math & Logic played and some that are Return of Simple songs. It's about relationships and a small concept record. I'll be excited to finally put it out." He expects it'll be out by the year's end.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: returnofsimple.bandcamp.com
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Return of Simple performs with Extra Medium Pony, Kitschy and Hannah Stak at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, at the Grog Shop.