Religion & Rocketry band rock the Rathskeller

By Andrew Ryan
Correspondent

The unexpected cancelation of the indie pop-rock band Kingsfoil — notable for its drummer, Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz — on Friday, Nov. 22, did not stop pop-rock/alternative bands Religion & Rocketry and All of a Kind from delivering performances that captivated the Rathskeller’s audience.

“T.G.I.F anyone?” Religion & Rocketry member Shaina Arb asked the audience empathetically before breaking into more upbeat, feel-good music that put students — stressed with the upcoming end of the semester — at ease.

The band, formerly known as Evelia, hails from Medford, N.J. and consists of Shaina and her two siblings, Caleigh Williams and Zach Williams. On Friday night, they performed songs from their new EP, “Tangents.”

All three of the siblings contributed rich vocals to the performance that were arranged in perfect harmony. Zach played electric guitar, while his sisters alternated between instruments. The siblings were joined on stage by a rhythm guitarist, a bassist and a drummer for most of the performance, which allowed for a fuller and more dynamic musical experience.

The band’s sound was beautifully textured. The pulsating rhythms of the drums and bass were complemented by lively riffs and adorned with catchy guitar licks and penetrating vocals.

At one point, the rhythm guitarist, bassist and drummer temporarily left the stage and the sibling trio performed a couple of songs on their own, including an especially emotionally evocative cover of “Poison and Wine” by The Civil Wars. This heartfelt, stripped-down section of their performance showcased the trio’s raw talent and flawless musical synchronization.

All of a Kind opened for Religion & Rocketry, performing acoustic renditions of songs from their debut album, “Tired Times for Relevance.” The group’s front man, Chris Canberg, exhibited his dynamic vocal range, and his three band mates — all of whom played acoustic guitars — demonstrated skillful precision and coordination.

In addition to their own material, the band performed covers of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and Journey’s “Any Way You Want It.”

Though she was especially impressed by Religion & Rocketry, freshman biology major Okxana Cordova said, “They were both really good.”

Christine DiPierro, a freshman open options engineering major said that All of a Kind’s “acoustic sound was really on point,” but ultimately preferred Religion & Rocketry as well.

“The female singers really popped,” DiPierro said. “They had really good harmonies, too.”

Both bands addressed Kingsfoil’s cancelation.

Shortly after taking the stage, Zach mused, “So … uh, we’re not Kingsfoil.”

Canberg stated that, supposedly, Muniz had to film a movie — something he was not even aware that Muniz still did.

“I would pick The College of New Jersey over Hollywood any day,” Canberg joked sarcastically.