LVL Up to play the Entry on 2/27


“Hidden Driver,” the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut Return to Love, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths, and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration, and introducing a band that is always pushing further.

The Brooklyn band is currently on tour and will be at The Entry on 2/27. Tickets are available HERE

LVL UP – guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin – is a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. Caridi, Benton, and Corbo write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive.

“We have very different inspirations across the board,” says Benton, noting his own admiration for the writer and documentarian Astra Taylor, Corbo’s interest in the mystical and the occult, and Caridi’s attention to personal storytelling. The music itself grows from a shared melodic and experimental sensibility, as well as a nod to iconic influences like Neutral Milk Hotel and Mount Eerie. But each songwriter has a different vision every step of the way, and there isn’t always alignment–it shouldn’t make sense, but in the end it does.

LVL UP was formed in 2011 at SUNY Purchase as a recording project between Caridi, Benton, and their friend Ben Smith, with the original intention of releasing a split cassette with Corbo’s then-solo material. They instead released that album, Space Brothers, as one band, and Rutkin joined shortly afterwards for the group’s first show. Smith left the band for personal reasons just before the release of second album Hoodwink’d, a joint release on Caridi and Benton’s label Double Double Whammy and Exploding in Sound. DDW also put out records from other artists in the tight-knit community that launched the band.

Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill

Tour Dates:
THU, Feb 23 Mahalls , Lakewood, OH
FRI, Feb 24 Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI
SAT, Feb 25 Beat Kitchen, Chicago, IL
SUN, Feb 26 Der Rathskeller at University of Wisconson, Madison, WI
MON, Feb 27 7th St Entry, Minneapolis, MN
TUE, Feb 28 Milk Run, Omaha, NE
THU, Mar 2 Lost Lake Lounge, Denver, CO
FRI, Mar 3 Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
SUN, Mar 5 Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
MON, Mar 6 Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
WED, Mar 8 Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
THU, Mar 9 Echo, Los Angeles, CA
FRI, Mar 10 Che Cafe, La Jolla, CA
SAT, Mar 11 VIVA PHX, Phoenix, AZ
MON, Mar 13 Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, NM
SUN, Mar 19 Masquerade , Atlanta, GA
MON, Mar 20 Duke Coffeehouse, Durham, NC