A vast majority of bands can be easily described and labeled — but local band Thighmaster is in a category all its own because of its sound.
“I think there were these intentions of being more just like garage rock, but we’re going more surf and country,” said Thighmaster singer and guitarist Max Yoder. “It’s just stuff you listen to that sounds cool that maybe people don’t listen to anymore.”
Another member of the band had another way to describe it.
“It’s a revival,” said Thighmaster drummer Jennifer Graham.
Thighmaster, a Lawrence-based band, displays its unique sound in local concerts and has released singles since its start earlier this year. The band can often be found crooning original songs, such as “Jane Fonda You,” at the Replay Lounge downtown, Graham said.
The band consists of six members — and half of them are named Max. The band includes members Yoder on vocals and guitar, Graham on drums, Max Lock on vocals, Max Smith on vocals and tambourine, Jake Little on guitar and Esteban Gomez on bass.
The group has been together since February 2019 after guitar player Little asked friends of friends if they wanted to join a new band he and Yoder were starting, several members of the group said.
“I liked the idea of having a garage rock band that wasn’t like a punk garage rock band and was more like pop and '60s,” Yoder said.
Multiple members have an extensive background in music, as they have performed in different bands before and during Thighmaster, several group members said. However, the catalyst of Thighmaster was different than the ones before.
Kid Computer was founded in 2017 and has since seen success in the local music-scape. The band hopes to continue making music in the Kansas City area after two of its members, including a KU senior, finish school.
“I’ve never had a band that came together this fast,” Little said.
The group’s sound isn’t all that Thighmaster has going for it — the band collaborates, plays, writes and communicates well together, Yoder and Gomez said.
“I think we play really well together,” Graham said. “It’s been really easy to come up with our separate parts and make them work together.”
Although the group hasn’t been around long, Thighmaster has performed several shows at the Replay Lounge and at Kansas City venues, featuring songs from its upcoming album and a few singles, including “Aerobicise” and “Jane Fonda You.” Shortly after the band’s formation, its funky tunes and unique vibe gained the attention of a record label based in Kansas City, Missouri.
High Dive Records, owned and operated by Jeff McCoy, signed the band shortly after it first started playing shows, allowing it to reach a wider audience.
McCoy said that before he signs a group, he needs to make sure that not only is a band's music something he wants to get behind but also that the members are good people he wants to support.
“Meeting them and everything, I was on board with trying to help them,” McCoy said. “I think they’re all good people and make good music, so it was a good fit for us.”
The whirlwind start to the group has only escalated, with even more projects coming up in the new year. The group’s first album, “Between the Knees and Squeeze,” releases on Jan. 10. However, the group is performing an early release show on New Year’s Eve at the Replay Lounge to promote the new album, Little said. The release comes right in time for the new decade.
“This will be the album of your new year,” Yoder said.