The Best of Savannah

Best Local Rock Band

Cusses at Savannah Stopover

When Cusses first took the Savannah stage in 2009, a friend of mine told me I should drop whatever I was doing and go check out the “hottest rock band in town.”

So I stumbled over to the Jinx late one night to see Bryan Harder stoically blasting his guitar, feet firmly planted at shoulder width, long black hair waving side to side like a bell. I saw Brian Lackey in a flurry on the drums, mouth open, sweat shooting in every direction. And there was Angel Bond, in spandex and facepaint, belting out, bouncing barefoot on a fur rug.

Cusses have been a dominant force on the local rock scene over the years, playing dozens of packed shows, helping venues grow by inviting out-of-town bands, and constantly going out of their way to cultivate lasting friendships with each of their fans.

As Connect readers once again bestow them with this award, I regret to inform you, my fellow fans—Cusses have left the building.

Angel and Brian left town a month ago and they’re planning to settle down in Nashville soon. Harder remains here with his family and his other career as an architect. Savannah will continue to be their priority for recording sessions and touring shows.

“Savannah has been such a great place for me to grow as an artist,” says Angel. “I’m so grateful for the community and the camaraderie we have here.”

The Cusses community came out in solidarity for their Stopover show at Club One last March, which was voted Best Local Concert of 2018. It was an honor for them to perform again at the festival they personally worked to get off the ground, by volunteering and cheerleading with all their resources.

Stopover Founder/CEO Kayne Lanahan says, “Savannah seems to draw people back over the years, so there’s a part of me that knows they’ll be back and will always be a huge part of the fabric of Savannah’s music scene.”

Fans will be left with an apropos parting gift—the music video for “Critical” goes live this Friday, May 25th. They first played the song at the Jinx as a tribute via web stream to their beloved friend Robyn Reeder, battling cancer and unable to attend.

In the video, two young sisters (played by Angel’s cousins) blindly wander into the world as we watch over them. Angel’s long arms and big hands reach out toward the camera for a loving embrace, and then gently slip away.

“We decided to film family that were dear to us and carried the message of love that inspired the song,” Angel reveals. She lost two of those loving inspirations, her grandmothers, this past year and was able to pay tribute to them in the video.

Angel is ready to settle into a new life, with a fresh focus on her music and more time for her family. She left home right after high school and hasn’t lived near her them since.

“The loss of a lot of family and close ones has made me feel a good push to move closer to family for a while,” Angel says. She’ll be seeing more of her Dad, two sisters, and their children in Tennessee.

The full album of Golden Rat—their long-awaited Kickstarter project—will be released August 30, followed by a fall tour. They’re currently working on a third album, with about half the songs already recorded.

This particular Savannah era of Cusses has come to a close, but they plan to be back for frequent visits, supplying our hearts with love and our ears with fierce rebellion. — Patrick Longstreth

Runner-up, Band: COEDS

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