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Benton rockers still playing L.A. music scene
Members of The Yelling include Michael Judd (from left), Chris McKee, Robert Davis and Nathaniel Cox. (Provided)

The great big noise created by The Yelling, a band with Benton roots, is getting attention and accolades in the LA music scene and beyond.

Nathaniel Cox and Robert Davis, both formerly of Benton, are founders of the band that Billboard, the music industry's Bible, says "will feed your gritty rock jones."

The band recently released a self-titled debut EP, a digital collection of five songs including the lead single, "Blood On The Steps," which was described as a "blitzkrieg" by one reviewer. A full-length album will be released in early March.

Cox, 29, and Davis, 25, both grew up in the Benton area and are no strangers to the music business. Both were members of Revis, which had a top hit with "Caught in the Rain."

"We moved out here with Revis and, when that ended, we all went our separate ways, but Nathaniel and I started playing together about three years ago," Davis said. "We have a completely fresh start with this band - a new journey with new music. This is more raw, less produced. I think we went back to our roots with this band."

The music is collaboration between Cox, Davis and band members Michael Judd and Chris McKee.

"We have different ways of getting to a song and lots of tools for writing," Cox said. "I'd say our music is raw, kind of blues-influenced, intense rock and roll."

The band has built up a following through nontraditional means, by using the Internet rather than a deal with a record label. The EP is available online at iTunes, where they are a featured artist, Amazon and CD Baby.

"More than ever, the more you can do on your own the further along you will progress," Cox said. "A record company can do a lot for you, but you can be self-sufficient and accomplish a lot on your own thanks to the Internet."

The band stays connected with an audience by playing clubs around Los Angeles.

"We've gotten into the scene here and it's a good one," Cox said. "The longer we play here the more I like it. At first it was kind of hard and we played a lot of empty rooms but that has progressed and we're getting a good response."

The group hopes to make it back to Southern Illinois soon.

"We've been really busy but the next step is planning a tour. We can't wait to come back and play for Southern Illinois, Cox said.


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