"Five Iron Frenzy" was a Christian rock and ska band formed in Denver, Colorado. The band originally consisted of Keith Hoerig (bass guitar), Micah Ortega (lead guitar), Scott Kerr (rhythm guitar), Dennis Culp (trombone), Reese Roper (vocals), Andrew Verdecchio (drums), Leanor "Jeff" Ortega (saxophone), and Nathanael "Brad" Dunham (trumpet). Scott Kerr left the band in 1999 and was replaced by Sonnie Johnston from Jeffries Fan Club.
The band started as a local side-project of Reese, Keith and Scott's band Exhumator. The band members never took themselves too seriously. Even the name started out as an inside joke. Although the original intent was for the band to stay a local band, Five Iron Frenzy (FIF, or Five Iron) signed to Frank Tate's 5 Minute Walk records in 1995 and was touring nationally within a few years.
They reached the peak of their fame around 2000, with the release of All The Hype That Money Can Buy. In December of 2002, they announced that they would be breaking up after a final tour. They played their final show on November 22, 2003 at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, which was recorded. This show had an outstanding attendance of over 4,000 people.
Five Iron Frenzy's music was influenced most heavily by ska, punk, heavy metal music|metal, emo and hip-hop. The band's performance style grew from the subcultures of third wave ska, punk rock and heavy metal music, but had a somewhat tamer attitude than many similar bands. The bounds of their creativity were debatably limited, but the music was uniquely theirs and very respectable. Scott Kerr wrote or co-wrote most songs on the first three full-length releases. After he left, the band began to explore a wider variety of musical influences. Dennis Culp's musical direction became more prominent, although the composition duties were spread more evenly amongst band members. Song lyrics and vocals were handled mostly by Reese. Dennis sang lead vocals on a few songs. Both Dennis and Leanor wrote the words to several songs. Production and engineering for every album was led by Masaki Liu, a good friend of the band, at his One Way Studio. By their final studio album, producer and band had honed their skills to create an impressive product.
Five Iron Frenzy never received any significant music industry awards, and received relatively little attention in mainstream media. They stayed with the small 5 Minute Walk label for all eight of their albums. On their final tour, Reese Roper continued his habit of forgetting entire verses to many concert standards. Five Iron's final sixty shows were named the "Winners Never Quit Tour". This self-deprecating humor is evident in much of their work. While the band's evolving musical style and skill showed dedication to their artistry, their fanbase remained strongest among those who enjoyed the quirky randomness displayed at every show and on every album.
While the band failed by many standards, they were successful in providing a social context for thousands of teenagers who found it difficult to connect with society through other means. Their fanbase was diverse, ranging from the socially and religiously outcast to the parents of teenage fans. This is due, in part, to the heart each member of the band showed for people and for the God of the Bible.
The manner in which the band displayed their Christianity guaranteed them neither a place on Christian bookstore shelves nor general-market outlets. But they found financial stability in a place that allowed them to critique both Christian and non-Christian culture. Recurring themes were the continuing injustices done to the Native American people ("Banner Year," "The Day We Killed," "Old West"), the bad side of capitalism ("Fistful of Sand," "Vultures," "American Kryptonite," "Giants"), the shortcomings of the band ("The Untimely Death of Brad," "That's How the Story Ends," "Where Is Micah?") and the healing power of God's unending love ("Second Season," "Every New Day," "On Distant Shores").
* ''The End Is Here'' (2004) - live recording of last show along with a copy of The End Is Near * ''The End Is Near'' (2003) - full-length studio release * ''Cheeses�(of Nazareth)'' (2003) - previously unreleased songs and song attempts * ''Electric Boogaloo'' (2001) - full-length studio release * ''All the Hype That Money Can Buy'' (2000) - full-length studio release * ''Proof That the Youth Are Revolting'' (1999) - full-length live album * ''Quantity Is Job 1'' (1998) - EP studio release * ''Brad Is Dead'' (1998) - 7" vinyl * ''Miniature Golf Courses of America'' (1997) - 7" vinyl * ''Our Newest Album Ever!'' (1997) - full-length studio release * ''Upbeats and Beatdowns'' (1996) - full-length studio release * ''It's Funny but Not Very Creative'' (1996) - 7" vinyl
Some band members are continuing in the field of music. "Brave Saint Saturn", a studio side-project, is expected to release at least one more album. Lead vocalist Reese Roper has been signed on to 5 Minute Walk Records under a band fittingly named "Roper". Founding member Scott Kerr is in another band known as "Yellow Second" which once also included drummer Andy Verdecchio. Other band members have moved back to more private lives.