Two local bands have passed the first exams.Soup, from the Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and Eclyptic, from Hudson High School, were two of 18 finalists chosen to battle it out Jan. 27 for the 2007 high school rock off crown.One of the rewards for making it to the finals is the chance to record "in a really nice studio," said Austin Maruna of Soup. Each of the finalists prepared and recorded a song that will be part of a compilation CD for the annual event."That was a really good experience," Austin said. He added that Soup recorded "Gold From All the Ladies."Derik Kroeze of Eclyptic said that their band, as of press time, had not had a chance to record a song yet, but would this weekend. Derik, a junior at Hudson High School, said the band probably will choose to record "The Sun Ain't Risin.'"Aventine Hill, a band interviewed earlier, did not make it to the finals, but band member Kevin Gerity said "we'll be back next year.""We all agreed that the best part of the night was playing our music for the crowd and the friendships we made with the other musicians," Kevin said in a written statement.As will the semifinals, each band will have about five minutes to set up and 20 minutes to perform, said Brad Carley of Soup. All three of the band's members had positive things to say about the Rock Off."It was a lot of fun," Austin said. "It was a lot louder than I thought it would be. There was a lot of power. We are not a hard or heavy band, but I kind of liked it.""There were so many people," Brad added.This is the third year that Eclyptic competed, said Derik, who sings lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar."We competed as freshman, and we went to the finals," he said. "We won the whole thing that year.""We were in third place last year," added Eclyptic band member Christopher Bohrer, a junior at Hudson High School.Derik said he thought the group "did real well.""We had some minor technical difficulties with the second song, but we started over and still went to the finals," Derik said."We persevered," said Danny Kolliner, who plays bass.Kevin of Aventine Hill stated that the Rock Off "was the beginning of what we all hope will be a long lasting career in the music world.""We were impressed with the professional quality of the equipment we [used]," Kevin said. "Sam Gedeon exclaimed, 'Yo those amps are as big as me.'"For details on Soup, visit www.myspace.com/soupbandrocks. For details on Eclyptic, visit www.myspace.com/eclyptic.PBS documentaryA documentary filmed on last year's High School Rock Off, "Rock Off, The Movie" aired Jan. 18 on PBS, WVIZ.The documentary will air again at 2 and 5 a.m. on Jan. 21, and at 3 a.m. on Jan. 25.For 10 years in January, Northeastern Ohio's best area high school musicians owned the stage at the former Odeon Concert Club. Every year, hundreds would be called, few would be chosen for a "Final Exam," and one band would win it all. The film documents all of the passion, blood, sweat, and tears of the 10th Annual High School Rock Off, which took place at The Odeon in January 2006.For details on the event, visit www.cleveland.com online.E-mail: ahelms@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3153