Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Stanleys Debut Album


The Stanleys from Perth, Australia deliver one of the best New Wave / Power Pop you've heard in a very long time. In eleven songs they prove they are the true heirs of DM3, The Hoodoo Gurus and the Cars. 

So this blog could not miss the opportunity to talk to lead singer and bass player Mark Di Renzo about the band and their first self-titled album, released on CD by New Jersey-based US label Pop Detective Records.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about THE STANLEYS to introduce yourselves? How did you meet and decided to start a band together? Who is playing what instrument in the band? How the hell did you end up playing with a drummer living on the other side of the planet?

To begin with I would say The Stanleys play a classic style of upbeat power pop with catchy melodies, lush harmonies and crunching guitars.

The studio nucleus of the band is me as lead singer, bass guitarist and playing some keys, Jamie Horsburgh on guitars and Tomas Dahl on drums and guitars.  Jamie and I live in Perth Australia and Tomas lives in Oslo Norway.  Jamie and I played together in an early line up of my previous band Gigantic but Jamie had a break from music for a few years.  I was on tour with Gigantic in Japan towards the end of Gigantic’s career when someone recommended Tomas’s solo project, Caddy, to me as music I would enjoy.  I did enjoy the first Caddy album a lot.  Tomas and I connected on Myspace and essentially began writing a few songs over the internet with no real agenda other than to write great power pop songs we loved. After separating from his wife at the time (around 2010) Jamie was interested in getting back into music and that became the start of The Stanleys.


2) About the recently released debut full length record, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

The record has been recorded over a few years in Australia, Norway and France.  Tomas did come to Perth to do some recording with Jamie and I and my brother John, I went to Oslo to do some sessions with Tomas, and I also did some sessions with Ken Stringfellow (REM, Big Star, The Posies) in Paris at his home studio.  The geographical logistics made it easiest to record a track by track recording plus this allows you to build on a song and keep writing bits and pieces once the core bed tracks are recorded.  Those bits and pieces might be extra guitar or keyboard melodies, percussion or harmonies for example.  I feel that recording songs can be like making a salad.  Lettuce, bacon, egg, parmesan cheese and olive oil might be key ingredients but without the croutons, garlic and lemon and lemon juice, the salad (or song) is not complete.  We were trying to create delicious power pop!


3) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

I think the most common topics revolve around people and relationships and this comes easiest because we are in contact with others every day.  But there are also songs on the album about the cons of the modern online world, cars, dancing and the quest to follow your dreams.  I think its best just to let the ideas and topics come out naturally rather than specifically trying to manufacture something.


4) THE STANLEYS have an undeniable Aussie approach of power pop that could lead to compare you to DM3 The STEMS, etc. Do you agree with this comparison or do you consider there is way more than that? 

I find it a big compliment for you to compare The Stanleys to both DM3 and The Stems as those bands are both fantastic bands and both from my hometown.  In fact my introduction to power pop would have been through both The Stems and Hoodoo Gurus and these three bands are bands that we do get compared to from time to time overseas.  I believe we have our own brand of new wave power pop.  However, we undoubtedly lend a little from bands that we love who have come before us and that is natural for any songwriter.  Music that you love inspires you to make music for other people to love!


5) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody composing his own songs (words and music)?

Its definitely a joint effort between myself, Jamie and Tomas and for us that seems to produce the best result.  It also makes the process more fun in constructing a song.  The majority of lyrics, but not all, are mine and this probably just happens since I’m singing those lyrics.


6) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I grew up listen to lots of classic music quite wide ranging like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Doors as well as some more power pop bands like those mentioned earlier and I really had a thing for 80s pop too!  If its got melody I’m a fan and that can spread across genres even into more modern dance music for example. I probably had a number of different favourite bands as a teenager moving around from time to time so not sure I can answer that question.  Even now its very difficult to narrow it down to 3 bands I consider still have an influence on my music but the Beatles, The Cars and DM3 would be in there.


7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 

Yes we do. There is a video for the single (and opening track from the album) Amy. Here’s the link.




8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of THE STANLEYS? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

I think we deliver audiences an energetic and fun show as we just really love playing! We love to see some dancing, singing along and handclapping from the audience and want people to feel part of the night. We do occasionally play a cover. On the recent Amy Tour we played a rockier version of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” which was very fun to play and people seemed to really enjoy it!


9) What are the plans for 2018 as far as THE STANLEYS are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon? 

We recently (in October) toured Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the UK in Europe before heading to the US for a run of dates.  Those shows went very well so we’re definitely keen to get back to Europe in 2018.  It’s just a matter of timing to see if we might be able to coordinate dates with a festival or two and our commitments back home.  Stayed tuned for announcements on that next year.
The next single off the album will be "Everybody Dance" and we’ll be shooting a video for that one early in the new year.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

You can learn a little more about the band at our website:
www.thestanleys.com.au


PURCHASE THIS BRILLIANT ALBUM HERE:

https://thestanleysau.bandcamp.com/album/the-stanleys-debut-album

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Breakout!!!


Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Breakout!!!
In WAV - Scans are included

1.Walking The Dog  
2.I Had It Made  
3.In The Midnight Hour  
4.Ooh Poo Pah Doo  
5.I Like It Like That  
6.Little Latin Lupe Lu  
7.Devil With A Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly  
8.Shakin' With Linda  
9.Stubborn Kind Of Fellow  
10.You Get Your Kicks  
11.I Need Help  
12.Any Day Now  
13.Breakout

Release in 1966, Mitch Ryder & the Wheels' second album, featuring the classic "Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly, Miss Molly" workout, continues the pattern of their debut; strong renditions of R&B classics, chopped and channeled and revved up to max.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2p4jdke7h7b21ca/Mitch%20Ryder%20%26%20The%20Detroit%20Wheels%20-%20Breakout%21%21%21.rar

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Darts - Me.Ow

The Darts, from Phoenix, Arizona is probably the hardest working band in the business at the moment. 


For the biggest part of 2017, the girls (Michelle Balderrama: guitar, vocals; Nicole Laurenne: organ, vocals; Christina Nunez: bass, vocals; Rikki Styxx: drums, vocals) have been travelling around the world promoting their both excellent previous EPs (Btw, Let's hope that one day, their London based label DIRTY WATER Records will be smart enough to compile these 2 EP's on one CD instead of just settling for a mere digital full-length album!)

And no doubt there will be more touring in 2018 to support our favorite quartet's recently released full length debut "Me.Ow". 


This new offering in pushing everything we like about the Darts one step further: menacing drum beats, fuzz-laden guitars riffs, thundering bass lines, spooky Farfisa sounds, and lead singer Nicole’s inimitable vocals. 

This new record is a pure psychedelic garage master piece all drenched in reverb.

It would be a little bit pointless to review the record track by track but let's just say that my favorite songs lay in the last part of the album: "I Made A Wish" with its memorable refrain, "Caught In The Devil’s Game" and it's great 60's organ riff and the very haunting "You’ll Bring Me Flowers".



One question puzzles me though: why on earth has the band decided to choose as close out track a Third Man session cover of The Trashwomen’s "Batteries" so poorly recorded it should have been -at best- an hidden track on the cd. 

But don't be put off by this minor downside of this otherwise great debut album. Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy! 

Purchase it here: https://thedartsus.bandcamp.com/album/me-ow

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Forty Nineteens - Good Fortune



Hailing from Temecula, California, The Forty Nineteens is a very recommended Garage Rock/Power Pop trio with a Motor City power plant and good-time raucousness. Their sound was forged in LA's underground alternative scene. 60s garage rock, meets 80s garage pop. "Good Fortune" is their 4th release and the best so far. The album includes a brilliant rendition of "Time is on my side". This blog had a very interesting chat with drummer Nick Zeigler


1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, what would you tell about The Forty Nineteens to introduce yourselves? How did you meet and decided to start a band together? Who is playing what instrument in the band? How did you come up with the name of the band? 

A) Hello! The band is John Pozza/vocals-bass-guitar, Chuck Gorian/guitar, Nick Zeigler/drums vocals.
B) John and I met many years ago in a Detroit/LA garage band called The Leonards. We would tour the US, and performed with The Red Hot Chili Peppers (Detroit friend Chad Smith tried out for the Leonards prior to joining RHCH) The Rain Parade, Gun Club, Thelonious Monster, Red Cross, and countless other LA bands. The Leonards is still an active band, just not That active. John formed The Forty Nineteens with Chuck a few years ago in Temecula Calif, and they proceeded to ask me to join the band.
C) Vocalist John and Chuck work in the legal arena, and 4019 is California's legal code for good behavior credit. Example: If you are serving a sentence, every day you stay out of trouble, you get one day off of your sentence. I.E. time off for good behavior. Our motto. "Everyone deserves some time off for good behavior."


2) About the recently released "Good Fortune" CD, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

A) We work with David Newton (guitarist of the Mighty Lemon Drops) in his Burbank studio. The band generally does preproduction in our hometown of Temecula (midway between LA and San Diego) working out song structure/lyrics. Once we feel ready, we take the traveling circus up the 5 freeway and set up the tents in Burbank.
The band prefers vintage gear
-John uses Gretsch, Hofner guitars, with a Vox AC 15 and a Fender Bassman rig.
-Chuck uses Fender stratocasters with a Vox AC 30
-I use Gretsch Catalina Jazz drums and/or a Ludwig kit with a Rogers Dynasonic, and Ludwig 402 Supraphonic.
B) The band doesn't have a go to style in the studio, typically we record live, yet we sometimes we will lay a song out with me clapping a beat along with acoustic guitar, then we add the layers. We've discovered that this process encourages secondary melodies, and backing vocals. It's a lot of fun, and we come up with cool stuff on the fly. It really gets the creative vibe going.


3) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?
A) John has a large extended family in the area, and when people start talking, the stories or experiences are so interesting that they need to be told or preserved. John has a knack of putting these stories to music.  John traditionally tends to write about relationships, or experiences with people.  I tend to write about cars, sentimental things, and offbeat characters. Those things fascinate me enough to write about them.

4) The Forty Nineteens have an undeniable American approach of Garage Rock and Power Pop that could lead to compare you to The Woggles, The Fleshtones, The Smithereens etc. Do you agree with this comparison or do you consider there is way more than that?

A) Thank you for acknowledging our Garage / Power Pop leanings and said groups. We are indeed fans of those bands.  I with how you feel we are similar to those bands. Not only are we fans, we also admire their work ethic. Those groups set the bar pretty high.

5) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody composing his own songs (words and music)?
A) John tends to write most of the material. I write one or two tracks per album. Chuck writes at times too. John comes up with the melody/lyrics, I tend to arrange the songs, or add a verse/chorus/melody. Chuck will also suggest things in the structure / melody. If someone has a better idea, we always go with what services the song.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.
A) John is into The Beatles, Graham Parker, The Romantics, which is clearly shown in every album.
Chuck likes SoCal punk which can be heard on every release. I like all 50s rock n roll, early British Invasion, soul, anything that moves.

7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 
We are currently working on them, and will let you know as soon as they are ready.

8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of The Forty Nineteens? Besides "Time is on my side" Are you playing any famous cover songs?
We regularly perform at Temecula outdoor wineries with bands like Berlin, Robin Zander, Gin Blossoms, The Fixx, The Alarm. One can expect a fairly fast paced show. Everyone is encouraged to dance, as our songs tend to get people out on the dance floor having fun.
You will hear us play Peace Love and Understanding, I Walked with A Zombie, Dead Flowers, Behind the Wall of Sleep, Route 66, Back in the USSR, I Need to Know, Last Dance with Mary Jane.


9) What are the plans for 2018 as far as The Forty Nineteens are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon? 
A) We are going to write new songs while we are hunkered down for the holidays.
The band plans to make an East Coast USA Swing, West Coast northern swing, and are looking for promoters to book us in Europe. If you know anyone, please forward them our info!!!!

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?
We want to thank you all for living and breathing music, supporting new music, new artists, listening to the radio, telling friends about new bands.
Thank you for your enthusiasm for music!! Artists can’t do a thing without you.
Keep Rocking!!

PURCHASE IT HERE : https://thefortynineteens.bandcamp.com/album/good-fortune

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tribute to Midnight Rambler (Sons of the Dolls)



It's exactly 3 years today since Patrick (Midnight Rambler) passed away. 

Take a minute to remember him while listening to this CD he ripped specially for me way back in the day.....the man knew a good band when he heard one!

https://www.mediafire.com/file/8lxpxr85oaapev5/Watts%20-%20On%20The%20Dial%20%28flac-2010%29.rar

Sunday, November 19, 2017

And the winner is....


Teenage Bottlerocket - Stealing The Covers
In WAV - Scans Are included

The Way I Know
Back And Forth
College Town
Don't Go
Robocop Is A Halfbreed Sellout
No Hugging No Learning
Shit Fuck God Damn
Gay Parade
It Came From The Radio
Alien Motion Technology
Hat Nerd
My Very Best
I Kill Butterflies
Why The Big Pause



Instead of going the traditional route of covering well-known hits, TBR take the opposite approach on Stealing the Covers by putting their unique twist on songs from obscure and unsigned bands that have caught their fancy over the years. BRILLIANT RECORD. GET IT!

https://www.mediafire.com/file/ufk1uf3rwuhic6k/Teenage%20Bottlerocket%20-%20Stealing%20The%20Covers.rar

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS


The choice is yours! YOU will have to choose the next post:

On my left : Teenage Bottlerocket - Stealing the Covers.
From Laramie, Wyoming, über-masters of Pop-Punk. 





On my right : The Lillingtons - Project 313.
From Newcastle, Wyoming, über-masters of Pop-Punk.
                 



The band that gets 20 votes in the comments will be the next post. Anonymous comments DO NOT COUNT. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Backseat Angels - Cruisin' to the beach



"Cruisin' to the beach" is the sophomore digital release of the fabulous BACKSEAT ANGELS

The album contains 12 new songs: 11 originals all penned by singer/guitar player Eric Knoxx and one cover, "Hot Rod High" composed by Usher and Christian. This track is also featuring a special appearance By Tommy Rocket on backing vocals and tambourine. 

Less Glam and more vocal harmonies.  Everybody loving The Beach Boys, The Monkees, The Ramones, The Flamin' Groovies or The Surfin' Lungs is goin' to be crazy about this new collection of upbeat four-on-the-floor soon be classics!

This is pure rock'n'roll, Play it loud!

PURCHASE A LOSSLESS COPY HERE:
https://thebackseatangels.bandcamp.com/album/cruisin-to-the-beach




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Suspect Parts Euro Tour 2017 starts October 26th!


This band has written THEE best pop song of the year ("Run for your life"), just like yours truly, they like their beers to be ice cold and they start a Euro Tour on Octobre 26th! How many more reasons does this blog need to have a very enlightening conversation with Justin Maurer:

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about SUSPECT PARTS  to introduce yourselves? How did you meet and decided to start a band together? Who is playing what instrument in the band?


Justin: In 2007 Clorox Girls broke up and I moved to Madrid where I worked as an English teacher and DJ.  I was living with my girlfriend Raquel and her roommate Kika and playing in a band called Mono De Mono in Madrid. I felt restless and had a few demos that I was hoping to record with Clorox Girls. Chris Brief was living in Berlin at the time and suggested that we play in a band together. I sent him a few of the demos and that ended up being the "Seventeen Television" single that came out on Deranged Records in 2008. We recorded with Smail from the Shocks in Berlin and I remember that it was fucking cold. We seem to always be recording in Berlin during a bitter winter. Maybe that affects our sound!

Fast forward a year or two later and I was living in London helping my friends who played in Holy Ghost Revival as their tour manager and driver. They played over 100 shows in England, Scotland, Wales, and Germany and I drove them to every single show. Driving a stick-shift mini-bus on the wrong side of the road was interesting, but I figured it out after awhile.  Holy Ghost's label mates included a band called Ripchord and I saw Sulli and Phil from Ripchord play an acoustic set at the Hope and Anchor pub in London.  I thought Sulli was a fucking amazing "ooh ahh," man. His backing vocals were spot-on and he was a great lead guitarist. I poached him (stole him, not poached like the egg),for Suspect Parts.  Sulli became my roommate in London with my girlfriend Marina, who was Holy Ghost Revival's publicist at Sony/Columbia/1965 Records and we wrote some songs like "Change Your Mind," "City Burning," and "Man Eater."  I was reading a Phil Spector biography and wanted to write some hits. Sulli and I worked really well together and he helped me write a lot of the bridges, or as they say in England, "Middle Eighths."

Smail from legendary Berlin punk band The Shocks was recruited on bass and we had a band!  We toured Germany, Spain, and the UK and recorded 4 singles with a Spanish guy named Pepe Tigruss in Gandia, Spain. Our friend Chimita's mother made us paella and we ate it on the beach. It was absolutely fantastic.

2 years ago we toured Europe with Maniac from Los Angeles and Smail was very focused on his new recording studio in Berlin. We were looking for a bassist to join us on tour, and Andru Bourbon came highly recommended to us from some Berlin friends who we trusted. We instantly got along, drank his wonderful cold peppermint schnapps, and learned about the art of grocery shopping for vegan spreads.  Andru also played on our debut album which we recorded with Smail the winter after our Euro tour.

In Brief:

Justin Maurer - guitar vocals (played in other bands like Clorox Girls, Red Dons, Mano De Mono, Maniac, LA Drugz)

James "Sulli" Sullivan - guitar, vocals (played in Ripchord and currently plays in More Kicks)

Chris Brief - drums, vocals (plays in The Briefs)

Andru Bourbon - bass (played in Radio Dead Ones from Berlin)

Former bass players:  Smail Shock (The Shocks), Daniel Hadji Husayn (from Red Dons and Clorox Girls)


2) About the recently released debut full length record, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

Justin: We recorded our debut album in the dead of winter at Smail Shock's east Berlin studio. The album was made during a snowstorm, and Chris and I had a hard time finding the studio in the snow, we had no reception on our phones and our GPS didn't work in the snowstorm!   We recorded drums, bass, and guitars all together and then overdubbed vocals, lead guitars, hand claps, piano parts, etc.  I believe Smail's all-analog track limitations were 16 tracks total, so we had to really haul-ass, kick-ass, take names, and not waste any tracks. It was all analog, and we didn't have time or room for any filler, we really had to hustle to get all 10 tracks down in the limited amount of time we had. All-in-all it sounds great. Doctor Smail Shock knows what he is doing.


3) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a new song?

Justin: I can't speak for Sulli, but my own songs usually come from personal experience. Heartbreak, frustration, sexual frustration, restlessness, anger. Some of the best stories come from when things go wrong.  I believe all art is trying to find some meaning in the tragedy of human existence. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I'd like to say that my songs are about trying to find meaning and purpose in a mostly tragic human existence. Does that make sense? I came from a dysfunctional family with a lot of abuse and turmoil, so punk rock was a sanctuary for me. Instead of getting in trouble with the police or self-harming or falling into drug addiction like so many of my peers, I luckily found music and that became my escape, my literal ticket out of a small town. Music is joy and has saved a lot of people including me. I also believe in "being the change you want in the world." I want to play music that I'd like to listen to. Sometimes it seems like 99.9% of music sucks and isn't very fun to listen to. I attempt to tackle some meaningful topics but try and still make it catchy, enjoyable, and fun to listen to.  My life's goal is to write the next "Hey Ya." I haven't done it yet.  For the record, Andre 3000 was listening to the Buzzcocks when he wrote "Hey Ya." Food for thought.

4) Is each of you guys composing his own songs (words and music) or are composing with 8 hands?

Justin: Sulli writes his own music and lyrics and I write my own music and lyrics. What makes it really special is the collaboration. Sulli helps me with a lot of the bridges. And Chris and Andru think of parts that I certainly wouldn't have thought of. The power of collaboration is seriously underrated. The best bands have the most fluid collaborations. Luckily for us, so far the collaboration has been an absolute pleasure. Composing with 8 hands sounds like an Octopus conducting an orchestra. How many hands does an Octopus have?


5) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Justin: As a child in the 80s, I remember my Dad singing Beach Boys, The Doors, Rolling Stones, and Van Halen. As a teenager in the 90s, I listened to stuff like The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, Minor Threat, Black Flag, The Germs, The Adolescents, GG and The Jabbers, Operation Ivy.  In 1994 I moved to a small town near Seattle, Washington so of course I got all of that grunge and horrible post-grunge stuff. Nirvana were a huge early band for me to get into. We didn't know about The Who and emulated Nirvana trashing their gear. Our teenage punk bands would kick over the drums after the first song!  haha I'm still upset about destroying my Dad's 1970s Remo drumkit. After Cobain's death, the punk scene in Seattle (that was very anti-grunge) was massive for me. I saw local bands like The Rickets, PUD, The Displacements, The Degenerats, The Bloodclots, Bristle, The Catheters, Murder City Devils. There were many all-ages clubs in Seattle like RKCNDY, Velvet Elvis, Fallout Records and I went to Seattle every weekend to see touring punk bands and local bands.  The 3 records that were on the radio at the time that I think still hold up are Weezer's blue album, Nirvana Unplugged in New York, and the Foo Fighters first album. Also still love Violent Femmes. Oasis had a couple of songs on the radio during this time too and of course they still hold up.

My favorite band as a teenager? Probably The Germs. Funnily enough, what we also loved listening to was Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, and Robert Johnson. We were pretty open-minded kids. We even loved the Venga Boys.  Early rock and roll and rockabilly (and shitty 3rd wave ska) were all around. The Specials and Operation Ivy and Rancid were very present as well as a lot of the East Bay punk stuff like early Green Day, Blatz, and Filth.

3 bands that are still an influence on my work today? That's a tough question, but off the top of my head: Roy Orbison, Arthur Lee/Love, and The Beach Boys.

6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

Justin: Yes, we have a video for "Run For Your Life" from our new album that's on YouTube:



7) What can concert goers expect at a gig of SUSPECT PARTS ? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

Justin: Concert-goers can expect that we're gonna play our asses off.  Cover-songs? We'll see how rehearsals go, we have to remember how to play our own songs first!

8) What are your expectations for this soon to star Euro tour?

Justin: We expect the big cities in Germany to be a blast. Haven't played the Czech republic or Belgium in awhile, hope that it's good!  I also hope to expect that the Germans have learned to make their refrigerators properly chill cold beers. Warm beers are no good!  Warm bier ist nicht sehr gut!  I like fucking ice cold frosty beers.

9) For the buyers who prefer CD over vinyl, Will there also be a CD version of this record or will this stay a vinyl only thing?

Justin: Vinyl and download only!  Might do a CD next year so that we can try to get some college radio airplay in the US. That'd be nice.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Justin: 69, dudes!  Catch you on the flipside. Don't eat the yellow snow.



PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE: 
https://takenbysurpriserecords.bandcamp.com/merch


HERE ARE THE TOUR DATES. 
BE THERE!






Friday, October 20, 2017

PROPELLER - Don't Ever Let This Let You Down



Hailing from San Rafael, CA, Greg Randall and Will Anderson have been delivering some brilliant power pop over the last years under the moniker PROPELLER. Anyone loving The Replacements, Husker Du, Big Star, or Teenage Fanclub is going to have a soft spot for their latest release "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down"

Here is what the duo told this blog:

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about Propeller to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Propeller is a band that loves rock and roll, we are fans first!  Propeller dates back some 27 years or so, at least the Greg and Will parts. We played in a couple bands with lots of revolving folks over the years. We had a band called Unbalanced that went through 3 main lineups, basically 3 bands, same name. A couple members of the original band are still very much involved in Propeller to this day, Chaco Daniel writes our bio’s and occasionally makes videos. John Rackerby does all our album cover art and band photos, John even appeared on our first Propeller album with some tasty piano licks. We like to keep it all in the family.

Post Unbalanced, Will and I were in a band called Varsity Drag along with a fella named Ben Deily who was a member of the original Lemonheads. Check out Lemonheads Songs Ever or Second Chance, they are gold. Varsity Drag was in some ways a continuation of both Unbalanced and this early period Lemonheads, we played live a lot and played songs from both Unbalanced and Lemonheads along with loads of new songs.

Propeller however is truly its own thing though, this band has the best songs we have ever written and recorded. We are very proud of each of our releases. We just set out to make timeless rock and roll records and I guess only time will tell if we succeeded. Our simple gauge is, if we like it others will.

2) About the recently released record "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Hours and hours of labor and loads of overdubs done track by track. Things change each session, things get added and things get taking out until we find just the right recipe. We might like something one day only to listen on a different day and not like it so much. So, it takes time for sure. One great addition to the new record is the lead guitar playing by our pal Geoffrey Mack, Geoffrey played on a few songs from “Fall Off the World” and they sounded great, so we had no choice but to bring him into the fold and let him rip up on all the new songs! Really great guitar player who naturally adds to the mix.

3) Are you guys using a midi drum/ drum loops or is this a real drummer playing on the record?

Will tends to start the drums using a drum set in our studio, once mixing starts these drums get edited all the way up until the final seconds of mixing. There are combinations of both real drums and midi.

4) What are you exactly referring to in the title "Don't Ever Let This Let You Down"?

It can mean anything to anyone but for us I think it simply means that with rock and roll there can be ups and downs, more down than ups but you still do it because you simply love music, it's the ONLY reason anyone should do it. If you let it let you down then it will frustrate you and make you bitter. I see this bitterness in other bands I know because they tend to expect more than they get. If you do it for fun and keep your expectations low then rock and roll can never let you down.

5) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come easily when you write a
new song?

Girls and summer! Our songs tend to come across as happy sounding but there is darkness and pain in some of those lyrics, I just think we disguise them well under poppy melody. We tend to stay away from current affairs in both the political sense and current pop culture. The best songs and the ones that tend to last forever are the ones we can all relate to, relationships and life’s fears and struggles. At least in our humble opinions.

6) Is each of you guys composing his own songs (words and music) or are composing with 4 hands? 

Will and I both write, at time a lot and at other times not much at all. We both bring in what we call skeletons and then we have fun shaping them into little 3 minutes pieces of ear candy. It is the most fun part of the process and I have never worked with anyone else where we put ego aside and simply laugh a lot, if one of us don’t like an idea we simply move on, no feelings hurt. There are a lot of high fives and the word fella thrown around. We have a lot of fun during the writing phase.

7) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I think Will and I can both agree on 3 bands easily, Teenage Fanclub, Husker Du and The Replacements. All three still influence everything we do, at least as a foundation. We both like so many bands and it would take pages to list them all. We generally like the same stuff but of course we have our own individual stuff we listen to as well.

Regarding favorite band as a teenager? Well that’s easy, The Ramones! So much so that we paid homage to them on our previous record “Fall Off the World” with “Turn On The Radio”


8) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

Not yet, we tend to be slow with these things and I am not sure video has the same impact that maybe it once did. I do know all the songs are somehow on youtube for listening.

9) At times I can hear some "Tom Petty feeling" in your songs. How did you react to the news of his death? Or was he absolute no hero of yours?

Oh man, I think like a lot of us, Tom Petty was embedded in our brains from an early age, a constant figure who paid no attention to genres. I mean name another artist who remained consistently relevant decade after decade after decade. He is the one guy you can put on at a party with rockers, punk rockers, new wavers, country folks or whoever and nobody would get bummed out. You’re not the first one to point out a bit of Petty in our sound but I really think it just comes from sharing a traditional approach to songwriting and Rickenbacker guitars.

10) Is Propeller your full-time activity or are you both having day jobs?

We both have day jobs that can be demanding and draining at times but we really try to make room for Propeller, it is what keeps us from getting unbalanced.

11) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

First off, killer blog, nicely done and thank you for reaching out to our little California band.If any of you readers are fans of power pop type rock and roll, we try help fill a space recognizable to anyone who feels a thrill as a distorted guitar brushes up against a harmony filled chorus while pounding drums ferry you from hook to hook. We know that the only thing that really matters are songs. And on Don’t Ever Let This Let You Down, we think we added 10 shiny new candidates for your top down road trip playlist.



PURCHASE IT HEREhttps://propeller.bandcamp.com/album/dont-ever-let-this-let-you-down



PHYSICAL COPIES can be bought at Kool Kat Records and CDbaby


Saturday, October 14, 2017

ROLE MODELS - Dance Moves


This is The Role Models third full length already. Once again the band delivers 13 original songs, soon to be classics, of super catchy, fun, addictive, powerful rock'n'roll with great vocals, driving guitars and an ever pulsating rhythm section.

This new record has some great guests on it. Duncan Reid from legendary powerpop group The Boys, Kris Rodgers of the Scott Sorry Band and some old friends like Stacy Stray. Andy Brook returns as producer and Rich Jones joins once again. 

It was time for this blog to have a very interesting conversation with Rags, the man behind the Role Models.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, What would you tell about The Role models to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

Hello everyone! What can I say? Role Models are rock n roll band motivated and called to arms by powerpop and punk. That, right there, seems to be the sweet spot of having a great time and singin' your life. Within that holy trinity is where I feel a lot can be said and felt.
We've just released three full length albums in as many years with the fourth already written and ready to go! We wanna earn our bread through the timeless snake oil salesman trade of music. Only our medicine is pretty good, from what I'm told. We have Daniel Husayn on bass, Nick Hughes on guitar and vocals and Simon Maxwell on the pots and pans! Oh And me, Rags. I sing.

2) About the recently released record "Dance Moves", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

The recording was done with Andy Brook at The Brook in London. He's been with us on every album, EP, single we've done. And we love love love working with that guy! Knows when the tequila needs to be brought out. And put away!
We like to lay down the rhythm section and make sure that is really happening. Then the guitars and vocals and whatever else we dream up. So, no, not live, but kinda traditional in how we work it up, I guess. But, having said that, we try to keep things pretty open. Not too many overdubs weighing it down. A good idea is a good idea. No need to do it a hundred times!

3) It's seems there were a lot of guest musicians invited this time. Tell us more about the collaboration with all these guys and their personal involvement in this new record.

Every album we've made has some guests on it. I feel it gets us excited, and with people in the past like Sami Yaffa and Steve Conte for example, it really feels like we are sharing our music with people who've inspired us in the first place.
This album had Stacy Stray from Toronto's Robin Black and The Intergalactic Rock Stars play the solo on 'Reach Me'. That guy was someone who made my life a way better, fun place years ago when I lived in T. O. and, well, he's a hell of guitar player. I wanted a Alice Cooper vibe and I knew he would get it!
We got Kris Rodgers from the Scott Sorry Band to do keys after touring with them. Man, that tour was something else. We really made some close, close friends there! And, again, what a player! That's kinda the way it goes. A lot of the people who are guests on it are friends we love and who we've played with in one way or another. And if ya got something to share with the people you love, do it! I would mention Rich Jones in all that, but really, he's like a fifth member to us. He's been a real supportive person to me over the years and we always make room for our brutha!

4) What is exactly pictured on the front of "Dance Moves"? And while we are at it, what's with the title? You guys do not really play what is considered as "dance" music these days?

The front cover is just a pic I took backstage at The Borderline recently, and I liked what it said. There is Simon warming up... the Rickenbacker case open and ready to go... all in a little backstage area. Not much glamour, but here we are. Still. You can count on us to keep plugin' away!
The title is something that came up in a conversation joking with Jones on the phone. I said it, and right away... "THAT'S the title of the new album!" Loved how it sounded. It works in the way that this album is about someone who is on a binge weekend. A bender. Trying to forget some pain, some hardships, or maybe remember them, if ya know what I mean. A bit of an exorcism. But this way of dealing with things can't work forever. The person wants to take back a little control, but here we are in the middle of it. We all know how those binges go... HAPPY... saaaaad... nostalgic... paranoid... the regaining of strength and sense of self... and maybe the feeling you can finally move on. A lot of different dance moves.

5) What is your favorite topic to write about or the topic that comes easily when you write a
new song?

A lot of songs come from either personal experiences or what I see affect my loved ones. No favorites, but I don't really make stuff up out of the blue.

6) Are you the exclusive composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

I write, arrange and demo all the songs at home then send them to Simon who reworks the feel and dynamics. The other two then put their mark on it. Now, all you have to do is listen to a demo and the finished product to know just how absolutely important each one of those guys are to the sound of this band. What those guys do is petty incredible and I am always very impatient and excited to hear that take place!

7) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I was the youngest of six kids. Ten years younger than than the second last. So, you can imagine there were a lot of amazing records laying around the house. Stones, Beatles, New York Dolls, Nazareth, Kiss, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Led Zep, AC/DC, Sweet, Bowie, Cheap Trick, Motorhead, Damned, Blondie, Tom Petty... the list goes on and on. I was in absolute love with it all. I was a bit lonely as a kid. Kinda smiling away sadness a lot of the time.  But man, down in my room or at the record player, well, I felt so happy. Like I was ok. Unafraid and looking to a bright future.
Three bands that still have an influence from those days? Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, and a band that I discovered without the help of that pile of records, The Replacements. All three seemed to be able to do what they wanted, try new things, and yet retain their individuality. They were opening up their hearts and, whatever was showing, standin' tall! That feeling of, "I never said I would "make it" I just said I'd never quit." Their music and attitude still sticks with me. Feels like good friends.

8) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release? 

We have a youtube picture thing for "I Want More" but no new video as of yet. We have been concentrating on these albums so much! Time to do one I suppose!



9) I hope you will not be offended but -at times- your voice and the way you sing make me think about Tom Petty. How did you react to the news of his death? Or was he absolute no hero of yours?

Oh! I was, and am, quite heartbroken about it. His music has been with me, playing a soundtrack for every part of my life it seems. The feeling that his consciousness, that guy, is no longer walkin' around ready to write or sing another song, is incredibly sad. I will take that comparison as a compliment. Thank you.

10) What can concert goers expect at a gig of  The Role models? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

They can expect us to be playing and singin' our hearts out. The live show can be quite a bit more severe than what's on the album. They can expect a damn good time as well because we'll be having one. They can expect Friday night no matter what night it is!
We used to do some Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, some Plimsouls... but right now, for instance, on the Michael Monroe Tour, we have a slightly shorter set so we wanna explode out of the gate with our stuff.

11) What are the plans for the rest of 2017 as far as The Role models are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon to promote this new record?

We have the Michael Monroe tour, some other shows that are being booked as we speak and we are getting ready to record our fourth full length album, "Like We'll Never Make It" Europe will be on the cards for the next record.

12) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

To you and the readers...Thank you! It is blogs, magazines and online communities like this that keep rock n roll alive. In a true sense. Written about, written by, and read by true believers! We as a band are very grateful to be included! Hope to see some of you out there!

PURCHASE IT HERE: glunkrecords.bigcartel.com



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Singles - Sweet Tooth






Have you ever dreamed of a band that has the good looks? A band that's got crunchy guitars AND catchy melodies? A band that's got the rock'n'roll attitude without being cliché? 

Don't look any further. Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Singles! The band is currently featuring Vince Frederick (guitar/vocals) - Nicky Veltman (drums) - Max Goldman (bass).

One girl and 2 guys. 100% perfect rock'n'roll trio.

Their fourth full length, SWEET TOOTH, is brilliant from start to finish. 
All killers and no fillers.

Read their full story here, told by Vince:


1)Vince, it seems like a long way, musically and visually from the 4 guys who released the very Beatlesque "Better Than Before" in 2003. In 2017, you are the only remaining original member and the new release "Sweet Tooth" sounds -at times- very glam (the title track). Please, tell the viewers of this blog your full story. We want to hear it all from you!

I joined this band called “Electricity” back in 1998. We only played a handful of shows, maybe 3 or 4. This band is how I met the original drummer (Dave Knepp) and bass player (Dave Lawson) for The Singles. I started “The Singles” in 1999 with Knepp, and once we made our first EP, we recruited Lawson to play bass. Lawson brought in his friend Will Yates to play lead guitar; that line-up got signed to Rainbow Quartz Records in 2002, due to Matthew Smith from Outrageous Cherry. He dug us and wanted to produce our first album, and his band was on the label. Anyways, Knepp suggested we wear black and white suits for a 'Battle Of The Bands' gig, and that's how the suits got started. I was way into the Beatles, etc. back then; so I wanted us to always be in them, and it stuck for a loooooong time.

So after we made “Better Than Before” and did a bunch of Euro touring, etc., that line-up went away. I put out an ad looking for a drummer in the Metro Times, and that's where I found Brian Thunders. In the meantime, I was rehearsing with a linguistics professor, John Hale, on bass. He saw us play at the University he was currently teaching at and he came up to me and said he liked us. For some reason I felt he was a musician, so I asked him if he would want to join. And he did! This was the line up that made our 2nd album “Start Again”. John left shortly after, and we got in Phil Roth on bass. He was great too, and we did a bunch of gigs, including a really fun tour of Europe in 2008.

After Phil left on bass, we recruited our buddy Ryan Hurnevich to step in. He was in a band called The Lessmores, who we always played with. I was going for another full length record for that year (2009), but we just managed to get 3 CD singles released. Also, Thunders decided to leave the band midway through that year. It felt like going I was in circles at that point, so that's when I decided to move out to Los Angeles.

In LA, I ran into another fellow Detroit musician Jenny Pirch. She played in a band called The Gore Gore Girls. Pirch and I were gigging around as a duo for awhile. Then she invited out Nicky Veltman to a show. Nicky played drums with her in the GGGs. We asked Nicky if she would join up and she did! (Note: the suits vanished by this point)

Nicky and I got things moving on our next record “Look How Fast A Heart Can Break” pretty quickly.  We put the album out in April of 2014. We had rotating bass players around this time. We also did a bunch of touring in the US for that record.

Max Goldman was one of the bass players that toured with us that year, and he stuck around for better or worse. After a year or so we jumped back in the studio with Rick Parker, who mixed and produced “LHFAHCB”, and we made a brand new album called “Sweet Tooth”. The album came out on July, 28th 2017.

2)What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

That would be heartache or heartbreak topics. I can really summon those feelings up very easily when it comes to writing a song. It's a genuine feeling as well. So I know I'm on the right track when that feeling is helping me write. 

3)About your latest full length, "Sweet Tooth". You opted not only for a tougher sound but also for a stronger visual. Gone are the 4 sharp dressed guys in ties and instead here is some aquatic monster with its mouth wide open. What can you tell about the choice of the cover of the album? And what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

Well, the album cover was done by my girlfriend Ursula Galviano. I knew I wanted the album artwork to be a handmade drawing of sorts. The image was totally hers. So whatever she heard in the making of the album, as well as the final sequenced version, she put that down on the drawing board and created the water monster. I think it fits the feel of some of the tunes on this album, especially the title track.

The recording was done once again with producer/mixer Rick Parker here in Los Angeles. We went into the studio to work on two or three songs at a time throughout the year of 2016. Once we got the basic backing tracks done, we would hop on over to Rick's personal studio called “The Sandbox” to put on overdubs.




4)To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

The main band that got me to pick up a guitar and start writing songs was The Beatles. They certainly were my favorite band back then. But I was also listening to a lot of the early rock n rollers like Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, etc. too. I was checking out who The Beatles liked and then going on a hunt to find those records. A lot of 50's blues, doo wop and rock n roll was a part of those formative years. I was also really into the bands coming out of England at that time in the 90's: Oasis, Supergrass, Blur.

Bands don't really influence my songwriting nowadays. Back when I was figuring out how to write songs, they sure did. Now it's experiences and feelings that I wanna get off my chest I'll write about. But, regardless of not thinking about other bands when I write, I think your formative years really play a part in the way you end up sounding or singing. So I can always hear a little Beatles, Buddy, and the Everlys in my stuff.


5)Are you still the main composer in The Singles or is everybody involved to a certain extent?

I am. But once the song is written I'll bring it to the band and we'll figure out the feel of how the tune will go down. Will we play it fast or slow? Will it be a waltz or a country shuffle? Those kind of things. Usually all that happens naturally once we all start jamming on the song.


6)Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?

There is a live performance of us playing the song “Voodoo” off the new album. You can see it on YouTube here: 


7)What can concert goers expect at a The Singles gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

They can expect a loud rock n roll set of our jams. Drums, bass and guitar. Some good harmonies here and there as well. We are not doing any cover songs at the moment.

8)When you perform nowadays with The Singles, are you still playing some tracks from the first albums? If so, are the songs given the "tougher sound" treatment?

We do play a lot off the first two albums. “Since You've Been Gone” “When Will She Be Mine?” “Waited So Long” to name a few. Those are all in the current set. And I think the old tunes sound even better with this line-up (with Max and Nicky). If we had the luxury to make an album to re-record a bunch of the old songs, I would definitely try it out. I think it would come out great. It would also show how some of those songs still hold up today! Wink.Wink.

9)What are the plans for the rest of 2017 as far as The Singles are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon?

We're gonna try to play as many shows that come our way and hopefully turn on some more people to our new album. We'd love to go back and do another European tour again. The last time we did that was in 2008. If you know any booking agents that would want to help make it happen, send them our way!


10)Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Be kind and considerate to everyone.

THIS IS VERY MUCH RECOMMENDED! Purchase it HERE

http://www.thesinglessounds.com/merch/sweet-tooth-cd