The Bobby Lees — Sam Quartin (vocals, guitar), Kendall Wind (bass), Nick Casa (lead guitar), and Macky Bowman (drums) — are a rapidly rising, Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act that has received attention here and elsewhere for […]
Over the past roughly two years, the rapidly rising Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act The Bobby Lees — Sam Quartin (vocals, guitar), Kendall Wind (bass), Nick Casa (lead guitar), and Macky Bowman (drums) — have begun to receive attention for a feral and frenzied take on garage punk and an unpredictable live show. And as a result, the rising punk rock act has opened for the likes of The Black Lips, Murphy’s Law, Boss Hog, Future Islands, Daddy Long Legs, The Chats, and Shannon & The Clams.
Originally slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Alive Naturalsounds Records, The Bobby Lees’ Jon Spencer-produced full-length album Skin Suit has been pushed back to July 17, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — but what still remains is that the album finds the band crafting forceful and self-assured material centered around some of the most blistering and dexterous guitar work I’ve heard this year. So far, I’ve written about three of the album’s singles, the breakneck and explosive “GutterMilk,” a feral and unhinged cover of f Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man,”‘ that nods a bit at George Thorogood‘s famous cover but with a defiant, gender-bending boldness and the sweaty, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-like “Move.”
“Drive,” Skin Suit’s fourth and latest single continues a run of grungy and gritty garage punk centered around enormous power chords, mosh pit friendly hooks and a remarkably self-assured delivery. For such a young band, they seem poised to take over the world — with a youthful brashness and zero fucks given air.
The recently released video for “Drive” features the band performing the song in front of a divey tattoo parlor, and it should give the viewer a great sense of the band’s frenetic and unpredictable live energy.
“A couple of months ago we were heading down to Austin, TX for SXSW and playing shows along the way,” the members of The Bobby Lees explain in press notes. “By the time we got to Tulsa, Oklahoma our 9 SXSW shows had been cancelled because of the virus. So we made the best of our time in Tulsa and shot a video with our friends, while keeping a safe distance.”
Founded back in 2014 by Jessica Louise Dye (vocals, guitar) and Jono Bernstein (drums), New York-based JOVM mainstays High Waisted have received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a sound that draws from surf rock, garage rock, dream pop, Riot Grrl punk and punk rock, for a high-energy live show and their popular DIY concert showcase/booze cruise High Waisted at Sea.
The band’s Bryan Pugh-produced full-length debut On Ludlow further cemented their reputation for scuzzy, party ’til you drop rock — but just under the surface, the material revealed vulnerability and ache. The JOVM mainstays spent most of 2016 and 2017 on a relentless tour schedule across the country opening for the likes of Brazilian Girls, Shannon and the Clams, Titus Andronicus, The Donkeys, Har Mar Superstar, JOVM mainstays The Coathangers, Jessica Hernandez, La Sera, Diarrhea Planet and La Luz, as well Riot Fest in both Chicago and Denver.
The JOVM mainstays have received praise from the likes of Consequence of Sound, Noisey, Paste, NME, who named them a “Buzz Band to Watch” GQ, who declared them “The Ultimate Party Band” and they were named one of the buzziest bands of SXSW in 2018 and 2019 — all of which have helped to firmly cement their long-held reputation for being a non-stop party machine, while going through a series of lineup changes.
Since the release of On Ludlow, the the band contributed “Firebomb,” a scuzzy, ass-kicking, power chord-driven Lita Ford and Motley Crüe-like single to a split single with The Coax, which they supported with further relentless touring with Hundred Hounds, Beechwood and others.
Despite being badly injured in a car accident while biking in NYC last summer, Dye, Bernstein and company have remaining rather busy: they appeared in a NYLON feature, contributed to a Record Store Day release compilation with Bikini Kill, Lenny Kaye, and Atmosphere, wrote a song for NPR’s More Perfect and were featured on their podcast, played a headline show at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and wrapped up their successful High Waisted at Sea booze cruise and showcase, released four music videos on Left Bank Magazine — and completed work on their highly anticipated sophomore album Sick of Being Sorry.
Slated for a May 22, 2020 release, the JOVM mainstay’s sophomore album continues their ongoing collaboration with Tad Kubler — and thematically, the album focuses on finding hope in hopeless situations and having the strength to get up after being knocked down and having the world scream at you to stay down. Interestingly, the album’s latest single, album opener “Boys Can’t Dance” is a rousing party anthem that further establishes the sound that has won them attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere — a seamless and hook-driven mix of surf rock, Riot Grrl punk, dream pop, garage rock and 60s pop delivered with a swaggering self-assurance. And while displaying a slick and polished studio production, the track is centered around a plucky, heart-on-your-sleeve earnestness.
“I had been cooped up for a long week of work and was really itching for a proper night out with my girlfriends,” High Waisted’s Jessica Louise Dye explains in press notes. “This song was ripped directly from my inner monologue; wanting to let my hair down, eager for the weekend and ready to do something I might regret. It’s an anthem for letting yourself have some much-deserved fun. That weekend, I remember noticing the dance floor was shared mostly by ladies, as the guys lined the perimeter. And I thought, ‘oh, these boys can’t dance because they have their hands in their pockets!’ There’s nothin more freeing than getting lost in your favorite song and letting your body wiggle, shake and twist, void of worry or insecurities in the middle of a crowded room. Everyone deserves to dance.”
Directed by Zachary Wright, the recently released video follows a down-and-out working stiff protagonist (Paddy Connor), who returns home from a long and exhausting day at an office job for a depressing dinner of cold cereal. His roommate (High Waisted’s Jono Bernstein) heads out on a date with a stunningly gorgeous woman. And while we may initially think that our poor, downtrodden protagonist may wind up spending his night alone, we see him as he pumps himself up, rocks out to his favorite song and heads out to a bachelorette party for a bride-to-be (High Waisted’s Jessica Louise Dye). When he arrives, he’s understandably nervous and the bachelorette party is — well full of shock and ridicule. But our hero quickly builds up the courage to be completely uninhibited, which wins over the party. As the video suggests, we often have fun when we lose our inhibitions and dance the pain and sorrow away.
Over the past 18 months or so, the rapidly rising Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act The Bobby Lees — Kendall Wind (bass), Nick Casa (lead guitar), and Macky Bowman (drums) — have begun to receive attention for a feral and frenzied take on garage punk and an unpredictable live show. And as a result, the rising punk rock act has opened for the likes of The Black Lips, Murphy’s Law, Boss Hog, Future Islands, Daddy Long Legs, The Chats, and Shannon & The Clams.
Slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Alive Naturalsounds Records, The Bobby Lees’ Jon Spencer-produced full-length album reportedly finds the band mixing classic, garage punk hits, raw and emotive storytelling and some of the most blistering and dexterous guitar work I’ve heard in the past few months. So far I’ve written about two of the album’s singles: the breakneck and explosive Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs-like “GutterMilk,” and a feral and unhinged cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man,”‘ that nods a bit at George Thorogood’s famous cover — but with a defiant, gender bending boldness. Building upon the reception of the album’s first two singles, the album’s third and latest single “Move” continues a run of feral and sweaty garage punk that sounds like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on steroids.
The recently released video captures the band playing live and goofing off while on tour — and it accurately captures the band’s youthful and infectious abandon.
The Bobby Lees are a young, rapidly rising Woodstock, NY-based garage punk act, featuring Kendall Wind (Bass), Nick Casa (Lead Guitar), and Macky Bowman (Drums) — and over the past 18 months or so, the band has received attention for a frenzied and energetic live show, opening for a who’s who of contemporary indie rock — including The Black Lips, Murphy’s Law, Boss Hog, Future Islands, Daddy Long Legs, The Chats, and Shannon & The Clams.
SKIN SUIT, the Woodstock-based punk outfit’s forthcoming Jon Spencer-produced full-length album is slated for a May 8, 2020 release through Alive Naturalsounds Records finds the band mixing classic garage punk hits, raw and emotive storytelling and some of the most blistering guitar work I’ve heard in some time. Now, as you may recall, last year I wrote about “GutterMilk,” 94 seconds of explosive punk that will remind some listeners of Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jon Spencer‘s work with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The forthcoming album’s second and latest single is a feral and unhinged cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man,”‘ that nods a bit at George Thorogood — but with a defiant, gender bending boldness.
The acclaimed punk act Hot Snakes can trace its origins to when its then- San Diego, CA-based Swami John Reis founded the band back in 1999. That year Reis’ primary gig Rocket from the Crypt had gone on hiatus after their longtime Atom Willard left the band — and coincidentally the band was in between labels. As the story goes. while searching for a new label and drummer for Rocket from the Crypt, Reis founded his own label Swami Records and began experimenting with other musicians, which eventually resulted in the formation of two side projects — Sultans and Hot Snakes, which began in earnest when Reis recorded a batch of material with Delta 72’s Jason Kourkounis. Reis then recruited his former bandmate and collaborator Froberg to contribute vocals — with most of the material they recorded, eventually comprising their full-length debut Automatic Midnight.
Although Reis and Froberg collaborated together in Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes proved to be a logistical challenge: Reis was in San Diego, Froberg had relocated in New York to start a career as a visual artist and illustrator, and Kourkounis was based in Philadelphia. This resulted in sporadic and intense recording and touring schedules that frequently included bassist Gar Wood, best known for his work in Beehive and the Barracudas, Tanner and Fishwife. And while Hot Snakes shares some obvious musical similarities to Reis’ and Froberg’s previous projects, their sound was more primal, garage rock-based one, influenced by Wipers, Suicide, and Michael Yonkers Band — and for a completely DIY approach to recording, touring and merchandise with the band releasing material through Reis’ Swami Records. (Unsurprisingly, Hot Snakes’ debut Automatic Midnight was the first release through Reis’ label.)
After releasing two more full-length albums, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress, the band split up in 2005. But in 2011, they reunited for a world tour, which reportedly set the stage fr the band’s fourth, full-length album, last year’s Jericho Sirens, which was coincidentally the band’s first album in over 14 years.
Recorded in short bursts over the past year in San Diego and Philadelphia, the album features Reis and Froberg collaborating with Wood and drummers Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba — both of whom have been on prior Hot Snakes albums but never on the same one until now. And as Reis explained in press notes for the album, one of the most rewarding aspects was continuing his collaboration and creative partnership with Froberg. “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard,” Reis says.
The material thematically commiserates with the frustration and apathy of our daily lives while pointing out that generally we haven’t had a fucking clue. As the band’s Froberg said at the time, “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that. No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Sonically, the album reportedly finds the band incorporating some of the most extreme fringes of their sound while staying true to their long standing influences — but interestingly, some songs feature nods to AC/DC and others. As Reis says in press notes, “It sounds like panic and chaos. Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.”
Just a few weeks before they head off to a 12 date UK and Ireland tour during the month of December, the band released a new single “Checkmate,” a blistering AC/DC-like track centered around booze-soaked power chords, howled lyrics and a chugging rhythm section. As the band’s Rick Froberg says in press notes, “‘Checkmate’ is big, fatty content freshly extruded from the Hot Snakes sausage machine. Same ingredients, new flav.” The single is available through all the digital service provides but it’ll also be available directly from the band as an extremely limited physical 7″ vinyl with the exclusive b-side “Not in Time.”
Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite about the Madison, WI-based punk act The Hussy, an act that formed back in 2008 as a duo featuring its founding members Bobby Hussy (guitar, vocals) and Heather Hussy (drums, vocals). The Hussy quickly developed a reputation for a trashy and scuzzy take on punk and for a chaotic live show that had the duo playing shows alongside a who’s who list of indie rock and punk — including Mudhoney, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Twin Peaks, Reigning Sound,Spectrum, Black Bananas, Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, The Faint, Tenement and countless others. All of that helped the band gain a cult-like following across the Midwestern underground scene.
Between 2009 and 2015, the band went through one of their most prolific periods of their history, in which they released material through 20 different labels and in countless different formats. During that same period, the duo also went through a relentless touring schedule across US and the European Union, including an appearance at Gonerfest after the release of their beloved sophomore album 2012’s Weed Seizure. Additionally, they also pulled double duty as the opening and backing band for NOBUNNY through tours of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Since touring with NOBUNNY, the band’s founding duo have split time between The Hussy and a series of other creative pursuits. Bobby Hussy has continued to tour off and on with NOBUNNY as a touring bassist. His other projects include playing in Fire Heads with Tyler Fassnacht, who recently joined The Hussy to help further flesh out their live and recorded sound — and synth wave post-punk act Cave Curse, who released a full-length in 2017. Heather Hussy is also a member of Proud Parents, an act that released their full-length debut through Dirtnap Records last year.
Now, as you may recall, towards the end of last year, the members of the newly constituted trio began tracking their soon-to-be released full-length album Looming, the follow-up to 2015’s Galore. Galore saw the band moving into a more focused direction with their songwriting, and it included material with more complex arrangements paired with a mid-fi production. And while the album reflected an evolution in their sound and approach, they managed to retain the infectious pop-leaning hooks that won them cult-favorite status. Interestingly, Looming, which is slated for a Friday release finds the band going in a much darker thematic direction with the material touching upon death, sudden loss, divorce, addition and our current horrifying, infuriating, and depressing sociopolitical moment.
Over the past couple of months, I wrote about two previously released album singles: “Coast,” a scuzzy power-chord ripper with an infectious and rousingly anthemic hook and “Sorry,” a decidedly 90s alt-rock-inspired, fuzz pop anthem featuring ironic lyrics that sonically brought to mind a series of 120 Minutes-era MTV titans, like Hole, Veruca Salt, The Breeders and others with a similar gritty and bilious quality. The album’s latest single “Cornflakes” is a mischievous and scuzzy garage pop track that recalls Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” The Go-Gos and others as its centered around an infectious, shout along worthy hook.
Directed and edited by Austin Duerst, the recently released video stars the band’s Heather Hussy, Bobby Hussy and Tyler Fassnacht. in a wild satirical take on cereal commercials and other commercials.