Tag: The Go-Go’s

New Audio: Philly’s Control Top Releases the Anthemic Single We All Need Now

With the release of their full-length debut Covert Contracts, the Philadelphia-based post-punk trio Control Top — Ali Carter (vocals, bass), Al Creedon (guitar, sampler) and Alex Lichtenauer (drums) — exploded into the national scene: their debut landed on the Top Albums of 2019 lists of NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Bandcamp Daily, Highsnobiety and others. and they were featured on Pitchfork Rising. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the band’s latest single — the first bit of new material from the band this year, “One Good Day” is an anthemic and decidedly pop-leaning take on post-punk that’s energetic and much more optimistic while retaining the explosive guitar work, propulsive bass lines and thunderous drumming of their previously released work. Sonically, the song is like a seamless synthesis of The Go-Gos and Gang of Four. And although the band couldn’t have anticipated, the song’s “we can get through this together” air is absolutely necessary right now. 

Control Top on “One Good Day”:

Alex Lichtenauer: “I’m grateful to be part of the growth of this project and see how it unfolds. Music should constantly evolve, and I think our progression as both musicians and people really shows in this song. We stepped out of our comfort zone and came up with a pop song that has more optimistic elements than our debut album. A band’s first album usually sets the tone for how they are going to sound, but that can get redundant. With this song, we stayed true to our punk background while also creating something new.”

Al Creedon: “‘One Good Day’ started as a rough sketch I made one day in the midst of cleaning our practice space. I brought it to the group and together we continued to evolve it well into the recording process. I had been listening to a lot of disco, particularly the Bee Gees. They are a band everyone claims to hate, so naturally the contrarian in me wanted to give them a chance. I got hooked immediately.

For ‘One Good Day’, I started with the idea of a back and forth between a syncopated verse in the vein of the Bee Gees’ ‘You Should Be Dancing’ and a driving chorus akin to some of our other songs. Guitar and bass weave in and out of each other, while the drums act as gravity holding the notes together. Ali wrote an ambitious pop vocal melody that really glued it all together. The three of us keep pushing ourselves to execute these types of ideas where all musical elements lean on each other for support. Take away one element and the song instantly loses all sense of cohesion.

I’ve started to incorporate my sampler more and more as we write our next record. On this song, I use it most prominently in the bridge to sample and effect both my guitar and Ali’s voice. I’m a big fan of the way Ichiro Agata from Melt Banana uses effects, and here I was able to apply my own take on his glitchy style. The sampler is also used subtly in the choruses. I sample myself during the verse and then run a small slice of that sample through pitch automation to create something that functions as a rhythm guitar part in the chorus.”

Ali Carter: “When Al showed us the beginnings of this song, I was instantly hooked by its upbeat feel. I set out to write a pop vocal melody with a positive message that didn’t sound trite, which is harder said than done. I ended up with ‘One Good Day,’ a song about about a few things: facing your flaws to become a better person for yourself and the people around you, getting outside of yourself to realize everyone has their own struggles and are doing the best they can, and above all trying to help each other even if what we do is imperfect.

Some problems we inherit, like mental health or substance abuse issues, and some problems stem from our environment, like home or working conditions. Some problems are individual and some problems are systemic, the product of entrenched social structures that favor one group over another. Whatever the cause, they are ours to deal with, and they will continue to disrupt our lives until we work through them. Problems are persistent and won’t let you ignore them for long. They can also be the greatest teachers. It is worthwhile to listen to them.

As frustrating as they can be, our problems–personal, local and global–bind us together. Many of us are facing very similar issues. We can’t solve all our problems alone. We depend on one another for support, but we can’t help each other if we can’t help ourselves. If we can show ourselves compassion, overcome shame and self-hate and allow ourselves to grow into the people we want to be, we can also develop empathy for one another. Cynicism is a coping mechanism of avoidance. It is difficult to be vulnerable, but it is the only way to access love.

This song feels especially relevant right now. We’re in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis with the coronavirus outbreak. Our lives have been completely suspended. We are forced to consider not only how we affect others but also how others affect us. In no uncertain terms, we see how much we depend on each other every day to survive. Workers in hospitals, pharmacies, groceries, waste management and more are working tirelessly to provide for their communities. The choice to self-quarantine is an act of self-protection as well as an act of kindness toward others who would be endangered by the disease.

People can’t go to work or leave their homes. All we can do is try to keep calm and make the best of this situation. What have we been missing due to the constant motion of our daily lives that we can return to in this period of stillness? Connection with friends and loved ones? Activities that make us happy? Deep spiritual reflection? How can we bring balance to this bleak landscape? Perhaps we take a cue from the people of Italy currently under lockdown, singing from their balconies to share a moment of joy in a moment of anxiety.

The fact is, we’re in this state of collective uncertainty and panic because our government has failed to act and communicate information in a timely and appropriate manner. It’s clear now more than ever that we need a president like Bernie Sanders who puts the needs of the American people above Wall Street bailouts, makes sure every single person gets quality healthcare and understands that our problems are not isolated or disconnected.”

Like countless touring bands across the world, most of the rising Philadelphia-based post-punk act’s upcoming dates are being rescheduled, but at the moment they’re still slated to play Calgary’s Sled Island Festival in June.

New Video: Madison WI’s The Hussy Release a Satirical Take on Commercials

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. 

New Video: Watch Baby Shakes Go on a Godzilla-Styled Campy Romp Across New York

Formed back in 2005, the New York-based rock/punk act Baby Shakes, comprised of Mary  (lead vocals), Judy (guitar, vocals), Claudia (bass, vocals) and Ryan (drums) have released a handful of one-off singles, a singles compilation, a 10 inch heart-shaped vinyl EP and three full-length albums that have firmly established their sound –a sound that generally draws from Ramones, Chuck Berry, 60s Motown-era girl groups with melodic vocals, fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous hooks within breakneck songs. And building upon a growing profile, the members of the band have toured across the US, Japan, China, Ireland, the UK and the European Union and shared stages with The Romantics, The Boys, The Shadows of Knight, The Undertones, The Barracudas, Protex, Black Lips, Paul Collins’ Beat, Iggy Pop and a growing list of others.

Baby Shakes’ fourth album Cause a Scene is slated for a Friday release, and as you may recall, the album is reportedly inspired by and indebted to the original wave of punk— in particular, The Nerves, The Kids, early Bangles and The Go-Gos, The Runaways, as well as the Ramones. Cause a Scene’s first single “Nowhere Fast,” was a breakneck bit of fuzzy, old school punk paired with an infectious, power pop hook, making the song a sort of seamless synthesis of Ramones and The Go-Gos. “Love Song In Reverse” continued in a similar vein — fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous, infectious hooks. Interestingly, the album’s latest single, album title track “Cause a Scene” is a straightforward, old-school garage rock track that sounds indebted to Sweet’s 
“The Ballroom Blitz” and T. Rex, as the track is centered around 12 bar blues-like guitar riffs, enormous hooks — and a pop-leaning infectiousness just underneath the grit and sleaze. (After all, the song is about two of rock’s greatest, undying tropes — how awesome being in a band is and shaking your ass to a great song.) 

Co-directed by Scott Mason and Claudia de Latour, the recently released video for “Cause a Scene” is an old-school-styled campy romp around New York that follows the members of the band as Godzilla-sized characters bringing rock ‘n’ roll grooves to any and all comers. as well as some mayhem, too. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about the New York-based rock/punk act Baby Shakes.  The act, which is currently comprised of Mary  (lead vocals), Judy (guitar, vocals), Claudia (bass, vocals) and Ryan (drums) was formed back in 2005. And since their formation, they’ve released a handful of one-off singles, a singles compilation, a 10 inch heart-shaped EP and three albums that have firmly established their sound and aesthetic — a sound that generally draws from Ramones, Chuck Berry, 60s Motown-era girl groups with melodic vocals, fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous hooks within breakneck songs.

The members of the band have toured across the US, Japan, China, Ireland, the UK and the European Union and shared stages with the likes of The Romantics, The Boys, The Shadows of Knight, The Undertones, The Barracudas, Protex, Black Lips, Paul Collins’ Beat, Iggy Pop and a growing list of others. Now, as you may recall, Baby Shakes’ latest effort Cause a Scene is slated for release next week, and the album is reportedly inspired by and indebted to the original wave of punk — in particular, The Nerves, The Kids, early Bangles and The Go-Gos, The Runaways, as well as the Ramones.

Nowhere Fast,” the album’s first single was a breakneck bit of fuzzy, old school punk with an infectious power pop-like hook that reminded me of a seamless synthesis of Ramones and The Go-Gos. The album’s second single,  “Love Song In Reverse” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor: it’s all fuzzy and distorted power chords and enormous hooks. And while clocking in at a little over two minutes — roughly 2:25 in this case — the song manages to be an infectious mixture of sugary sweet pop confection and sleazy barroom rock.

 

 

 

Formed back in 2005, the New York-based rock/punk act Baby Shakes — Mary  (lead vocals), Judy (guitar, vocals), Claudia (bass, vocals) and Ryan (drums) have released a handful of one-off singles, a singles compilation, a 10 inch heart-shaped EP and three full-length albums that have firmly established their sound — melodic vocals paired with fuzzy power cords that generally draws from the likes of Ramones, Chuck Berry, 60s Motown-era girl groups.

The members of the band have toured across the US, Japan, China, Ireland, the UK and the European Union and shared stages with the likes of The Romantics, The Boys, The Shadows of Knight, The Undertones, The Barracudas, Protex, Black Lips, Paul Collin’s Beat, Iggy Pop and a growing list of others. Interestingly, the New York-based punk act’s forthcoming album Cause a Scene is slated for a September 20, 2019 release, and the album is reportedly indebted to the original wave of punk — in particular, The Nerves, The Kids, early Bangles and The Go-Gos, The Runaways, as well as the Ramones.

Clocking in at exactly two minutes, “Nowhere Fast,” Cause a Scene‘s lead single is a breakneck bit of fuzzy, old-school punk with an infectious, power pop-like hook — and while clearly indebted to Ramones, Go-Gos and the like, the song is one part snotty and in your face, one part sweet, and one part cynical scowl, delivered with the self-assuredness of old pros.

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall coming across “Stronger,” the first single from  Los Angeles, CA-based guitarist and vocalist Cecilia Della Peruti’s solo project, Gothic Tropic. And although she’s perhaps best known as a touring and session guitarist for the likes of renowned pop acts such as Charli XCX and BØRNS, Peruti’s last project possesses a New Wave-leaning sound. While “Stronger” sounded as though it owed a debt to the Go-Gos The B52s and others, her latest single “How Life Goes” is an atmospheric, song in which lush and plaintive harmonies are paired with shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, a propulsive and driving rhythm section, gently buzzing synths and a bluesy guitar solo in a song that sounds and feels as though it simultaneously drew from Phil Spector’s famed “Wall of Sound,” 80s New Wave, shoegaze and power pop – thanks to an anthemic hook. Much like the sources which inspired it, the song focuses on heartbreak — in this particular instance, the song’s narrator is begging for forgiveness and understanding while simultaneously, telling her significant other that  she’s getting a bit of a bad rap in this relationship. And in many ways, it captures the ambivalence that romantic relationships can inspire, especially if they went bad quickly.

 

Comprised of founding members Bonnie Bloomgarden (lead vocals) and Larry Schemel (guitar), along with Nicole Smith (bass) and Laura Kelsey (drums),  Los Angeles, CA-based quartet of Death Valley Girls have deliberately shrouded themselves in mystery. Besides the fact that they’re incredibly photogenic, very little is known about them, except that their aesthetic is deeply influenced by old-school B movies and biker movies — in fact, at one point, the members of the band had developed a reputation for appearing at gigs wearing all leather and parking their beaten up bikes in old-school biker club formations. Now, over the years I’ve written about the band on a number of occasions — including “Gettin’ Hard,” a single that sonically owes a debt to The StoogesThe TroggsThe Ramones and contemporary acts including Lantern, while “Summertime” had the band taking up shimmering reverb-filled garage psych rock.

“I’m A Man, Too” off the Southern California-based quartet’s soon-to-be-released effort Glow In The Dark will further cement their reputation for crafting old-school-leaning rock — but in this case, in a bratty song that indirectly channels Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” The Go-Gos, The B52s, Nancy Sinatra  and others after a night of vodka, gin and cigarettes as a bratty and infectious hook and chorus are paired with simple and propulsive percussion and loose and bluesy guitar chords while revealing an in your face self-assuredness.

 

Influenced by The Strokes, The Clash, Haim, Velvet Underground, Courtney Love, Charli XCX and Mazzy Star and comprised of siblings Marika Justad and Miro Justad, and Toby Kuhn, Seattle, WA-based trio Tangerine was formed back in 2012. And in a short period of time, the Seattle-based trio quickly rose to national and intentional prominence from the likes of NME, The Guardian, Vice Noisey, Rookie Mag and others for a sound that draws from 90s alt rock, 80s New Wave, indie rock, R&B and pop; in fact the band’s sound has been compared favorably to the likes of Best Coast, Camera Obscura and Speedy Ortiz — as shimmering guitar chords are paired with tight pop-leaning hooks.

The trio’s latest EP Sugar Teeth was released earlier this year through Swoon Records and the material is reportedly inspired by life on the road as a touring band and the artists they toured with, who coincidentally were major influences on the band — while exploring youthful rebellion, a chaotic and dysfunctional relationship and a wistful nostalgia over faded friendships. And the EP’s second and latest single “Tender” will continue to cement the band’s reputation for shimmering guitar-based surfer rock-leaning pop that sounds as though it draws from The Go-Gos  — complete with a similar bittersweet playfulness wrapped around infectiously pop-leaning hooks.

The band is currently on a rather extensive tour that includes several SXSW sets and a late April NYC area stop at Cake Shop. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates
3/16/2016 – Austin, TX @ SCRATCH HOUSE
3/18/2016 – Austin, TX @ Westin Hotel in Downtown Austin
3/20/2016 – Austin, TX @ Spider House (day party)
3/22/2016 – San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
3/24/2016 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project
3/25/2016 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Festival
4/2/2016 – Pullman, WA @ Washington State University
4/16/2016 – Spokane, WA @ Observatory
4/17/2016 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
4/18/2016 – SLC, UT @ Kilby Court
4/20/2016 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag Records
4/21/2016 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
4/22/2016 – Chicago, Ill @ Emporium
4/23/2016 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factoy
4/24/2016 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
4/26/2016 – Providence, RI @ Aurora
4/27/2016 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
4/28/2016 – New York, NY @ Cake Shop
4/30/2016 – Richmond, VA @ Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
5/1/2016 – Raleigh, NC @ Neptune’s
5/2/2016 – Ashevile, GA @ Tiger Moungain
5/4/2016 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater , Rooftop
5/5/2016 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
5/6/2016 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s
5/10/2016 – Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
5/11/2016 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
5/12/2016 – Eureka, CA @ Shanty Tavern
5/13/2016 – Portland, OR @ The Know
05/27-30/2016 – George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival

 

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of Drew Citron (vocals, guitar) and Scott Rosenthal, the Brooklyn-based band Beverly was initially formed back in 2013 by Citron and Frankie Rose, best known in New York music scene circles as being in the early lineups of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts, as well as several other projects before releasing material as a solo artist. Now, if you were following this site back in 2014 you may recall coming across  a post on “Planet Birthday,” the third single off the band’s full-length debut Careers was a noisy and propulsive song with swirling and towering feedback and layers of buzzing guitars paired with seductively crooned vocals. Sonically, the song seemed to channel early Dum Dum Girls and The Go-Gos but as though they were covering The Jesus and Mary Chain — but with a loose, boozy feel.

“Contact,” is the latest single form the band’s long-awaited sophomore effort, The Blue Swell, slated for a May 6 release through Kanine Records, and the new effort not only reveals a lineup change but also a decided change in sonic direction as the band pairs shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive and driving rhythm section with gorgeous and ethereal vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though the band drew from Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, My Gold Mask, garage rock and shoegaze.

The band is the middle of an lengthy tour, which will include several sets at SXSW and an NYC area set at Baby’s All Right. Check tour dates below.

Tour Dates
Mar 15 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Spider House
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Valhalla
Mar 17 Austin, TX – Container Bar
Mar 17 Austin, TX – El Sapo
Mar 18 Austin, TX – Maggie Mae’s
Mar 19 Dallas, TX – Spillover Fest
Mar 22 Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall *
Mar 23 Omaha, NE – Milk Run *
Mar 24 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen *
Mar 25 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub *
Mar 26 State College, PA – Chronic Town *
May 5 Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right (Record Release Show)
May 7 Rough Trade Record Store, Brooklyn, NY (2pm free instore)
May 10 Amsterdam, NE – De School
May 13 Paris, FR – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
May 16 Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen +
May 17 Bristol, UK – The Louisiana +
May 18 London, UK – The Victoria Dalston +
June 14 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s %
June 18 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn %
June 20 Memphis, TN – The Hi-Tone %
June 22 Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club %

* w/Lazyeyes
+ w/Box of Light
% w/Flowers