Band Recommendation: American Whip Appeal

It’s been a quick minute since we have continued the tradition of band recommendations and actually, it’s been a quick minute since we have written anything of any kind on this very site. Just honesty right there. And a perfect segue for a talk on American Whip Appeal.

There’s a lot that can be said about this group from Boston. A lot of history. But for most of you folks out there in the world, this might be your first taste of the American Whip Appeal crew. The band is relatively new or old, whatever. All I know is I first saw em play a circa Thanksgiving rip roaring, Nattie Ice drinking, house show set. Gee whiz almost one year ago. That was Dylany, loose and probably more country.

Recordings have emerged. In fact, Stop & Freak is the group’s first full length effort, available right now digitally through Bandcamp. It’s been over a month and dare I might suggest I accumulate multiple daily listens? I will. I am a full on, out in the open, appreciator of these cool, boppin tunes. Listening I get this feeling of camaraderie among the group and an intimacy (not sure if they are the same thing). This is what it is like for me to listen to my favorite groups. From the performance – just last week opening a show at Deep Thoughts – to the ragged sound of the recordings, this is “what’s up”.

I was almost going to name this article, respectfully, Anti Country. American Whip Appeal and I hadn’t one drink in my system that night. I’m not talking out of my ass here. James Coarse (vocals/guitar), Hannah Barbarian (bass), and Buck Palace (drums/guitar) are doing their own realest rock, bizarre in content and presentation, and groovy and fun. That’s where the anti-comes in; Coarse is ,probably unknowingly, flashing some Adam Green showmanship and comedy. He’s been in the game probably just as long – approximately since the infant years. But at the same time THIS IS SOME SERIOUS STUFF. BUT IT’S NOT. Ah I don’t care, I like singing along and not knowing what I’m saying because that experience, or hyperbolic version of a semblance of some actual-ish events. Story telling and totally pleasant, awesome, etc – musical accompaniment from all directions. This is what I want out of it all. Thanks American Whip Appeal.

And that brings up a good point – we put together a show that is happening real soon in fact – THIS UPCOMING MONDAY AUGUST 21 at ZuZu in Cambridge. 10 PM. featuring American Whip Appeal, The Maje, a gentleman whose music I have positively diatribed in a similar fashion as above for a half decade or so – his band Love Strangers, and of course, the royalty of noise pop immediacy, Earthquake Party. Great starting point for all!

Ryan Major and the Love Strangers

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It has a nice ring to it. One of our favorite local musicians – Ryan Major (you may have seen him singing and slinging guitar for our beloved Barbazons (RIP)) is fronting his own group these days and they are called the Love Strangers. Dude knows his history of rock ‘n roll and pens catchy numbers. The Love Strangers feature familiar players such as Travis Hagan (drums), Rob Sutherland (bass/vocals, and Scott Jones (guitar). They recorded with Caufield Schnug (Minidresses) and the result is this fun AF debut Strange Lovers. Mister Major, who I often visually liken to Lee Hazelwood and Jared Swilley, has taken a deeper dive into the world of country, more so than ever before. There were hints like ‘Two Whiskeys’ from the last Barbs album, but this EP goes further into that realm. What a realm.

I plug the cellie into some nice speakers, blast this, pick up an instrument or go behind the kit, and I’m off. Possibly the hallmark of a pop song is being able to joyfully anticipate what is to come. I feel that listening to this and for that, let me reiterate these are all remarkably well written and performed. There is plenty of grit and for lack of a better word, sleaze. Boozy, sing-a-long, is this Boston or North Carolina? Johnny Thunders. Speaking of which, there are plenty of clippityclank solos and reverby axe hijinx, in case you are wondering.

If I can choose anyone to deliver mythical rock ‘n roll odes to the road, women, and beer, I am choosin Ryan Major and the Love Strangers. Cheers.

 

7″ Review: “Night Jogger”

Artist: Those Darlins and The Funstix
Label: Oh Wow Dang

Side A: “Night Jogger”- Let me first say this is a tad bit more adventerous in sound for the Darlins, which is a good thing. If you’re big into their country sound (which I am) you may or may not dig this. I mean this still retains a lot of country elements, but it’s not as evident as their previous works. Either way, I’d like to see them expand into new territory. This song has a great groove and is almost modest in a sense; just like a layed back, slick, cool song, not too wild or attention grabbing and yet you can still dance to it. The vocals are what we have come to expect from the group and they are as solid as ever. Not my favorite from them, but it’s still a good song.

Grade: 8/10

Side B
: “Funstix Party”- This is the better of the two songs: a rowdy, rockin and rollin, female King Khan BBQ number (lyrically anyway). This has a great blend of country-Darlins styled vocals with garage punk (I know I hate using the broad label too, but it really works here) production: jangely guitars, a nice little solo section, and pounding drums. It’s heavier than the A Side and in my opinion is much funner. I can picture this being a great song to mosh and sing along to live. The lyrics are humorous and licentious, which is always a pleasure- “I’ll bring the pussy you bring the dicks. FUNSTIX PARTY! FUNSTIX PARTY!” Now, that’s what I like to hear!

Grade: 9/10

Overall Grade: B+

Once again, Those Darlins will be playing in Boston at T.T. the Bears on Friday, September 17. I can’t wait! And if you are not in the Boston/New England area, then check around, since the Darlins are on tour right now and very well could be hitting up a club near you.

CD Review: Those Darlins

Chris will probably follow-up soon with an extensive review of his own. This is just for my record keeping purposes.

Band: Those Darlins
Release: 2009

1. “Red Light Love” – 8.8
2. “Wild One” – 8.3
3. “Mama’s Heart” – 8.4
4. “Hung up on Me” – 8.5
5. “The whole damn Thing” – 8.5
6. “Who’s That knockin’ at my Window” – 7.9
7. “Snaggle Tooth Mama” – 7.7
8. “Cannonball Blues” – 8.2
9. “222” –  9.0
10. “DUI or DIE” – 8.6
11. “Keep my Skillet Good and Greasy” – 7.2

Comment: Country has never been my thing, per se, though at least a few of my favorite bands draw at least some significant influence from the genre. Those Darlins are probably best described as a throwback to early country/rockabilly. I guess it’s not really my thing, but  I do appreciate it.

Grade: 8.3

Songs of the Week: Country Edition

George Jones- Walk Through This World With Me (1964)

Johnny Cash and June Carter- Jackson (1969) For all the pretty prsioners at San Quentin

Hank Williams- I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (1952)

Patsy Cline- Crazy (1962)

The Statler Brothers- Flowers On the Wall (1965)

Meat Puppets- Lost (1984)

Those Darlins- The Whole Damn Thing (2009)- Dayem, so hot!

Chris