Lawrence garage rock quartet Dry Bonnet have been playing shows in and around their hometown for the last year, frequently sharing the stage with The Conquerors, Mouthbreathers, and other locals that make an otherwise throwback sound completely their own. Outside of the band, the members keep busy with projects like The Roseline (a band in which both Tyler Brown and Seth Wiese play), Sex Tapes (in which Ben Kimball plays with members of The Spook Lights, Fag Cop, and The Spread Eagles), and Rooftop Vigilantes (another band in which Wiese performs). It should be mentioned that drummer Nic Kotlinski performed in the late, great Coat Party as well. The four songs contained on the Seeds EP are original to the release, though prior to this the band’s only other output was a submission to Replay Records’ Cheap Beer compilation, wherein they shared a slab of wax with most of the other bands mentioned in this paragraph.
Stream the EP below, and keep your eyes out for a cassette in the next month or so.
As noted in a March 7th post, Lawrence garage punks Rooftop Vigilantes have quite a bit on their plate for the year to come. Last week, the group unveiled what is to be the first single from the upcoming Weird Adventure EP. “Movie Music For Assholes” retains the common RV thread of wurlitzer-backed garage rock played with an angular turbulence and, although I hate the term, the song is downright infectious.
The track was mastered by Josh Thomas (High Diving Ponies, CVLTS) and has a bit of his touch with echoing, almost hollowed out vocals that gives the final product a cozy, analog warmth. The EP will be released in May, in conjunction with the band’s incestuous May 4th Taproom showcase with side projects Mouthbreathers and Dry Bonnet. Download it as a free preview here.
It seems as though Lawrence quartet Rooftop Vigilantes are making up for lost time from their 2011 break, and are coming out with guns blazing in 2012. Already having given us a very palatable album in Real Pony Glue upon their reunion late last year, the group have been slinging out new songs at a speed admirable by even the most reclusive of home recording four-track heroes, and have a full plate of releases scheduled for the year to come.
Up first is Weird Adventure, a four-track EP on a yet to be announced format (fingers crossed for vinyl) that is slated for a street date shortly after their return from SXSW, at which there will be performances from side projects Mouthbreathers and Dry Bonnet.
Weird Adventure EP track listing:
01 Barrier Appeal
02 Outlet Village
03 Movie Music For Assholes
04 Hit The White Kids
Once the Weird EP drops, there will be no rest for the foursome, as soon after they will have another release in the Party Animal EP. And as if that wasn’t enough to tide over those hungry for the garage rock darlings, they will then be unleashing Let It Be, a lush 14-track LP. Let us hope that by the name, this will not be their final release as a group before splitting off to do music of varying worth (or that one of them grow to be an insufferable douche named Paul McCartney) and instead this will be their jumping off point leading to a household name career and a hit single that inspires the title of a teen comedy a decade later. I’m sure we will not be unsatisfied.
Expect to see a stream of the first single from Weird Adventure in the coming weeks.
As I wrote a few weeks back, Lawrence quartet Rooftop Vigilantes are giving being an active band another go. As a result of this news, I know a few out there expressed confusion and were never even aware that the band had ceased to be. You can’t be blamed. For anyone paying attention, it only seemed as though Rooftop was temporarily placed on the back burner while co-frontman Zach Campbell jump-started the incoming national popularity of his newest band Mouthbreathers by recording a new 7 inch for In the Red Records (which was just released recently, check back in for a review). I want to preface this piece with some honesty: Rooftop Vigilantes are likely one of my top three favorite bands in the area right now. While I am here attempting to compose myself with a modicum of journalistic integrity, let’s just be honest that the announcement of this album (recorded in 2009) finally being released is like finding out I have two birthdays. Or to put it in terms relative to the band in question, like there is a case of my favorite beer hiding in the back of the fridge that I forgot was there. Yes, I just compared four living, breathing people to a case of beer. Good beer, though.
The opening notes of Real Pony Glue immediately showcase the band’s new directions in recording. The vocals are much more clear, at times even harmonized, and the four show a noticeable restrain on their instruments, further elevating the pop sensibility coming to the forefront in the band’s follow-up to the nationally well-received Carrot Atlas, last year’s four track cassette Who Stole My Zoo? The band’s core stylistic tendencies remain. Most songs on RPG clock in at under two-and-a-half minutes, many of the titles don’t really make a lick of sense but are likely in-jokes with their friends, and the organ is mercifully given a bit more distinction than in the back catalog. The inherently expected pop melody of the release does not deter, and is without doubt going to serve as a launchpad for the band’s decision to self-release all of their foreseeable recordings. The new album features much less in the way of the raw, string-breaking garage fury that was much more present in their earlier days, but this listener is quite content with the alternate result.
Keeping with the pop theme I have been running with throughout this review, one of the stand-out tracks on the album is “Love is Out to Get Me,” the longest on the album but still running at under three minutes, reining in the close before one final blast. It should be noted that while RV are more than able to create music that would sound great listened to with a tin can and string, the album was given an additional boost at the hands of lauded indie producer J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). Real Pony Glue is nowhere near a daunting listen, and in fact it probably goes by way too damn quick. The band packed 17 tracks into just over 30 minutes, and it only helps to whet the appetite of the listener to their recordings to come. Local readers, you can purchase a physical copy at the band’s release show at the Replay Lounge tomorrow (09/29) with Suzannah Johannes and Fourth of July. Everyone else can purchase the album from their bandcamp page or Lovely Sea Records (where you can still find their 2010 cassette release) on October 4th.
Click here to download “Hacking Up a Lungfish” from Rooftop Vigilantes’ Real Pony Glue.
As stated earlier this afternoon on the band’s Facebook page, Rooftop Vigilantes have decided to get back together and continue melting Lawrence’s collective face off with their blistering garage pop. The details of why the band originally parted ways is pretty muddy, but multi-instrumentalist Zach Campbell has been busy with his newest band Mouthbreathers for the last few months. Their new 7 inch can be expected out on In the Red Records any day, now. Campbell has also kept himself from getting idle by starting up his own one-man bedroom garage pop band (not terribly far away from Rooftop, though more stripped down) under the name Trailer Blazed. Those songs can be heard on his bandcamp page here.
It appears as though the original break was caused at least in part by frustration at not finding a label to release their long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Carrot Atlas (WoodenMan Records), still tentatively titled Real Pony Glue. The band also released a well-received four song cassette called Who Stole My Zoo? (Lovely Sea Records) in early summer 2010. Rooftop Vigilantes have made multiple treks around the country, in turn garnering quite a bit of a name for themselves, even getting coverage as a Stereogum Band to Watch in June of 2008. A series of events (or luck) also caused them to be the only local band to perform at last October’s Scion Garage Fest, held around the downtown Lawrence area. Witnesses of their set saw them perform a very different take on The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait,” with a keyboard in place of the iconic lead-in guitar hook.
In addition to the band’s plans to self-release their new album, they have already announced their intentions to release not only an EP (dubbed the Party Animal EP), but a third LP as well. These new songs could be heard at live shows before the band decided to, in their words, “wet the bed.” If you missed out on any of those then not to fear, because the band will be making their comeback at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence on September 29th, with local favorites Fourth of July.