Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned Muscular Live Sound @ Pete's Candy Store
Max Vernon Struts New Direction
Rockers Delight Festival; Liberate @ Ace of Clubs
Drink Up Buttercup's Release; Born And Thrown On A Hook worth spreading / review
They have created a contagious commotion worthy of note, splicing the ruckus orchestra and highlighting the bands' many strong suites, one of which is James Harvey's vocal gifts. Ben Money and Farzad Houshianejad harmonize beyond perfection, and Mike Cammarata lays down unpredictable drumming. The sound they create using drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and melodica with a host of bells and shakers can be categorized with the following descriptors; Psyche pop, Crash and Burn Pop, Hardcore Pop, Barbershop Vibrato, Campfire metal, and Psychedelic Mayhem. I can go on.This release proves their musical inventiveness by revisiting beloved genres like the Beatles and Beach Boys to splice, dice, and re-mash into a schizophrenic whirlwind. While all the songs create an uplifting levity, there is a darker, almost tragic subtext. This is just one of the many dichotomies of Drink Up's broad-stroke style. Slower numbers are delightfully beautiful, forgoing the loud and chaotic for harmonic delight. "The Lovers Play Dead" gives the tired genre "Barbershop" a vibrato edge going full tilt acoustic with some shakers, kick drum, and the bang of a cymbal. "Young Ladies" is Drink Up Buttercup Light, airy, bouncy, and sweet with lots of bells, shakers, and melodica. And "Pink Sunshine" weighs in on the light side, showing off Harvey's Angelic vocals, rippling keys with a contrasting slaphappy beat.
They save the full assault for "Mr. Pie Eyes," "Heavy Hand," and "Gods and Gentleman" and end with their most inventive, "Maestro Monsignor." These tracks escalate off the rafters with a delirious juxtaposition of instruments and vocals.
Drink Up Buttercup Record Release @ Piano's review
The Accident That Led Me To The World @ Rockwood Music Hall
Their intimate set quietly expressed the subtle tonality of the nylon guitar, clarinet, banjo, and stand-up bass. The power punch came in the way of harmonies to die for!
Mark Mandeville's guitar /banjo and lead vocalist has such a distinct voice. It's raspy without sounding hoarse and exudes conviction. He was joined by Raianne Richards's guitar/clarinet, who added mirroring vocal harmonies, and Zack Ciras with the most perfectly edited bass accompaniment. This wasn't your finger-picking fare but more like a dialogue of chords and notes between the guitars.
I've been following their music and always looking out for NY dates. The band is from Webster/Dudley, MA, and plays more of the New England circuit of festivals, venues, and house shows, where the booking scene is curated and more friendly. Unfortunately, in NY and most venues, it is in and out and onto the next group.
I was so pleased to get my hands on their 2008 release Island Gospel and was blown away by the beauty and quality of the recording. No shakers, or bells and whistles, just straightforward instrumentation, great storytelling, and awesome harmonies.
The Accident That Led Me To The World is a solid outfit whose mere presence defies the fickle taste and fast-paced music buzz agenda of the latest thing and rises to a higher level.
That said, it is unfortunate that a band of this caliber has not garnered more recognition that should change!