PVR Update - The Aquarian - Makin Waves Scene Report - 8.01.18
Scary Hours Song Premiere: "Live To Serve/Serve To Live" - Big Takeover 5.22.18
Galanos Deceiver Receiver Review - Chronogram Magazine - 5.14.18
"Half punk, half surf, all despair." Without digging too deep into the expanse of darkness and the lust for shadows their crushing pieces yield, this is how Kingston-based foursome Galanos describe themselves. Lead singers Gregory Jaw (who also plays guitar) and Netochka Nezvanova alternate between solo voices on some tunes and a gloomy interwoven mist on others. The opener, "Loneliest of Men," is despairingly savage and reminiscent of the Cramps' punk/gothabilly sound, which in an interview the band bleakly described as thus: "We rotate in a frozen, violent, self-defeating space. The altar is full of self-sacrifice and we destroy ourselves for nothing." "Flashbomb" is shockingly evocative of early Nick Cave, both vocally and musically, and heavily bass-and-drum-driven with a bit of Pixies guitar thrown in. Stay on the lookout for this album, if desolation is your draw.
"Let’s cut to the chase: this is one of the best albums of the year."
Cool and dark – Galanos go noir like no other in their newest album, “Deceiver Receiver.” Each passage plays perfectly into the next in “Mariana Trench” – leading us across an oceanic expanse of sound. We’re in for a cool cruise.
“Way down in the trench…”
Did we mention how cool this song is? We’ll cap our use of the “C-word” at infinity for this article.A brief and bombastic drum break after the first chorus cracks through thick, droopy atmosphere. We’re a few fathoms deep.
“7 fathoms plus…”
Two singers evoke Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age – taking turns at whispering to us; soft, soothing, colluding… They mouth “mariana” between verses voiced in hushed tones. Rumbling bass grinds at our ears menacingly – chasing a laid-back strumming rhythm on guitar. We plunge to the center of the Earth. And yes, it’s cool. Take a second to sample this lush listening experience for yourself, below.
The South Jersey-based retro-wave project Retroglyphs will be releasing a deluxe edition of their 2017 self-titled debut through Pyrrhic Victory Recordings this December. To celebrate the release, the band shot this new video for their single “The Noose”, which The Big Takeover is excited to premiere here.
The deluxe edition of their record will feature all 10 original album cuts as well as bonus tracks, including remixes of their songs by several international synthwave producers. The band has already sold out of physical copies of their self-released debut, and have now teamed with Pyrrhic Victory to re-release an extended version of the album.
Retroglyphs launched in October of 2016, and started as the ’80s-inspired project of Frank Cervantes (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, production) and Josh Dowiak (vocals, bass, keyboards, production), who had previously teamed up in the Philly-area rock band, The Once Was. The live band includes multi-instrumentalists Matthew Wood and Joshua Holland (primarily playing keyboards and drums, respectively).
The band was first introduced to the synthwave scene when the popular synthwave curators NewRetroWave added their song “The Noose” to their WeRuleNation channel. The band continued to premiere songs and gain international attention up until the release of their self-titled debut last May. Following the release of the album, the band teamed up with Pyrrhic Victory Recordings to release a limited 7” lathe-cut of their single “One More Kiss.”
Seeking to capture the allure of the ’80s, the band cut up obscure clips of ’80s commercials and projected them onto themselves to create the images seen in this music video. Retroglyphs music is heavily influenced by New Wave, ’80s pop, and ’80s movie soundtracks and it, like, totally rules!
Kingston, NY-based “part punk, part surf” band Galanos have been making music since their debut in 2013 with the 7” release of “La Loca.” Since that time, they have released their first album, Vacation Cannons and have recently dropped their second full-length, Deceiver Receiver. All of these records are available through the band’s label, Pyrrhic Victory Recordings.
Deceiver Receiver continues Galanos’ exploration of darkness, mixing anger, sadness, and love together in an attempt to consider and reflect on the human condition. The band members believe in the concept of direct confrontation with the darkness present in humanity as a means of catharsis. Singers Gregory Jaw and Netochka Nezvanova’s voices collide and twine with one another, linked together both in time and emotional energy.
Songs like “Mariana Trench” explore the horrors of the human struggle for survival, which is often brutish. “Feel Good” is a mediation on the mind of one who is pursuing another, captive to his own dark needs. The song “Flashbomb” reflects on the long-term effects of childhood abuse.
Originally a project guitar player and singer, Gregory Jaw came up with idea in his basement, and Galanos has evolved with the additions of Joe Pugsley on bass, John Steele on drums, and Netochka Nezvanova on vocals.
Gregory explains, “This whole thing was a way for me to work through a lot of trauma I was dealing with. The music and lyrics come from my experiences and I am so happy to have been joined by such a talented group of musicians who are truly invested in the material. It is rare to find people who understand who you are and what you are trying to do.”
The Big Takeover premieres the powder keg video for the gritty and noir track “Loneliest of Men.” The song pushes with an aggressive urgency, full of lurking menace in the rhythmic instrumentation and Jaw’s foreboding vocals which are leavened by Nezvanova’s lighter vocal tone. The video, which splicing together footage of explosions, crashes, and general destruction, is a perfect fit for the song.
The band details, “Loneliest of Men”, the first track off our new record Deceiver Receiver is a song about the collective human death instinct. It describes a place where the impulse to self-destruct is examined not as an artistic endeavor, but rather a nihilistic and selfish act. We aren’t artists because we suffer demons. We are selfish in our self-destructive tarantella that offers nothing but a snapshot of the collective arrogance of humanity. Depression and isolation are not necessarily the vaulted zones of the truly creative, but rather true illnesses which need address.”
The 65’s meld raw vocals, a driving rhythm section and grinding guitar with easy to follow song structures and literary lyrics, forging a distinctive style that provides a captivating calling card. The band made up of Joe Pugsley (Guitar and Vocals), Ryan Struck (Bass and Vocals) and John Steele (Drums), formed in 2009 in Rutherford NJ. They released their first full length LP “Strike Hard!” in December 2011 via Dromedary Records. In 2013, they released “I Got You”, a 4 song EP through the newly formed Pyrrhic Victory Recordings record label/collective. In 2015, “New Fun Hell”, a digital 3 song release, found the band moving towards a more driving, punk inspired sound. Currently at work on their upcoming full-length album, The 65’s have dropped a brand new single entitled, “Wolves and Men”, which is backed by “As My Body Numbs”.
From the opening note played, in the first song, until the last note played in the latter song, this music grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. It’s that good. Everything the band does well is distilled into one nearly perfect record. Joe’s guitar, John’s propulsive beats and Ryan’s severely underrated bass playing make for a record that sticks. “Wolves and Men” is one of the most pure things you will hear across all genres of music.
It comes out swinging like Mike Tyson and doesn’t let up. The playing is top notch and vicious and the lyrics are razor sharp. There are no tricks, the band probably sound exactly the same live. If someone told you about them and you’re thinking of buying something, start with this because it’s their best; you’ll be back soon enough.
Few modern alternative rock and punk bands, manage to produce a crossover sound even close to The 65’s. At times it is a sound packed with raw intensity, at other times it has mellower nuances with intricate melodies. A constant in all of their tracks is a sincere and genuine emotional edge in all of Joe Pugsley’s vocals.
This is the quality of The 65’s sound that other bands are unable to duplicate. The pinnacle of Pugsley’s emotional connection to the music can clearly be heard in “Wolves and Men”. Another strong point with The 65’s is that aside from the vocals, the musicians showcase their abilities as such. The songs are not just simple power chords and basic drum rhythms.
Occasionally there is a complex drum or guitar part and more often than not it goes well above the mediocre musicianship our Top 40 charts are filled with. “As My Body Numbs” is a good example of the instrumental work The 65’s are capable of. “Wolves and Men” is easily one of the primal gems of The 65’s impressive discography.
"I last heard this NJ trio on their 2013 EP entitled I Got You (though they released a full-length, record, Strike Hard, on Al Crisafulli’s Dromedary records back in late 2011) and it looks like they released another record in 2015 that I missed (New Fun Hell) and here they are, back with more songs that are scorching. The guys, Joe Pugsley (guitar/vocals), John Steele (drums) and Ryan Struck on bass have been part of the NJ/NY music scene for years playing in assorted punk bands (and even an alt country band The Dark Brothers) but the 65’s is where they really put the puzzle pieces all together and rip it up. They kind of sit in that sweet spot right where bands like Husker Du, Jawbreaker and Superchunk meet (maybe with some vocals reminiscent of Frankie from Leatherface…ok, so maybe not that raw but close) and there’s no filler on here. Cuts like “Hold On Tight,” “Drown” and the title track have all the power of a stomp to the gut, but even though the music is hitting you hard, viscerally, you’re still pumping your first and singing along to every song (that mix of melody and power). Not sure why these guys aren’t bigger than they are but geez, if you haven’t heard them give ‘em a listen. They just might be your new favorite band." - Tim Hinely
Alpha du Centaure - Noise Artists Interview - 4.20.17
Miss Ohio - White Hot Review - 2.20.17
Jersey Beat: Rich Quinlan - 2/13/2017
B-Sides - 2/3/2017
We Do It For The Love Of Music - 1/31/2017
When publications gush over your music, calling it “American indie rock at its finest”, you know you’re onto something. And listening to ‘White Hot‘, the latest album from seasoned quintet Miss Ohio, the praise is well deserved. Every song on the 12-track is meaty and full of purpose, right from the opener ’14’, which captures the listener with its staccato flow. The variety in the music is enough to keep you engaged throughout the tracklist with songs meandering from the folksy to the brink of metal. White Hot was released almost a year ago now but the project exudes a timeless freshness that makes every listen like the first.
The first single off the project was ‘Magnet’ and we’ve published it here to remind you how good White Hot was when you first heard it or introduce you to the band if you’re not yet familiar with them. There is a gentle country-esque cadence about this song, putting you in a wistful mood. In the crashing cymbals, ponderous guitars and raspy vocals there is a homely charm. You can tell from these also that the musicians involved were far from novices.
Pittsburgh City Paper - 1/18/2017
“Sometimes the most absurd or ridiculous subjects can yield the deepest meanings,” says guitarist/vocalist Don Strange, of the local trio Strange Monsters. The perfect example comes in the opening track on their most recent CD, Destory All (no, that’s not a typo). “Optimus Minor” salutes all the underdogs of the world, using the would-be younger brother of Transformers leader Optimus Prime as an example.
“How would you feel if Optimus Prime was your older brother? You’d probably be pretty messed up, not from anything he did to you directly, but because of the way everyone treated you in reference to him,” Strange says. “If you use absurdity or dark humor effectively as a narrative device, it makes the listener consider things differently. Their mind has to approach the idea of the song from an unfamiliar angle.”
That might sound completely ridiculous if it weren’t so catchy. While Strange and drummer Tim Kelly bang out a power-chord riff, Maurice Bajcz adds extra dimension with some ominous synthesizers, evoking both prog rock and the incidental music that could be found in a Transformers movie scene. Five minutes after the song is over, the chorus is still stuck in your head. On other tracks, Bajcz switches to bass guitar, resulting in a leaner, classic trio approach. Strange churns out some sharp guitar leads, too.
The lyrics continue to use fictional characters as metaphors for daily living. “On this album, the characters are always in crisis, whether it’s a crisis of identity or of expectations or just an inability to process all the information that gets thrown at them daily,” Strange says. “All three of us in the band have small children in our homes, so maybe it’s some sort of new-father complex. Maybe a good deal of this subject matter stems from the very real and important changes in our lives.”
Or maybe Strange Monsters, which released Destory All in the fall of 2016, sensed the impending doom that will coincide with their performance this Saturday.
Stereo Embers - 1/15/2017
Stereo Embers’ TRACK OF THE DAY – Miss Ohio’s “Magnet”
Long-running NJ-based band Miss Ohio crafts classic American indie rock/alternative country tunes and has been doing so for over 15 years. While the band members may not have gotten the notice that Wilco or The Replacements have, they travel through similar musical territory.
Miss Ohio released a compilation album titled White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio early last year on Pyrrhic Victory Recordings. It’s been a lengthy and under the radar journey for the band and the retrospective captures this in all its unassuming, but captivating glory. This is not, however, the bittersweet end of the road for the band. In fact, Miss Ohio is re-energized, now working as a five-piece, and is currently writing and recording new material.
"Magnet”, the third track off of White Hot, showcases the band’s gentle, country-leaning side. It ripples with mellifluous finger-picked guitar lines, a softly ticking beat, and the introduction of at least one more guitar, building up a bright pattern that provides a sonic buoy for the vocalist’s lost and despondent tone.
His heathery, worn voice (that sounds like a cross between Mark Kozelek and J. Mascis) is filled with yearning and regret, staying in a lower key even as the instrumentation sparks near song’s end. “Magnet” is a subtly radiant downer that proves that Miss Ohio ranks among the best American indie rock bands.
The Big Takeover: Jen Dan - 1/11/2017
"An agitated whirlwind of guitar distortion, smashed drums, and crashing cymbals soon follows, whipping Wilson’s downtrodden, J. Mascis-like introspection up into the sonic storm. He bemoans the inexorable passage of time as “our bodies decay” and “there’s nothing left to say.”
“14” is American indie rock at its finest, combining transporting music with lyrical import."
Magnet - 1/11/2017
“Magnet” is a sweet and luminescent tune worthy of dark, snowy days."
Jersey Beat: Rich Quinlan - 12/16/2016
Speak Into My Good Eye: Mike Mehalick - 12/14/2016
The Big Takeover - Issue #79, Fall 2016
Sound Scene Express - 9/26/2016
1001 Records - 7/31/2016
The Subterraneans : Lost
1001 Records lists 'Lost' by The Subterraneans at #35 in their 2016 JULY BEST ALBUMS list:
The Big Takeover - 5/24/2016
Voice of Doom : Scared to Death"New Jersey’s Voice of Doom open up this four song rager with the VERY Misfits/Black Flag inspired "Belial" and goes on to lay waste to everything in its path from there in similar fashion. The band – whose members have played with the likes of Samhain and Electric Frankenstein – have been at it since 1987 and recorded this EP in tribute to their fallen drummer, Karl Scott. A solid punch!"
Razorcake - 5/1/2016
Voice of Doom : Scared to Death
"Something raggedly charming about these guys. The boom-bap rock/punk hybrid thing they’ve got going on, the horror imagery, the dirt-simple riffs, the vocalist’s croon that vacillates between Danzig and Reagan Youth’s Dave Insurgent. It’s pretty enjoyable, all told. CDEPs are a woefully unfortunate format, but these guys are clearly enjoying themselves, and that sense of fun shines through." – Keith Rosson (Pyrrhic Victory)
Power Popaholic - 4/27/2016
“Sliding” takes the album in a new direction, with a slow acoustic track that includes a mandolin rhythm (very much in a Lindsey Buckingham mode.) “Prima Donna” is a true power pop song featuring a lean guitar hook, handclaps and its my favorite track here. The band jumps around stylistically after this but overall its a welcome return worth checking out."
The Lighted Stage - 4/11/2016
The Subterraneans : 'Lost'
Having been birthed in the "city that never sleeps" (NYC), The Subterraneans bring a mix of punk and classic rock together to create music with catchy hooks, hard-hitting drum fills, and ripping guitar riffs, all wrapped up in a commercially viable album that feels right at home as we near warmer weather and ultimately summer. Having been formed in the 1990's, guitarist and vocalist Rik Mercaldi, drummer Mike Roze, and bassist Mike Curry are no strangers to the record industry and, on their new label Pyrrhic Victory Recordings, have just released their first album (Lost) after a 9 year hiatus.
Lost makes a strong first impression with the track "What's On Your Mind". The song begins with an upbeat distorted chord progression, backed by a classic drum beat. Quickly transitioning into the verse, a clean-ringing single-note pattern and jazz-esque chords color the lyrics with vibes of relaxation and summer. For the chorus, the punk influence is audible in the muted chugging of power-chords and the, again, distorted strumming of the guitar. Mercaldi's confident, yet relaxed vocals further the song's tone and overall feeling, while also harkening back to the 90's with the occasional spurt of emphasized grit in his voice. Mercaldi asks in an harder tone, "What' on your mind, is it you? Cause sure as hell ain't me..." and his guitar answers in a bluesy voice, soon transitioning into a varied solo that responds to the previous bar's question. As the track draws to an end, ever-intensifying proclamations of "Sure as hell ain't me..." fade into Roze's heavy drum fills and rhythmic muted/open guitar chords.
In a totally different musical direction, "Sliding" adds diversity to the album and makes notable use of a variety of lesser-used instruments. The melancholy opening acoustic chords set the stage for the lead guitar, a clean "lady-tone-esque" sounding instrument played with a slide. The main riff that is presented here is reminiscent of "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac and evokes a similar mood. The distinctive sound of the mandolin makes its way into the track in the form of accents to the primary guitar part. Similarly, the slide guitar and its relatively clean-driven sound adds to the mystery of the track. The low rumble of the bass helps to hold the track together, especially in the absence of traditional drums on most of the song (Roze sounds as though he's playing non-standard drums and other forms of percussion). Mercaldi's solemn lyrics and smooth, yet expressive voice dominates the track and helps to tie together the instruments purpose with that of the whole song's. Overall, the track maintains a unique spot on Lost as a departure from the typically punk-influenced and upbeat tracks that dominate it.
The Subterraneans brought together pop sensibilities with a punk influence and a largely classic rock sound to compose their first album since 2007. Their memorable lyrics and creative instrumentals make them a powerful group with a strong potential to make it big. Check out their music on BandCamp and be sure to head over to their Facebook page, as well as their label's website for more information. I look forward to seeing their following grow, as well as listening to their music all summer long.
The Big Takeover - 2/13/2016
The 65's : New Fun Hell
"Formed in Rutherford, NJ in 2009, now based in nearby Lyndhurst (former home of alternative dance club Aldo’s, a frequent haunt of mine from 1988-92; it sadly burned down in 2004), this forceful Garden State foursome finally follows up their 2013 I Got You EP. On this three-songer, the group abandons the softer side they displayed on two of I Got’s four songs, sticking with the punk-fueled style of that EP’s hottest, most hard-hitting number, “Have You Been Saved?” With Clark Manchester replacing Frankie Fender on second guitar, New Fun’s “Hold on Tight” and “Drown” still manage to be just as taut and stimulating as “Have You,” while packing an even heftier punch. By that token, the opener’s line “Hold on real tight/we’re going for a ride” is apropos! Powered by piledriving rhythm section Ryan Struck and John Steele, both songs bring to mind a cross between London’s newer Cheatahs and Bob Mould’s Hüsker Dü/Sugar.
In my review of I Got in issue 70, I compared singer/guitarist/founder Joe Pugsley’s gasoline-gargling, sandpaper-gruff growl to Leatherface’s Frankie Stubbs and Swervedriver’s Adam Franklin, with a Bruce Springsteen grimace. That still suffices, though you can also envision a fuming, frenzied Mould behind the mic when Pugsley spits out the EP’s closing line “Watch us drown,” as if his life was on the line. And while the EP’s chosen single “A New War” is slower in tempo, mining the attractive atmospherics of Franklin’s Swervedriver and his prettier Bolts of Melody, it still blasts like a steam furnace. With so many bands nesting in nearby NYC nowadays, it’s a pleasure to have such a potent one plying its trade only seven miles from my Jersey hometown!"
Diamond Deposits - 12/10/2015
The 65's - New Fun Hell
"Grand and epic powerful pop that packs a punch."
New Noise - 10/6/2015
“Good friend and artist John Steinheimer has put together this video for us to complement the song Vacation Cannons. Vacation Cannons is a song about loss, about the effect madness has on others. Sounds which may be familiar (soaked guitars with surf twang) thrash in their own element, designed to dislodge the comfortable. We blast our comfort zones. We take on masks to assist in the self-deception of human goals (money and power). We speak directly of death and the industries which feed off of it. John uses images which should elicit comfort and mixes them with the surreal to summon an vision of an antechamber of the void.
Half punk, half surf, all despair. We love you."
Razorcake - 9/4/2015
Galanos - "Vacation Cannons" LP
Galanos's online bio uses the words "loss," "madness," "grief," "darkness," and "catharsis" all within the same paragraph. To say that Galanos is riding the black goth wave to Sad-town would be putting it mildly. However, if you have a soft spot for Nice Cave elocution and the rollong bass lines of the Bunnymen or Simon Gallup, Galanos is going to be right up your alley because they execute incredibly well. Wouldn't have been surprised to see this on Sacred Bones. Recommended for a lonely winter night, snowed-in and painting your fingernails black. - Matt Seward (Pyrrhic Victory)
The Big Takeover - 8/4/2015
The Subterraneans - "What's On Your Mind" Exclusive Song Premier
"The Subterraneans were formed by guitarist Rik Mercaldi and drummer Mike Roze in the mid 1990s. After performing as a duo around NYC, the band recruited bassist Mike Curryin time to record their self-titled debut in 1998, followed by a five-song EP, 5 Tracks. The final CD with the original line-up, Close To Real, was released in 2007. With the departure of Curry, The Subterraneans were put on hiatus, but Mercaldi and Roze continued to work together in a variety of musical projects, including Rik’s self-titled solo release, a collection of acoustic-based songs recorded and produced by Juano Lippi. Recently reactivated, they are currently finishing up work on a new album to be released this fall on Pyrrhic Victory Recordings, and plan on playing some area shows as well.
They are lifers, they are very New York, and we love ‘em for it. Here’s a great song from the new LP!"
Jersey Beat - 7/12/2015
Galanos - "Vacation Cannons" LP
"Shreddin' it up with plenty of tasty reverb surf guitar licks, further galvanized by these almighty hard-stomping beats, and topping it all off with a substantial smattering of pure melodic punch, this Kingston, New York outfit hit it straight out of the ballpark with their totally ace debut album. Besides that aforementioned good stuff, we also have smooth'n'smoky vocals, fat throbbing basslines supplying lots of heavy undertow, a beautifully brooding atmosphere, and a supremely hip'n'happening overall vibe that's both hypnotic and appealing in equal measure. What's not to dig?"
Jersey Beat - 7/12/2015
Don Strange - "Are You Johnson?" LP
"Armed with a wickedly funny sense of sharp sarcastic humor, an endearingly battered, yet still resilient sensibility, and a sturdy knack for punchy pop-rock hooks, Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter Don Strange takes the listener on an amusing, enjoyable, and even surprisingly moving ten song journey through life's endless array of ups and downs that bubbles with a certain bittersweet feeling of amiable resignation amid all the smart-ass joking. Strange is clearly searching for something -- hell, anything -- to make all the crap in this world worth enduring and while he might not ever completely find what he's seeking, you must nonetheless admire the guy for constantly keeping his chin up and persevering just the same. It's this latter emotion of don't call it quits strength and stubbornness which in turn makes this album such an affecting and appealing little jewel."
WYEP - 7/6/2015
Don Strange - "Are You Johnson?" LP - Local 913, Episode 14: Don Stange
Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Don Strange takes a typical indie rock song and turns it into something unique. Utilizing his background in creative writing, Strange pens clever lyrics, often layered with dark humor, taking cues from indie rock icons such as The Mountain Goats, Pavement, and Dead Milkmen. The music is guitar-driven but there's always room for big drums or a sweet groove. While he often performs with his full band, Don Strange and the Doosh Bears, this new album is a solo venture. "Are You Johnson?" is a very lyric-driven album, containing laugh-out-loud, stand-out lines like, “Cassanova didn’t really love you, neither did Morrissey or That guy from The Wire” in a song about love following you. For more on Don Strange, check out his website.
New Noise - Galanos 'Vacation Cannons' Album Stream - 5/19/2015
"Kingston, New York’s Galanos don’t so much celebrate the darker things in life as they embrace the darkness life has to offer. Taking their name from a combination of literary references and Spanish that when combined roughly translates to ‘silver tongued devils,’ Galanos music is darkly seductive and coldly aloof at the same time. Their debut 7″ is steeped in the solo sounds of Stiv Bators and early Lords of the New Church, the cinematic expanses of Ennio Morricone, and relentless fuzz drone of surf guitars.
The LP was engineered, mixed and mastered by Kevin Lacatena at Homebrew Studio in Sparta NJ. Kevin has recorded Ian Axel (of A Great Big World), Electric Frankenstein, and projects with members of Bad Religion (Greg Hetson), D Generation, Danzig, Monster Magnet, Yo La Tengo, & The Roots."
Pittsburgh City Paper - 5/6/2015
Don Strange : Are You Johnson?
"On this new record, Don Strange ventures out on his own without his band, the Doosh Bears. Strange moved to Pittsburgh in the early '00s to pursue a master's degree in creative writing, and his songs reflect that background. In its best moments ("The Day the Mutants Fell," "Don't Set Yourself on Fire"), the album mixes the frank narrative songwriting of The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle with the bratty humor of the Dead Milkmen. There are a couple weak spots —name-checking Morrissey and The Wire in the same line feels a bit labored — but generally, Strange hits a catchy indie-rock sweet spot."
Sandusky Register - 5/5/2015
Don Strange - Are You Johnson?
For some, the truth can be hard to swallow. Although, there’s the age old saying of, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
Don Strange and the Doosh Bears are that sugar.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Don Strange and the Doosh Bears was formed in 2012 and is the brainchild of singer-songerwriter, Don Strange, who has been involved in making and playing music since his early adolescent years.
“I started playing guitar around 11 or 12,” Strange said. “I was into metal as a teenager but in college, I started focusing more on songwriting.”
The name, as odd as Strange himself, is joke within an memorial to a belated friend.
“My friend and his wife used to give each other these cutesy nicknames, so I used to call him my little Doosh Bear as a joke,” Strange laughed, describing how the name came to be. “After he passed away, we used his nickname and the band became sort of an homage to him.”
The band consists of Don Strange on vocals and guitar, Scott Kostley on bass and Brad Hurlburt on drums, although they jokingly claim to have additional guest members such as Darth Vador and Mr. Rodgers from time to time.
Musically, Don Strange and the Doosh Bears falls into the indie rock genre. There many elements of folk with bits of the big band swing jazz style mixed in. Subtly, you can also detect some slight punk and classic rock style as well.
All of the music is written by Strange, who takes influences from artists such as Tom Waits, the Beastie Boys, Bob Dylan, Billy Brag and the Clash.
“I’ve always been drawn to writing lyrics more so than the music,” Strange said.
Lyrically, Don Strange and the Dooshbag is comedic and metaphorically powerful. Using humor and silliness, they touch base on subjects such as relationships, love and loss in a way that allows each listener to interpret the meaning in their own way.
Later this month, the band will release their third album entitled “Are You Johnson?” following their 2014 success, “Pierre” and 2012’s debut album, “The Melon Chair” all of which are available to stream online.
You can follow the band online on facebook, reverbnation, bandcamp and their official website, dooshbears.com.
“If you want to hear something a little out of the ordinary but still familiar and well thought out,” Strange said. “I think everyone wants something thats a little different.”
POST-PUNK.com - 5/5/2015 MADRE SONG Premier
Galanos - Vacation Cannons
Former members of The Brickbats and The Brides have teamed up for this catchy Neo-Folk outfit calledGalanos. Taking their name from a combination of literary references and Spanish that when combined roughly translates to ‘silver tongued devils,’ their debut 7″ “Vacation Cannons” is fusion of Ennio Morricone meets Stiv Bators after a night out drinnking too much whisky.
Check out their second single “Madre Song” above, and find Galanos on Facebook below:
Mad Mackerel - 3/16/2015 MADRE SONG UK Premier
Wait For It is the debut single off of their LP Vacation Cannons, steeped in the solo sounds of Stiv Bators and early Lords of the New Church, the cinematic expanses ofEnnio Morricone, and relentless fuzz drone of surf guitars.
Give it a whirl…"
Northern Transmissions - 2/16/2015
Impose - 2/15/2015
MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL - 1/16/2015
Voice of Doom - VOD III LP
"This release is a reissue coupled with new material from a short-lived punk band based out of Bergen County, New Jersey in the mid-eighties. The early material, buried toward the end of the collection, is what we're interested in here. Boasting studio recordings of drummer London May, the two songs the former SAMHAIN member play on are certifiable rippers. The rest of the collection was recently recorded and follows their previous efforts in sound and style, and while these are strong tracks, they're no substitute for the original. The 1987 Faith is Torn EP is four fierce, original punk anthems incorporating some of the best elements of early MISFITS tunes, commanding a sound only few can accomplish. A surprise to say the least but hearing "What I See" for the first time is what I do this for. Killer track." (Pyrrhic Victory)
Jersey Beat - 12/31/2014
The Big Takeover - 12/13/2014
DAGGER ZINE - 11/2/2014
MISS OHIO- WHIPPOORWILL ROAD- PYRRHIIC VICTORY RECORDINGS- NJ quartet who offer up only 5 songs on here but 5 damn good songs that mix indie rock, 70’s roots and power pop. Strong melodies and it rawks when it needs to. Well done. www.phrrhicvictoryrecordings.com
Review Stalker - 7/3/2014
"I have pleasantly discovered that New Jersey is chuck full of great bands with many indie labels supporting them. Pyrrhic Victory Recordings is one of those labels and the wonderful 65’s, GALANOS and Miss Ohio are some of those bands. GALANOS 2 song offering, La Loca, a dark and dreamy, surfy and heavy, beautifully droning offering of slowed down and fuzzed up songs of Velvet Underground-ish proportions. The 65’s I Got You EP (2013) picks up right up where 2011’s kick ass Strike Hard! left off. A solid 4 song onslaught that starts with the punk ‘n’ roll steam roller “Have you Been Saved?”, continues with the darkly beautiful album title track and ending with is pretty acoustic twang of “Safety Net,” each song heavily complimented by the unique, husky Lucero-ish growl of front man/guitarist Joseph O. Pugsley. Miss Ohio’s latest EP, Whippoorwill Road, was officially released last week, delivering a perfect blend of power pop melody and guitar rock grit, with 5 songs that will no doubt make my personal best of 2014 release list."
The Big Takeover - 6/1/2014
The 65's - I Got You EP
"Rutherford, NJ singer/guitarist Joe Pugsley originally conceived this foursome as a side project to his now defunct alt-country outfit The Dark Brothers, and this four-songer resumes their convincing 2011 debut Strike Hard!'s thick 'n' crunchy twin guitar attack. On the driving, punk-edged opener "Have You Been Saved?" and the staggered, bruising "Holes Dug Deep," his guttural, raspy growl blends Leatherface's Frankie Stubbs and Swervedriver's Adam Franklin. But the band also brandish a softer side. The textured, shoegaze-like ballad "I Got You" (which also appeared on Strike), and the twangy, rustic acoustic lament "Safety Net" are languid and relaxed, as Pugsley attempts to conciliate his lover in a sensitive, strained croon that echoes hoarse-voiced home state hero Bruce Springsteen."
NJ.com - 5/30/2014
“Whippoorwill Road,” Miss Ohio’s new EP, combines the crunchy Nineties alt-rock of bands like Soul Asylum with the catchy melodies and flippant lyrics of Fountains Of Wayne, a combination that proves both engaging and entertaining.
Miss Ohio, as currently constituted, includes David Wilson on lead vocals and guitar, with Ed Roessler on lead guitar, Pietro Lorino on bass, and Brandon Loikits on drums. The quartet has managed to transcend a decade’s worth of developing careers, growing families, and major shifts in the local music scene to arrive a place where they still enjoy being in a band and still take music very seriously. I think the secret to our longevity has been that we were never in it to become big stars or have successful careers in the music industry,” said Wilson, speaking from his home in Jersey City. “It was always about having fun and just expressing ourselves, and we’ve managed to keep that spirit going and still have a really good time getting together after all this time.
Miss Ohio has made one concession to the realities of the music business, teaming up with the bands Galanos and The 65’s to form their own label, Pyrrhic Victory Recordings. “We used to just release everything ourselves but forming a collective with other bands makes a lot of sense,” Wilson explained."
BLURT - 12/15/2013
Galanos - La Loca 7"
"Up the river and into the maw of darkness: New York’s Galanos have forged an edgily cinematic sound from which there is no safe return. The bilingual goth rock of “La Loca” locates Morricone-esque spaghetti surf twang amid droning textures, rich in atmosphere and unnerving in its tragic grace. The flipside is somewhat less effective, a moody and ultimately meandering ballad, but overall there is much here that bodes well for an intriguing future." (—by Fred Mills)
Magnet - 10/15/2013
"Hailing from the depths of North Jersey, the 65’s are emerging with their punk-inspired gritty pop songs. After the release of 2011’s Strike Hard, the band has put out a new four-song EP, I Got You (Pyrrhic Victory). Check out the quartet’s gravely vocals and fast guitar riffs by downloading Superchunk cover “Precision Auto” below."