Slapstick was one of the definitive ska/punk bands of the ‘90s. They were together from ’93 to ’96, and after disbanding its members went on to either play in or form bands such as; Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, The Honor System, Tuesday, The Broadways and more. They reunited briefly in ’97 for a pair of benefit shows, but didn’t perform again until the summer of 2011, when they headlined the opening night of Asian Man Records’ 15th Anniversary Festival in San Francisco. Last month, the band played Riot Fest in Chicago and we spoke with singer Brendan Kelly a week or so later. We discussed Slapstick’s recent reunions, their relationship with Asian Man, future plans and more. The band’s lineup is completed by guitarist Matt Stamps, bassist Dan Andriano, drummer Rob Kellenberger, trumpet player Dan Hanaway and trombone player Peter Anna.
Self-released – Release Date: 9/28/12
Since the release of their last album in 2010, You Can Make It Dangerous, The Scissors have undergone two significant lineup alterations. Former rhythm guitarist Yvonne Szumski has transitioned to lead singer and newcomer Steve Mast has entered the fold at lead guitar. Both changes are definite positives and have helped bring a fresh sense of energy to the band. Szumski is an exceptionally talented vocalist and for comparison’s sake, her style is similar to that of Pat Benatar. Mast is an accomplished guitarist, capable of impressive solos and well-placed backing vocals. Bassist Ken Fletcher and drummer David Schneider solidify a reliable rhythm section, while Darren Vorel anchors the group with his spirited guitar work and distinct vocal approach. Over Your Dead Body opens with “Skeletons,” which features haunting lyrics, rapid-fire vocals and a soaring chorus. Next up is “Stay Away,” a driving rock ‘n roll tune that was co-written with Plain White T’s singer Tom Higgenson. Other highpoints include the defiant, brooding ballad “Breakout” and the clear-cut, pop punk gem that is the title track. The album concludes with a uniquely cool rendition of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and it does a great job of showcasing both Szumski’s vocal abilities and the band’s proficiency. This record signifies a new chapter in the story of The Scissors, one with much promise and the potential for bigger things. It’s recommended for fans of earnest rock music with strong pop sensibilities and dynamic singing.
Teenage Bottlerocket released a new album several months ago called Freak Out! It’s the band’s fifth full-length overall and their second for Fat Wreck Chords. We spoke with singer/guitarist Kody Templeman and discussed the album’s recording process, as well as the meaning behind some of its songs. We also talked about touring, music videos and more. Pictured above from left to right are bassist Miguel Chen, drummer Brandon Carlisle, Templeman and singer/guitarist Ray Carlisle. Continue Reading…