The members of Ghost Dance set themselves apart from a sea of boys making noise in the garage rock scene by contributing raw talent and well crafted content to the genre’s signature dirtbag party. After five years together, they finally appear on the map as skilled songwriters without sparing an ounce of sleaze.
This four-piece from Springfield, MO can easily be classified as a rock’n’roll band but they test their boundaries by drawing influence from the darkness and massive sound of metal, the dirt and desolation of blues and the wild, electric energy of punk.
Their twelve-track self-titled debut on Rough Beast Records is heavy and aggressive, cranking out vicious feral rock, swelling with psychedelic fuzz and only occasionally slamming on the brakes to drag their more soulful tracks through a stoney sludge. Start to finish it’s as solid and satisfying as it is violent- a filthy labor of love from the mystic wild children of the midwest.
Casey Jack would like your attention. The newest name on Rough Beast’s lineup doesn’t shy from the spotlight and isn’t afraid of the attentive ear. Listen up, because there’s a good chance you haven’t heard rock and roll go down this smooth in a while. Catchy hooks, brilliantly layered harmonies, lyrics both playful and heartfelt- Casey’s first batch of songs are a breath of fresh air, rich with personal investment.
This investment was made over a long Chicago winter of songwriting. Upon returning home to Springfield, MO several months later, Casey recorded the songs which make up his self-titled debut album. This recording process brought out even further investment as Casey tackled the recording of every aspect of this album himself, with the exception of drums. From his recording process to his live shows, you can expect all work and all play from Casey Jack. He performs live as a powerhouse 3 piece.
“When people hear my music, I want them to hear perfection. I want them to hear the work.”
Casey has both a Spector-esque obsession with detail and a love for the raw, fuzzed out energy of early punk. Not many artists are able to reconcile this duality so effortlessly, but this is where Casey thrives. There is no sloppiness or competition between his two sides. Seamlessly marrying force and precision, Casey Jack has crafted a rowdy garage pop album worthy of setting a new standard. And he’s just getting started.
Dirt Nap is the band that you should be listening to while you thrash through the streets causing a ruckus; while you mop the kitchen floor; or while you party your heart out in a crummy basement. Dirt Nap is a clan of hardened misfits from Springfield, Missouri: Alex, the insanely rhythmic drumming machine of a man; Dustin, the sexy suave tailor to the lower end; Raymond, sultan of swing on one of them guitars; and Calvin, the soulful siren on the other guitar.
Fresh out of the jungle these boys make waves of savage punk energy coupled with über chillness like you've never heard. Moody vocals, Poo-Wop harmonies, jizzy stick technical drumming, pain, fear, brotherly love, and torture. Dirt Nap's eloquent mix of surf, punk, and whatever the fuck else you want to call it will have babes wetting the bed while your own personal dance party rages on.
Missouri’s finest river band, and the self proclaimed “River Punk Boy Toys” are here to take you all down stream. Wherever the fuck that is.
Download Dirt Nap’s premiere release “Just Ask the Boys” for free on BandCamp and stay tuned for their sophomore release “Oh, Just A Few Boys Horsin’ Around” September 11th, 2014. Never Forget.
If you’re following your friends into a rowdy, smoke-filled basement, double fisting cheap beers down into the swell of aggressive rock and roll, you’re probably at a Gigantic show. The sound is muddy, the kids are sweaty and no one is standing still. The boys of Gigantic are lords of the basement and are known to put on a holy terror of a live show. The boys just want to have fun.
Their Rough Beast debut, The Album, is a whirlwind 26 minutes of hedonistic, guitar heavy party grime. The Springfield, MO 4-piece strut and snarl through 8 tracks of unruly fun to lure listeners into their wild, scrappy good times. Gigantic’s arsenal of party thrashers, which pull from garage pop, punk and metal influences, are an explosion of carefree irreverence. Press play to raise hell.
"Who started Sister Shakedown? I'd say Ronnie Spector."
The first time lead singer Autumn Whitaker and guitarists Levi Thomas (Ghost Dance) and Josh Nipstad shared a stage was for a 60's girl group tribute show. Both guitarists had their own separate bands at the time, but after sharing a stage with Autumn, they found a chemistry which convinced them there was more to do - only this time with original songs. With Rough Beast owner, R.J. Jennings on the low end grooves, and rhythmic genius Taylor Steele as resident animal muppet - Sister Shakedown was born.
In a graffiti covered midwest basement one long, cold winter, they crafted a pissed-off-at-a-beach-party sound and, by summer, were cranking out witchy, tripped out space jams. Over the course of that year, these 5 individuals created a handful of rock and roll songs which are a perfect snapshot of their journey as musicians, collaborative songwriters and friends.
Those songs became the band's first EP, released on Rough Beast Records at the end of 2014. The unique, self-titled collection is a quick journey from soulful throwback vibes to the unrelenting energy of wild psychedelic fuzz. At times, the power in these tracks is a force of nature, all held in perfect balance, but threatening to run off the rails at any point.
"These songs may seem like an interesting collection, but they're really a perfect reflection of this band and our work," Autumn says. That's because all 5 members of Sister Shakedown contributed to the structure of each song. "One of us would come in with a spark of an idea and we'd all get in a room and stir it around and around, sometimes for over a month, each giving input and slowly forming this thing. Then all the sudden, we'd find ourselves standing in this magical space we had just created. It really was something special."
Del Sur is a Charleston based band whose vision started in the bedroom of guitarist and lead singer Michael Collier during the summer of 2012. He began recording experimental surf tracks at the age of 16, slowly orienting his approach towards Pop songwriting as he went. His style draws from Brian Wilson-style Surf Pop while wandering into the dreamy corners of his bedroom. Collier released the demo "Lifeguards" in June 2013, which was met with positive reviews and inspired him to bring new creative talent to the project. A year later, Del Sur began playing shows in Philadelphia with an energetic live lineup that included long-time collaborator Connor Watts on bass. Del Sur's debut 6 track EP H.A.G.S., a mixture of Surf, Highlife, and Garage Rock that was self-recorded between Collier's junior and senior years of high school, followed in the Winter of 2015. That June, Del Sur followed up the EP with Aubrey Plaza b/w Cape Coast, two singles that were the first recordings to feature live drums. After moving to Charleston, SC and expanding to a five-piece band, Del Sur recorded a new, second EP titled Eating In Bed. Due in 2016 via Rough Beast Records. Eating In Bed makes use of a new, exploratory recording style to showcase a more Psych-driven sound while staying true to its pop foundations.
Thin wisps of fog hover low over the street, curling through the cracks of the curbs and onto the vacant thoroughfare. A faint scream pierces the silence of the night. The distressed, fearful cry perks the ears of prowling tomcats. “Help! Someone please help!”
But lo! There, on the rooftops! Five figures emerge from the shadows wielding steel strings and machines made of ivory and hammers. They sway to the steady beat of a war drum.
Students of the Boss and the mystic from the Emerald Isle, they've come to stand on the side of justice. They are defenders of the last vestiges of good in a city consumed by darkness. They have come to rock and roll. They are SAPPHIRE CITY NIGHTHAWKS.
"I’m 24 and I live in Nashville, TN. I was born in London and moved back and forth from there twice. This will be my first release outside of the work I’ve put out with my band Ranch Ghost and a couple of demos that I put up on the internet.
I really wanted to become faster and more self sufficient in the process of getting music out there for people to hear, so I bought a tape machine and taught myself how to use it as I was recording these songs.
I like to be able to write and record at the same time and end up with something useable if I really get into it. Rather than just a garage-band recording or something like that with all of these accidental magic moments that I would just end up trying to replicate later on. The tape machine granted me that ability.
I recorded a song every morning on an acoustic guitar for about a week then slowly fleshed them out over the next couple of weeks. I played everything on them other than some of the keyboard stuff and percussion.
I play lead guitar in Ranch Ghost, so I deliberately veered away from too much of that. That just wasn’t the point for these. I wanted them to feel kind of stark and close, and lean more on the words and less on guitars. Maybe next time I’ll try and get a band together, though. Or at least have drums on the record.When I felt that I had gotten to a good place with them on my own I gave the tapes to Mitch Jones (Fly Golden Eagle, Thunderbitch, Majestico) to wrap it up at his studio, Lil Bivtown. He’s a keyboard and sound effects guru and his playing and atmospheric additions really helped make it feel like it was finished. "
Ranch Ghost is a child born of an unplanned pregnancy. Raised by its four fathers and one red-haired godparent in a small home due south of Nashville, it has grown out of its fledgling stage at last and is crawling its way towards the edge of the nest.
The band has been audibly molded by the vibrations of Link Wray and Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, while the influence of Nina Simone, Hank Williams, and Miles Davis remains slightly obscured underneath the murky surface.
This album was Ranch Ghost's first endeavor into recording the sonic incarnation of each of its member's thoughts, inspirations, and creative energy. It was recorded almost entirely live within the multi-track shack behind the home of Mitch Jones, the bands’ aforementioned godfather, engineer, and producer.
Mr. Jones helped bring forth into the world a musical apparition, bearing simultaneously at times the primal growl of The Velvet Underground pushing the volume unit needles into the red, along with the punctured speaker cones of The Kinks. Deliberately injected within this chaos, there lies the necessary space for singer Joshua Meador’s prose of inequality and paper power to be able to stand comfortably, but with canines bared.
Although this album presents a slightly more rambunctious and bleary eyed version of the group than you might see first hand on a night like tonight, it very accurately and honestly portrays the core of what they stand for, which continues to be their goal in person and on records to come.
Levi Thomas is a twentysomething Missouri-born songwriter, currently residing in the Bay Area, where he ended up after chasing the same West Coast American dreams as his forebears. The former singer/guitarist of sludge-psych outfit Ghost Dance, Thomas released one album on Rough Beast Records—also home of bands Ranch Ghost and Del Sur—before leaving behind his old band’s heavier garage-psych/space-punk sound to pursue a cosmic-country solo career.
"The Fear" is the first single from Thomas’ debut album, Billie, which was recorded throughout the winter and spring of 2016 with Winston Goertz-Giffen (Grass Widow, Two Gallants) at Oakland’s Santo Studio and features contributions from violinist Anton Patzner (Bright Eyes, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, The Faint), pedal steel player Nate Hahn (Ohtis), and drummer Brian Azevedo.
“The Fear” is defined by Urban Dictionary as the sense that you have done yourself some lasting damage after a night of drinking. “As with most of my songs,” Thomas explains, “it’s about 50/50 autobiographical/poetic embellishment. I had experienced a pretty strange and lonely year, including the harshest winter of my life, in which I was stricken with the fear so frequently the only way to shake it was through the power of song.”
Levi Thomas’ Billie is scheduled for a late 2017 release.