Expected this one to be straight-up garage punk, and while the
roughness is there the Enthusiasts can clearly bust out more than four
chords and a snotty chorus. The titular opener, see, offers nothing but
ballsy heavy rock abandon of a type that’s not as overtly virtuosic as,
say, Cream, Free or Led Zep but possessed of a looser, scruffier edge
that's more in line with 'Thank Christ For The Bomb' or something. The
fat (and it is FAT), rolling bassline holds things nicely together while
frontman Joey Ghostly slips between brassy blues-rock riffage, flailing
solos and his woozily unctuous vocals. Flip it over and you have the
twangier, psych-infused 'Joanne' which has similar tendencies but is
delivered with a lighter touch. Guitars fizz hither and thither, vocal
harmonies sough quietly in the background and you occasionally get the
sense that you might have strayed into an early Black Lips or Strange
Boys number which, in terms of style and contrast, is certainly no bad
thing. File under 'would like to hear whatever it is they do next'.
On Tues May 29 we got a chance to play on Joe Belock's Three Chord Monte show on WFMU radio. Thanks to Joe and Ernie for inviting us and recording the set and letting us horde your PBRs, Tostitos and free shirts! Good dudes.
7 INCHES on SINKIN/RISIN 7" Got this single from The Enthusiasts way too long ago, I think this came out in FEB! I really slept on this one and of course am regretting it big time. These guys are so perfectly capturing this thick classic rock sound, with the balls and brag of the guys from Natural Child or Liquor Store, but 30 years earlier and in the blacklight basement instead of the garage. A-Side's "Sinkin/Risin" has this big, live room sound and ringing distortion right into the huge cavernous chords...really a classic, metal rock, the individual melody is steeped in that Sabbath, Iron Maiden distortions. There's a little psych sound with the big muffled delivery and cranking out a big melody in between the verses. Awesome harmony with crisp vocals. If dead meadow was anti-drone and all gutteral psych, this is a pitch perfect homage, slightly muffled, analog sound here. Not expecting such a throwback sound from the Lichtenstein cover... the drums are mic'd from one spot, honestly this isn't something you can pick apart, they're getting this sound showever they are... keep it, don't ever change. Unbelievably unique and specific. The way all of a sudden the guitar and bass come together for big runs down the fret board is just plain great, it's just so audacious to do something like that and get it right...all of it. "Joanne" on the B-Side is again in this huge reverb room, crazy vocals on this side getting way slower, but still rooted in big time open rock fields. Just a trio of dudes with one letter names, DH and G, and Joey Ghostly on vocals...they all recorded, engineered and mixed this masterpiece and it's fantastic, The chorus harmony of "Joanne! Joanne!" borders on the head bobbing best parts of classic rock, sweet harmony and all balls. They capture that raw individual sound... and bass solos! Damn. Gritty guitar work, plus they had a 5 track, don't ask how but they had that specially manufactured 4-track with an extra track, like Spinal Tap. Really great bluesy, sweaty sound, a little bit dark, but the harmonies keep this chipper and classy. Somehow this one gets really going big and showcases bad ass guitar and bass work for the fret gazers out there. I need some prog! Some complex fingering dammit! These guys have it all. Wouldn't you know it the color pics on the reverse of the insert have a Don Pedro banner in the background, gotta get out and catch these guys. This is a Magic Sleeve stapled on two sides, on black vinyl, get this from the band, or the label...only 150, get on it pretty quick. Love the handmade touch. http://7inches.blogspot.com/2012/05/enthusiasts-on-magic-sleeve-records.html
"You ever hear one of those bad ass hard rockin' classic rock songs that makes you want to roll down the windows to the car, crank up the radio loud and peel rubber on the pavement? Then when the song is over you wish they would play it again and wonder "How come there aren't any bands out there doing it like THIS any more?"
It may lead you on a search for tips that bands that are. Or at least trying because most of the time those tips seem a little off the point and the bands sound like clowns trying to hard to sound like a bar band Foghat with a half a produce section stuffed down their pants with a dude who cites Glenn Danzig's solo albums and the dork from the Cult as his "lead vocalist" influences. Boogie with with out the sway. ROCK music without the ROLL. It sounds contrived and not like they are paying tribute to they're dad's record collection but actually mocking it.
Then there's tunes like "Sinkin'/Risin'" by the Enthusiasts. Though first impressions from the sleeve cover and and the band name it seems the hailing an hour north from NYC's Enthusiasts have one foot planted ankle deep in lo-fi garage punk singles of the late 90's/early 00's-it's also sounds as though they have been buried neck deep in Blue Cheer and James Gang records.
And instead of sounding like they are mining the biker bar and back water burn-out rocker sound as some backlash to whatever "war on hipster" sound they are pissed off at-they sound sincere in simply celebrating guitar solo abounds meat and potatoes (and cans of tallboys beer) rock-n-roll.
Kicking off with a huge splat of guitar feedback the tunes gives to a big power trio pummel where 60's boogie rock gave way to something a bit more sick and spilled seeds that would lead to the roots of Heavy Metal. The guitar slingin' singer knows he'll never be some golden god so never bothered practicing trying to sing high notes so instead spent lots of time smoking brown weed and wondering what Joe Walsh would do if he was born 40 years later...
Flip it over for "Joanne" and the pace is a little slower chug starting off as it 60's psych-blues ballad before gaining momentum into some kinda '74 pre-punk blaster."
The Sinkin/Risin 7" is "RECOMMENDED" by Still Single:
"Young rockers from a short ride up the Metro-North come across with The Goods, straight up... Rarely are there surprises of this magnitude, a well-executed, smokin’ hot romp through the contested area between late ‘60s heavy garage and early ‘70s proto-metal, with the boogie moves needed to punch through the gray layer of stoner rock clogging up the notions of this music making good on whatever promise it has left. “Sinkin/Risin” is the stronger of the two cuts, a big ol; basement rager with plenty of hollerin’ and some sizeable riffage which anchors it all together, while “Joanne” opts for a slower burn, eventually steering towards power-pop harmonies (think the Raspberries, not some skinny tie band) tied down with hard rock ballast. Not sure where these kids figured it out, but they could teach plenty of active hacks a few lessons, 150 numbered copies. Actual sleeve not pictured, at least as far as my copy is concerned. Worth it regardless! "
new review from Styrofoam Drone: "The Enthusiasts offer straight up rock and roll without any bullshit whatsoever. Their latest 7″ is surely justification of this claim. The song “Sinkin/Risin” starts out on a relatively rough note with its tough swagger, but the song becomes even more rowdy as the track unfolds – this is evidenced by the high voltage and rollicking guitars that lead us toward the end. “Sinkin/Risin” hits its defining moment within the final minute, shoving fiery guitar solos and manic drumming straight down our throats. This is certainly the sort of pummeling musical rush that keeps us going. You can feel the energy building as the song pulses on, making the end result that much more satisfying and rewarding when it’s all said and done. On the flip side is the twangy “Joanne” which has a slower pace. The song is guided along by a crunchy, dragging guitar, suddenly suffering an obvious swing in momentum a bit past the halfway mark. The end result is another heart stopping finale, this time made up of sharp guitar leads and steady drumming that keeps the bruising beat running smoothly. By now I think it’s safe to say we’re looking forward to whatever comes next from these rowdy New York rockers. Don’t miss the songs below andgo grab a 7″before they’re gone – there’s only 150."
new review from Yellow Green Red: "...if I close my eyes and just listen, I find myself in a little corner of Heaven… The Enthusiasts are chasing Mount Carmel to become today’s most sincerely-retro rock group around. The riffs smell like vintage corduroy pants, but this isn’t stoner rock for the Monster Magnet / Man’s Ruin set – both cuts sound lifted from some early Cream session. They recorded it on a 5-track in someone’s basement, and they really need to start selling this sort of golden sound to the millions of bands out there who could use it. Pass a whiff of The Enthusiasts to your local “classic rock record convention guy” and watch as he frantically thumbs through his Galactic Ramble in vain. I swear they’ve already got it down that good. LP soon, right guys?"
"Mutated garage fuzz with a mean and beefy bottom end. The Enthusiasts know how to bring the rock into the garage rock vein. Not content to settle on the fuzz and tin can vocals, the lads drop some big, near-stoner riffs, a nifty breakdown and a blur of a guitar solo into "Sinkin’/Risin’". "Joanne" follow suit with a tasty, psychedelic guitar/vocal intro.
Coming from a “small town north of NYC”, this is the Enthusiasts second 7” platter. Toss in a handcrafted, self-stapled sleeve and we got ourselves one tasty vinyl treat released on the band’s own Magic Sleeve Records. Recommended for fans of Baby Woodrose and Dolly Rocker Movement. "
two new reviews of the SINKIN/RISIN 7" surfaced today!
from ROCK STAR JOURNALIST:
"This release sounds like it was recovered from the vaults of some long-lost ’70s psych rock act. The recording, the playing - it all has that feel of a particular era, yet manages to sound of the time, rather than sounding as if it’s simply aping a style. These guys know what the hell they’re doing, and it makes you want to smoke a bale of weed, drink a few too many beers, and rock out in your basement with these guys playing over in the corner. The title track does just what it says it will - it sinks down with fuzz and reverb, then surfaces, rising to the top with a powerful bit of guitar work that will pull you in over and over. The flipside, “Joanne,” is a little more mellow, but no less rockin’ and fuzzed-out. For what’s only the band’s second single (the first on their own Magic Sleeve Records), this is amazing. Really, it’s a great little blast of two songs no matter what, but this hair-shaking, air-guitaring workout of a single seems like the work of a much more established band. When the Enthusiasts drop a full-length, it’ll melt the needle of your turntable." read full review...
from HEAVY PLANET:
"The Enthusiasts pack a punch of raw punk energy while embodying the soul of classic rock. While one may classify them as a 'garage rock' band, The Enthusiasts offer so much more substance. This New York trio seems to be the culmination of rock (...and roll) from the 50's through the 70's, right up to present day. This classic psych and blues sound is a welcome listen to my ears, giving a well needed rest from all of the heavy doom and sludge in recent memory. The Enthusiasts are one you will have to catch at a club or house show. Check out my favorite tune, Joanne, below, and if you're diggin' it head over to their bandcamp for a free download!" read full review...
Get your copy today at http://magicsleeeverecords.blogspot.com/
ROCKTOBER MAGAZINE wrote a great (if short) review of the SINKIN/RISIN 7" to be published in print issue #50 (20th anniversary issue) - "Not punk or rock n roll or garage or “rock-ish” – this is actual, bonafide ROCK music, not posing as harder or louder or eviler than it is, but just letting wailing, amazing guitar tones and (not to mention perfect singing and drumming) carry the load. The a-side made me blue cheerful!"