Snug Harbor Presents:
Temperance League, The Sammies, Pullman Strike
1228 Gordon St.
Charlotte, NC, 28205
This event is 18 and over
If a Temperance League show doesn’t end with the singer swinging from a rafter, table-walking through the bar, or drenched in sweat and geysers of cheap beer, you could well be at some other band’s show. Led by 39-year-old Charlotte native Bruce Hazel, Temperance League has been overturning the old-guys-can’t-rock notion since solidifying as a quintet two years ago. They’re doing so at a pace that should shame many younger acts, kicking out blitzkrieg jams on a relentless basis.
The band’s initial singles—released through their own Like, Wow label—are culled from 2010 sessions done with Mitch Easter at his Fidelitorium. The songs channel the band’s forebears, including fiery elements of the MC5, Ramones, Springsteen and even the Byrds, all in a vintage-sounding blend of swagger and catharsis. But what sounds raw and feral belies the craftsmanship that’s gone into these tracks. The two-guitar attack of Shawn Lynch and Chad Wilson tears through muscular rhythms delivered by drummer David Kim. Hazel, meanwhile, shouts out common-man aphorisms and left-leaning agit-prop like the possessed offspring of Strummer and The Boss. Decades spent slugging it out in the service industry provides him with plenty of narrative vigor and vitriol.
As energized as the singles sound, it’s live that the Temperance League really plugs into its strengths. The live chops are formidable, having been honed in some of the Queen City’s best bands of recent years, including Lou Ford, Benji Hughes, Les Dirt Clods, the Fence Lions and Buschovski, among others. It’s a veteran lineup, in other words, playing music we traditionally associate with younger generations. But while youthful rockers find punk energy and inspiration in the hunger to make their mark, this band is powered by something maybe even more urgent—the ticking clock. —John Schacht
The Sammies like to share. They have a little bit for everyone- whether your taste is for indie, garage, post punk or roots rock and roll- they'll give you a bite. The sound is as varied as its influences, but based in raw, unpretentious charm that only boys born and raised in the South have got a handle on. Co-founded by frontman Frank Backgammon and younger brother, drummer Donnie Yale, The Samm
ies grew up in rural Wadesboro, NC. As the band began to gig locally they picked up close friend and guitarist Bobby Freedom. They caught the ear of MoRisen Records, who quickly signed the band and soon had them in the studio recording their debut. Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, The Breeders), the album reached the Top 5 on four of CMJ's music charts and secured licensing deals for several major motion pictures and multiple TV series. Yet it's their live shows that have helped the band develop a rabid fan base. "We could power small cities with all the energy that is gathered at our live shows," says Backgammon. "They're loud, spastic and at times, semi-possessed." It's that attitude that The Sammies aim to capture on their sophomore effort, Sandwich. Recorded at Mitch Easter's Fidelitorium where R.E.M., Pavement and Wilco have recorded, Sandwich draws from the band's multitude of influences. With the latest release, out September 23, The Sammies move forward with a slightly different lineup adding bassist Conrad Vacation, another longtime friend. Fred Mills of Blurt calls them, "Quite possibly the best band currently operating in North Carolina. Their live shows are pure firestorms."
Stopping briefly in a small Texas town, an itinerant race car driver finds that his stock car, on a trailer behind his motor home, has just been quickly and expertly stripped. He chases down the miscreants, who turn out to be six orphan children. He has no recourse to the law, for the corrupt local sheriff takes most of the proceeds of their thievery in exchange for not putting them in an orphanag
e. They are charming rogues who are in turn charmed by him. Disliking their arrangement with the sheriff, they stow away with him, and he finds himself becoming a reluctant stepfather. Thanks to their enthusiasm and incredible mechanical know-how, he begins to make a name for himself on the racing circuit. But the sheriff doesn't take kindly to losing his extra income..
"People We Know, Pullman Strike's 2011 LP, has all the swing and twang of a respectable country record. Yet, it still has roots in the sweat-and-PBR of punk and hardcore, as evidenced by the caustic sneer on "Springtime" or the menacing drums and take-this-job-and-shove-it message of "Work." (Even David Allan Coe's "Take This Job and Shove It" was a Johnny Paycheck hit before Dead Kennedys got to it.) And while Pullman Strike isn't the only current Charlotte band making this connection — Scowl Brow is another — it seems the country-punk marriage just keeps getting stronger."
Corbie Hill - Creative Loafing
"...it feels reductive to call Pullman Strike just an alt-country band. The sextet's work today shows a steadily developing ensemble still finding ways to cultivate the middle ground between indie rock crunch and country creak. "
Bryant Reed - Charlotte Viewpoint
"Pullman Strike is a sextet bringing you a wonderful mash up of indie, stoner rock and Americana. Their latest album features heartfelt love songs alongside gut-wrenching melodies about loss and loneliness"
Jenny Lou Bennett - Shutter 16
" All of these guys grew up on a huge dose of Tom Petty and old country but still had a love for the DIY ethic of punk and indie music. Their sound brings to mind Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, early Lucero, Slobberbone mixed with the slacker aesthetic of Dinosaur Jr."
Justin - PunkNews
"...Switching from the upbeat mood of the night, Pullman Strike transitioned the evening's atmosphere to a family affair. Starting off strong, slowing it down, and then picking it right back up, their sound kept me on my figurative toes with beautiful melodies pieced together with harmonies supporting meandering lyrics. Pullman Strike is great at what they do and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their set."
Dane Abernathy - Shutter 16
"Charlotte's answer to Uncle Tupelo."—Bryan Reed
"I always get these guys and Paxton Strike confused." -bastard_squad
"2010 Demo" CD (self released)
"Live & Acoustic @ The Milestone" digital (self released)
"People We Know" CD/digital (Self Aware Records)