Royal Bangs

Royal Bangs

Royal Bangs has always been a band going in two directions at once. Over the course of three full-lengths, the Knoxville, Tennessee band has kept pace with the indie rock vanguard, maturing through leftfield guitar pop and MIDI dancefloor theatrics to 2011’s freedom-prog fuzzfest FLUX OUTSIDE, which found the band pared down to its creative core of Ryan Schaefer, Chris Rusk, and Sam Stratton. But the through-line of all these songs and sounds is a seemingly immovable youth: in Rusk’s playfully precise drum arrangements, in Stratton’s everywhere-at-once (and nowhere twice) guitar leads, and in Schaefer’s soulful, sky-eyed hooks lay an ebullience that hasn’t dulled since the trio first plugged in together as highschoolers. Call it a restless maturity: the songs take on the wisdom in boredom, misgivings and regret, but the sound is forever high hopes and thick skins.

It’s appropriate that the band’s fourth album BRASS (due out September 17 on Modern Art Records) finds new destinations along those same two paths. Following FLUX’s creative throat-clearing, Royal Bangs found an ideal collaborator in Knoxville multi-instrumentalist Dylan Dawkins and found their process evolving as they welcomed him. The resulting album – produced with the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, whose Audio Eagle Records first introduced the band to national audiences – is the work of a group at home in its own songs and skills, trading sonic fussiness for an organic sound, nailing down who they are as a rock band without skimping on the adventure. BRASS still splits its time between barreling rave-ups and expansive pop suites, but more than ever, each song sounds most of all like Royal Bangs.

Long before you arrive at a Not Blood Paint show the rumours reach you. They are music, they are spectacle, they are hit 'n run theater, car crash club night, they are a disorientating re-imagining of what four men, five coats of make-up and accomplished musicality can do with a six by ten space.

"Whereas most bands falter when it comes to this sort of copious genre-bending and experimentation, Not Blood Paint thrives. The art never overwhelms the pop and the pop never overwhelms the art." - Dan Caffrey, Consequence of Sound

"It's like two David Bowies with two mirrors having two sexes with Cleopatra, Hamlet, and Dionysus. They're a four-piece." -Jim Earl

When we say “Miniboone”, we’re talking about a band that consists of Craig Barnes and Doug Schrashun on guitars, keyboards and vocals, Drew St. Aubin on drums and Tony Aquilino on bass guitar. They are named after a science experiment and, if you ask nicely, will happily tell you about the time they got to visit the world’s second largest particle collider. Since their first appearance in world of rock music back in 2008, they’ve shared stages with acts as diverse and acclaimed as the B-52s, Art Brut, and Real Estate, and brought their witches’ brew of caffeinated, unabashedly-delivered power pop to audiences at festivals such as South By Southwest, Northeast, CMJ and Bonnaroo. Plus, their live show, along with the two EPs and one 7” they’ve released to date, has earned praise over the years from the likes of the Village Voice, NPR, the L Magazine and Spinner.

Their debut LP, which is self titled, covers the fertile crescent of stylistic ground between Squeezey brain-pop and Queeny big-sounds while, if you listen close enough, telling the classic story of friends trying to find their place in a rapidly changing urban environment that wants nothing more than to co-opt them, confuse them into adulthood, jerk them around from desk job to spineless desk job, and scare them straight with tales of unfulfilled dreams and missed chances. They recorded the album over the course of a year at Serious Business studios in Manhattan with producer Travis Harrison (Lifeguards, Homosexuals) while drinking beer, and the result is equal parts proto-punk rave up (“The Superposition of Human Affection”), harmony basted slow burn (“Magic Eye”), and Hall-and-Oates-spectrum smooth-rock (“Baby, I Hope So”). In between takes, Travis and the band listened to a lot of Bruce Springsteen.



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