Thursday, July 14, 2005

Stratocruiser: crunchy guitar-pop

This is another post based off e-mail contact from a band. Somehow when I wrote about the power-pop festival Sparklefest back in April, I overlooked[1] Chapel Hill's Stratocruiser, but the guys were kind enough to point me in the direction of their new single[2], and I'm glad they did. It's crunchy guitar-pop with a 60s flavor that seems to draw a lot of comparisons to Cheap Trick. (They don't seem to mind that; see the Cheap Trick cover below.)

The main guys in Stratocruiser are Mike Nicholson (who's the organizer of Sparklefest) and Clay Howard. Howard joined the band for their second full-length release, Suburban Contemporary. Nicholson brought Howard on board to improve the vocals -- as he told the Independent, "I've sung in punk bands, but when pitch or melody is important, I'm not the guy" -- but they've formed a strong partnership. The album is rounded out by various other musicians, including an appearance by Tres Chicas' Lynn Blakey, and was produced by Robbie Rist (who in a previous life was cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch -- no joke!)

Their schedule's fairly light this summer, but they have a couple of shows in Greensboro and Winston-Salem at the end of July. See the details here.

MP3: "Smell of Success"
(from Smell of Success 7" single, SevenFoot Entertainment 2005. Buy it here.)
MP3: "Copyshop Girl"
(on Suburban Contemporary, Zip Records 2004, [though maybe not this exact version]. Buy it here.)
MP3: "Come On, Come On" (Cheap Trick cover)
(from Copyshop Girl CD single, New Atlas Records 2004. Buy it here.)

BONUS (If you like this sort of thing):
Drummer Matt Brown recently joined Stratocruiser. He also plays with Oak Room favorite Two Dollar Pistols (who have let their web site domain lapse and get claimed by a porn site -- oops!). Here's a drum solo courtesy of Saluda Cymbals, which Brown endorses.
MP3: Matt Brown drum solo

[1] Actually, I recognize the graphics, so I must have looked at them. I suspect their MP3 links weren't working, so I moved on. There's still a busted link to their "website exclusive single" -- d'oh!
[2] I see that Dodge wrote about them as well, right about the time that I heard from them, so I don't feel as special, but I'll live...



At 12:19 AM, Blogger NYCGuy12 said...

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