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February 2015
Dolly Spartans
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartans; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
The 60's
Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Sonic Youth
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
Swans
The Feelies
Laurie Anderson
They Might Be Giants
John Zorn
Arto Lindsay
Sonic Youth
The Fleshtones
The 90's

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Yo La Tengo
Soul Coughing
Cat Power
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

Since moving to NYC from L.A. in ‘99, the flurry of local bands I’ve fallen for has been dizzying.  But none in recent memory has gripped me quite like new garage soul outfit Clear Plastic Masks, fronted by Detroit-bred Andrew Katz (ex-New York Howl). Powerful sh*t emanates from this man who, at 6’6”, casts an imposing shadow, yet you’ll never meet a warmer guy.  The band’s sound dynamics are what’s most striking. One minute Katz’s everyman poet is casually whispering in your ear like an old friend telling you a joke and putting you at ease.  The next Matt Menold (guitars, keys) is pummeling you with ocean size Hendrix licks and Stax Hammond organ drones. But a deep soulfulness permeates every note, and the Cuban and Dominican roots of rhythm section Eddy DuQuesne (bass) and Charlie Garmendia (drums) ensure asses are kept shakin’ and the funk is kept stankin’. It adds up to a powerful elixir that could only be brewed in this great city of ours, and it’s undeniably rock n' roll. In the last month the Masks recorded their forthcoming debut LP with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes; Jay Reatard) in Nashville, and filmed this video with director Joshua Shoemaker in Alabama. Catch them headlining the Knitting Factory on Friday 05.25 and be left reeling.  – Ryan Henriquez

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