Video of the Day: Smug Brothers

Smug Brothers’ All Blur & Spark, out on CD on Gas Daddy Go Records on Monday, July 8

From the band:  Fifteen years since forming as a home recording outfit, Smug Brothers continue to find new ways to shake things up creatively. That’s certainly true of the new full-length, All Blur and Spark. Work on the Ohio band’s latest offering on Gas Daddy Go Records began before the February 2019 release of the crowd-funded vinyl album, Attic Harvest, and was curated by some of the group’s supporters.

“The songs were the result of the Attic Harvest fundraiser,” leader Kyle Melton said. “We offered contributors the option to have a custom song recorded as part of their contribution and 11 people participated. Each person was offered to choose an acoustic or full-band track and was then given a list of five titles from which to choose.

“We then recorded the songs quickly in late 2018 in time to send a CD copy of each song out with each person’s vinyl copy of Attic Harvest. When we had completed that project, we realized the 11 tracks would make a cool fan-curated album worth sharing with more people. We got each person’s permission to use their track and put it all together. And here we are at All Blur And Spark.”

Before these two 2019 albums, there were the studio projects with Darryl Robbins at BHA in Dayton (Woodpecker Paradise, 2015) and Micah Carli at Popside Recording in Troy, Ohio (Disco Maroon, 2017). Following these experiments in higher fidelity and the departure of lead guitarist Brian Baker and bassist Larry Evans, Melton and drummer Don Thrasher returned to the home-recording approach they’ve favored since joining forces in 2008.

“We really enjoyed recording studio albums with Darryl and Micah,” Thrasher said. “We’re proud of how those full-lengths turned out but working like that takes a lot of time in pre-production and post-production, not to mention tracking and overdubs. That’s how most bands make records but it’s not a very Smug way to work. Kyle and I prefer to get in the basement, take a few runs through a song and then lay it to the four-track cassette recorder while the material is still fresh.”

Melton and Thrasher perfected that approach on early releases like the digital LP Fortune Rumors (2011) and the cassette EP Strictly Triggers (2014), recording overdubs and vocals with Robbins (Overthought Musik, Motel Beds) as engineer/co-producer. That changed with Attic Harvest and All Blur And Spark, a one-two-punch that shows there’s still a lot of life left in this scrappy band of rockers.

It also marks a period of firsts. These are the first projects recorded with Melton at the helm in his basement studio and the first with the band’s new guitarist/keyboardist Scott Tribble, who is opening up new sonic dimensions in the music.

Being fully self-contained has also allowed Smug Brothers to increase its pace in Melton’s basement, with the group deep into sessions for several forthcoming releases. With the looming 20th anniversary of the band’s debut CD LP Buzzmounter (2005), it’s evident this scrappy outfit from Ohio will continue to grow.

Listen to All Blur And Spark at: https://gasdaddygo.bandcamp.com/album/gdg-024-all-blur-and-spark-cd

Age Nowhere with a Special Uncle Tupelo Cover!

Age Nowhere surprised Dr. J with a cover of ‘New Madrid’ from Uncle Tupelo’s last record Anodyne. The Jeff Tweedy penned song references The New Madrid fault which is south of St. Louis where Uncle Tupelo members Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn grew up. The band hailed from Belleville Illinois which is across the river from St. Louis. The New Madrid fault is the location of one of the most powerful earthquakes in the United States. The line about rivers running backwards is taken from a result of the massive earthquake in 1812. Another line in the song was based on a prediction made by Browning that predicted a massive earthquake would strike the fault and surrounding area in 1990.

Allow us to set a scene. Imagine stepping in for a drink at a bar where Sticky Fingers era Keith Richards is hanging out with his Nudie Cohen Suit wearing pal Graham Parsons and a world weary Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. They are all sitting in a booth commenting on the passing musical fancies of the day. That is the experience of Age Nowhere! Imagine a true double guitar attack from Identical-twin brothers Matt and Dan Spaugy paired with smoky evocative lyrics sung by Paul Monin propelled by driving drums from Seth Gilliam and pounding bass of Matt Terry. That is the experience of Age Nowhere.The band takes it’s nom de plume from one of the standout tracks on Dayton’s own Shrug‘s 2005 record ‘Whole Hog For The Macho Jesus.’

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Freight on YTAA

39751125_2100024070315564_2545344842498572288_oThis Tuesday join us as we welcome Freight to Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative

This week one of the youngest bands in Dayton joins a slightly older — shut up with your judgement — Dr. J on Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative. In the spring of 2017, five friends got together with the goal of creating catchy, funky, rock and roll. From that musical inspiration, Freight was born. The band is known for high energy, genre crossing, odd time signatures, blended with driving rock and roll. In the spring of 2018, Freight released their debut album, “Start the Night Off Easy” under Gem City Records which you can listen to on spotify. Their sophomore album is in the works for everyone. 

BandYou should make some time to join us on Tuesday as Freight joins us in the studio to play some acoustic tunes and chat about their first and making second records on Tuesday, May 7th from 3-6pm on WUDR on 99.5 & 98.1fm and online at wudr.udayton.edu! See you there music lovers!

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