Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at www.alivenergy.com
Thursday, July 31, 2008
As they proved on their ’07 debut, Every Damn Time, Black Diamond Heavies are unique within the field of two-piece white blues rockers not only because the foundation of their sound is John Wesley Myers’ keyboards instead of guitars but also because they have a firm grasp on old fashioned, greasy Southern soul. That advantage is on full display right off the top of A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class, with a bristly take on Ike and Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” directly followed by the storming “Everything Is Everything.” The fine, horn-infused ballad “Bidin’ My Time” shows some unexpected range, and while on this song in particular it’s easy to make Tom Waits comparisons, it’s just as fair to say that the Heavies’ approach to blues and soul is far less pretentious. There are plenty of booty-shakin’ moments elsewhere and in the end, that should really be all that matters. A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class is a pure adrenaline shot for any jaded rock’n’roll fan in need of one. - Jason Schneider / Exclaim
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
“WE CAME IN PEACE” ON SEPTEMBER 2
ALBUM PRODUCED BY DETROIT’S LEGENDARY JIM DIAMOND
BAND TOURS U.S. AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, EUROPE IN OCTOBER
PERFORMING AT MONDO HOLLYWOOD
ON AUGUST 8 WITH THE ELECTRIC PRUNES!
FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: A MILLION YEARS
Los Angeles, CA – We're proud to announce the upcoming album release from Nebraska’s 60's influenced garage and old school punks Brimstone Howl. The follow-up to their Dan Auerbach produced debut, the band enlisted Detroit’s legendary producer Jim Diamond to man the boards for their sophomore effort, "We Came in Peace", hitting stores September 2nd.
Led by charismatic singer/songwriter John Ziegler and guitarist extraordinaire Nick Waggoner, with Calvin Retzlaff on drums, the boys traveled to Ghetto Recorders in Detroit for a very productive recording session with the legendary Jim Diamond. Described by NME as "Beatles-headed psych-nerds with a taste for razor sharp snake-rock, We Came in Peace is the follow-up to Guts Of Steel (Alive 2007) an album hailed as "unholy hot-wiring of the Sonics, the Damned and the Blues Explosion" (Magnet) and "cranked lo-fi blues rock from Nebraska's hoodlums" (Uncut).
Despite its cryptic title We Came in Peace is another fun explosion of fuzz and American-gothic chit-chatter, with "weird fictional adventure stories, and beginner blues guitar lessons from mongoloids," as they like to describe it. The album is packed with great songs, including the amazing power punk pop "A Million Years," the Cramps-worshiper "Child of Perdition" or the VU-psych influenced "Easy to Dream".
Brimstone Howl will begin a U.S. tour in September, followed by Europe in October with additional dates being added through next year. Currently, the band has been sharing stages with fellow travelers Jay Reatard (who produced one of their first singles) and the Black Lips, among many others, gathering reviews such as this one: "Pumping with hot red blood, they slopped their rock & roll around the room: dirty, gritty, just right. For the finale, the four players became two piggyback stacks. The playing continued as the dueling human towers wobbled about the room, knocking into the lampshades and ending up in a heap of bodies on the floor and a blistering wall of noise. Now THAT'S how you do it." (Orlando Weekly).
The CD version of We Came in Peace includes one bonus track not on the VINYL version. The first LP pressing on purple vinyl is a limited edition run of 500 copies.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Let It Ride LP dabbles with the blues and psychedelia as creatively as it re-interprets slide guitar lines. "Let It Ride," shows the band has spent some time with Jimmy Hendrix's Band of Gypsies and there are songs on the LP that show a full soaking in the song-writing of the Grateful Dead, Charlie Parker, Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. Like all good country music, there is a full awareness of the music that has gone before while showing a unabashed willingness to take those rules and fuck with them. Buffalo Killers are on tour now and with the Black Crowes this fall and seem to be on the road to realizing the lyrics to "If I Get Myself Anywhere" - "I'm a travellin man just pushing ahead, if I get myself anywhere bet you I'd rather be dead, if I get myself anywhere. And we're a travellin band looking for a bed, we're not trying to fight you we're just starvin to death, looking for a bed." Amen. - RCRD
Friday, July 25, 2008
While everything about this cut, from the laid back Southern charm of the main guitar riff, and the sly, shuffling drum beat, to the velvety vocals, say all-request classic rock request hour, it's a product of the modern age. With the help of the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who helmed the producer's chair, and who knows a thing or two about creating a retro-fantastic vibe, Buffalo Killers managed to avoid the riff by numbers trap which has been the downfall of many a retro rocker, and instead created something authentic. Well, maybe not quite authentic, after all we're some thirty years beyond AOR. Still, at the very least, "If I Don't Get Myself Anywhere" is one of the best damn approximations of the Seventies AOR sound around, and that's no small feat when you're treading on such well worn ground.
MP3: Buffalo Killers - If I Get Myself Anywhere
I Rock Cleveland
The skeletal two-piece - comprised primarily of drums and keyboards - is beefed by a punk spirit and the full-on blare of in-the-red levels. The purposefully fried production gives the record a furious quiver, resulting in a remarkably hard sound despite a lack of guitars in their schema. Leading the charge are the arsenal of keyboards and theatrically guttural grindings of James Leg, which lend power, warmth and soul.
Besides the supple Southern soul of “Bidin’ My Time,” they’re best when they keep things ugly. Highlights include the hairy-chested swagger of the stalking rocker “Loose Yourself,” the gorgeously nasty industrial chug on their cover of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limit,” and the rocked-out, groove-digging cover of T-Model Ford’s “Take a Ride.” Despite missteps like the David Lee Roth goofiness of “Numbers 22” and the old-tahhmey saloon jump of “Happy Hour” that indulge in too much camp, it’s a rousing album that further etches their identifiable signature of junkyard punk and blues revivalism.
Bao Le-Huu / Flagpole
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Let it Ride
Release Date: Jul 22, 2008
Cincinnati has done it again. The Buffalo Killers have come out with the recent explosion of band like the Black Keys and the Afghan Whigs from the Ohio capital. Let it Ride, the follow-up to their debut album Buffalo Killers, is a continuation of the Buffalo Killers' developing style from their former band Thee Shams. With gritty guitar work and snappy drum fills, Let it Ride escapes the curse of producing the same album twice by expanding the horizons of the Buffalo Killers' music.
The album starts off with "Get Together Now, Today" which sets the tone for Let it Ride. Where Buffalo Killers' sound more resembled their previous band Thee Shams, Let it Ride branches out further than their first album did and makes the band more into its own entity rather than the remains of their old band. "Get Together Now, Today" has a classic southern rock sound combined with a contemporary garage rock tone and most of Let it Ride follows this same pattern with a few exceptions. "Leave the Sun Behind" sounds more like the trio's work in Thee Shams, but the vocals from brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard and the slow rock grind still make it something very much the Buffalo Killer's own.
"Give and Give" and "Take Me Back Home" are another example of the different directions the Buffalo Killers attempt on Let it Ride. The track isn't anything like the music preceding it. Andrew Gabbard incorporates a more 60s sounding guitar riff over his opening lyrics "Everyone thinks that things are gonna change" and drummer Joseph Sebaali uses a marching drum beat to drive the song forward. The chorus is the only part that goes back to the standard Buffalo Killers sound. It's a sound that the band can do, however they haven't mastered it well enough yet for it to be a stand-out point on Let it Ride. However "Take Me Back Home" is written in a certain style that they nail on the head. The track is a little more blues oriented than the rest of the album, but Andrew's guitar work is so enticing that the band pulls it off without a hitch. It's not a complicated song, but the intensity in Andrew's voice makes it into something that stands out from the band's previous release. It's a direction that they can more than handle comfortably, and it's something that makes the Buffalo Killers an ever-changing group.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Following their summer U.S. run, the band will again head out on in support of the Black Crowes this fall.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Artist: Thomas Function
Label: Alive Records
This album won’t work in winter. It is too warm, too hot and sticky and fun. It is a summer record, and I have been playing the hell out of it lately. The songs are busy—it’s true—but once your ears warm up to their sound, the whole mix is very enjoyable. Nothing is too overpowering: there are equal moments for the guitars, the bass, the drums, organ/piano, and vocals. The melodies are quite good, too, so it is also satisfying on a cursory listen.
Thomas Function – “Can’t Say No”
Rough and upbeat, this is my favorite track on the album. The chorus is addictive: “When you’re screaming my name, I can’t say no!” And of course, I’m always a sucker for a dynamic bass line.
Thomas Function – “Snake in the Grass”
This is one of the more driven songs on the album (other tracks I would consider more jangly or bobbing, if that makes sense). Again, most of the sounds are well balanced, though Joshua Macero’s soft yelping dominates at times.
The full album is worth a listen, so check out their label site and buy the album. There are also a couple pretty good reviews of the band (here, here) worth checking out if you want more info.
Get Up Offa That Thing
If you are a musician, dig playing blues and have the talent to record, then I suggest you look up Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and ask him nicely to produce your next album. Black Diamond Heavies’ first album Every Damn Time was an enjoyable listen, but A Touch of Someone Else’s Class is a giant step forward. While the recipe of John Wesley Myers and Van Campbell remains the same, Auerbach has introduced a few new elements to the mix that really take the Tennessee twosome forward.
The dynamic of the band is very similar to the Keys. Both Auerbach and Myers are wholly dependent on their respective drummers to do more than simply keep a beat. They are responsible for becoming the driving force of the band to allow their frontmen a tremendous amount of freedom. Patrick Carney is my favorite drummer around today, but Van Campbell is definitely in the same league. I have listened to this album countless times and am truly blown away by his playing.
As for Myers, he still delivers his vocals ala Tom Waits. In fact Ralph Carney, a horn player for Waits and Patrick Carney’s uncle is introduced on one track, “Bidin’ My Time” that oozes soul. Much like “All To Hell” from the first album, it gives off an Otis Redding vibe that makes me want to slow dance with my lady.
Myers is equally adept when the boys turn it up a notch as well. “Nutbush City Limit,” “Make Some Time” and my favorite, “Smooth It Out” are all dirty, scuzzy blues rockers. Myers works the organ into a lather and delivers the vocals like he’s part demon.
Much like BBQ joints, there are some people that like their ribs in a quaint, well-lit atmosphere with shiny sliverware. And then there are those of us who like their ribs slapped on some white bread in a joint where you can barely see the silverware. Black Diamond Heavies are that hole-in-wall BBQ place. - HearYa
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Smoking hot, seductive, slow roasted, and nurtured by the tonal fuzz of Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, the Buffalo Killers are proving to be the black knights of rock’s new doctrine. They are an outfit that bares the scares of an industry littered with instability at the hands of the decline of record sales, the emergence of the new revolving pop, and the death of rock n’ roll. It is in this environment that rock’s new order thrives. For the Cincinnati, Ohio natives, their brash gritty expulsion of road warrior glory comes at a time when the tradition is in its most dire hour. Their sophomore LP Let It Ride still holds on tight to the influences of Cream, the harmonies of Neil Young and the Beatles, as well as incorporating the slow sustained fuzz of swagger-driven solos.
Recorded in Akron, Ohio and a liner note nod to Black Crowes frontman, Chris Robinson, the recording sports ten songs of oozing rock glory. Even though production credits and the tone of the record come from Auerbach, the song structure is directly influential from that of the Black Crowes. Meaning, the songs, though not longer in 5 minutes in length, linger, relax, and meander in the heart of the groove.
“I cannot sit well / can’t you tell, can’t you tell/ my ears are ringing like bells,” sings Zach Gabbard in the LP’s opener “Get Together Now Today.” It is riff based blues with thick phrases being laid down with the tension tug of molasses. “Let it Ride” follows with the full essence of rock n’ roll combined with the lyrics of slap stick hooks.
Lines like “We are a traveling band / looking for a bed / we are not trying to hurt you / we are just starving to death,” relays the story, while Joseph Sebaali’s drum work is particularly impressive and loose.
Additional song standouts are “Black Paper” and “Take Me Back Home” which reminds me of the Beatles White Album staple, “Yer Blues.”
The record hit streets July 8, 2008. Go buy it. - Downtown Money Waster
Friday, July 11, 2008
The Ohio based Buffalo Killers give a gritty, classic sound.
By: Amy Dittmeier
Who knew Ohio was so cool? Cincinnati has become something more than the home of the largest Oktoberfest in the U.S. with the recent success of Ohio natives Afghan Whigs and the Black Keys. An explosion of aggressive guitars, throbbing drum beats and boogie bass work has come out of the Ohio capital, giving it a couple cool points. The Buffalo Killers, riding the aftershocks of their previous band, are the latest addition to the Midwest fad. The Cincinnati trio, made up of brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard and Joseph Sebaali, originally played in the band Thee Shams for almost seven years before creating their new band. Though the band has only been together for two years, they've already gotten some decent gigs opening up for the Black Crowes and the Black Keys. Where Thee Shams was into rough guitar work combined with southern rock, Buffalo Killers bring back the feel of rock and roll that our parents use to get high to in their college dorm rooms. It's a throwback to the days of classic rock but mixed with something new and modern, escaping the niche of a novelty act.
Their self-titled debut is an evolution of their work in Thee Shams. From the slow jam opener "San Martine Des Morelle" to the bluesy garage rock track "Children of War", Buffalo Killers fail to disappoint. Thee Shams' garage rock roots are still evident during Buffalo Killers, however the brothers Gabbard and Sebaali spin off the genre by adding a wah-wah pedal and some major guitar fuzz. Andrew Gabbard's voice rips through the guitar distortion on tracks like "Fit to Breathe" with such force you think he's going to pass out at the end of the song. Their most recent release, Let it Ride, continues where Buffalo Killers left off, with the title track featuring both brothers screaming "Let it ride" backed by Andrew Gabbard's tantalizing guitar and Sebaali's forceful drums.
The featured single "Get Together Now, Today" off of Let it Ride inspires images of driving a vintage Mustang on a dusty highway after a bad break-up. It has less distortion than some of Buffalo Killers' other tracks, but it's stripped down nature makes its message that much more potent. Zachary Gabbard lays down a slinky bass line for Andrew to jam to as he sings, "I do not sit well, can you tell?" It's a great opener for Let it Ride and an even better example of who the Buffalo Killers really are. - Heave Media
Monday, July 7, 2008
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- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - Exclaim!
- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - WA Today
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Leather Canary
- BRIMSTONE HOWL - New album!
- THOMAS FUNCTION - Music Connection
- BUFFALO KILLERS - RCRD
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Raven Sings The Blues
- BUFFALO KILLERS - I Rock Cleveland
- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - Allez Les Filles
- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - Flagpole
- NATHANIEL MAYER - Hipcrank
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Heave Media review
- NATHANIEL MAYER - Arthur Magazine
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Music Australia Guide
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Arthur Magazine
- BUFFALO KILLERS new video for "Get Together Now To...
- THOMAS FUNCTION - Get Up Offa That Thing
- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - HearYa
- RON FRANKLIN - American Songwriter
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Downtown Money Waster
- BUFFALO KILLERS - Heave Media
- BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES - Organ
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