ROZWELL KID

Psyko Steve Presents

ROZWELL KID

PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA, SUNDRESSED

Thu, November 1, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

ROZWELL KID
ROZWELL KID
There's a certain science when it comes to writing music that can evoke a sing-it-loud response from more than a few subsets of people, and Rozwell Kid might as well have their PhD. The West Virginian quartet has been proudly playing dials-to-ten indie alt-rock since 2011’s matter-of-factly titled The Rozwell Kid LP. Their new LP shows off Rozwell Kid’s progression as musicians that haven’t lost any of their quirky charm...or volume.
Too Shabby was engineered by Justin Francis at Ronnie’s Place in Nashville in early 2014. By the time its 10 songs have concluded, it’s obvious that Rozwell Kid have sharpened from their last release – an EP entitled Dreamboats – while somehow getting louder. With lyrics like those in the record’s opener, Kangaroo Pocket, (“Simpsons season 3 and a thing of hummus / This is all I need / I'm like super low maintenance”) Rozwell Kid find a paradoxical marriage between originality and familiarity. Too Shabby is proof that Jordan Hudkins, Adam L. Meisterhans, Devin Donnelly and Sean Hallock have emerged as a more cohesive, brave, and intelligent unit.
It’s undeniable that Too Shabby will draw comparisons to any pre-millenia Weezer record. It’s as inevitable as Rozwell Kid is loud. It’s more than that, though. Too Shabby is fun, infectious, kinetic, and its unmatched in that. With songs like Weirdo and Birthday Sombrero, Too Shabby has what it takes to be to 2034 what The Blue Album is to 2014. As for right now? Turn it up.
PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA
PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA
Cosmic Thrill Seekers, the new record from Albany punk rock band Prince Daddy & the Hyena, is many things. It is an odyssey of epic, The Monitor-esque proportions, a great, galloping sonic roadtrip across space and time and Albany, boomeranging around a horn of punk, pop, indie, garage rock, and orchestral, Queen-style arrangements and theatrics; it is an exploration of the fall-out after an acid trip, manic self-destruction, bottoming-out and recovering, and then slipping again; it is a candid, acute documentation of frontperson Kory Gregory’s cyclical mental health states as told through three acts and 14 songs/chapters; it is an existential presentation of eternal return theory, a victory via surrender to impermanence; and perhaps most of all, it is about Dorothy Gale and The Wizard Of Oz.

“Dorothy was the OG cosmic thrill seeker,” Gregory says. “Dorothy kind of encompasses everything I was trying to get at.”

There are three acts in Cosmic Thrill Seekers. Gregory explains, “Act One is The Heart, which is the Tin Man. Act Two is The Brain, which is the Scarecrow, and Act Three is The Roar, which is the Lion.” Each act explores a stage in Gregory’s mental health. “I remember watching the Wizard of Oz one time, and noticing some weird kind of parallels between the cyclical nature of my mental health and that movie,” he says. “My mental health rotates and jumps from one stage to the next, and then repeats itself.” The closing moments of Cosmic Thrill Seekers reflect this, as the outro to the last track, “The Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger,” morphs into the first muted notes of opener “I Lost My Life.”

Gregory’s assessment of his mental health is a process that’s coded into CTS’ DNA. “Observing my mental health for four years kind of gave me enough to work with to write this album,” Gregory continues. He wrote the entire record—music and lyrics—in solitude over a four year period in a closet in his bedroom. No one heard any of it until it was finished and ready to record—not even bandmates Cam, Zak, and Daniel. “When you have OCD like me, you want it to be perfect,” Gregory says of the process. During recording at PonderRosa Studios in Lafayette, New Jersey with producer Nick Dardaris (AKA beloved pal and Albany scene comrade Scoops), Gregory would ask his bandmates to leave before his vocal takes. Even pre-studio practices were held without a PA system, meaning no one else knew any of the words or melodies.

The process and finished product are tributes to the sort of friendship and community supports that define Prince Daddy. Gregory’s bandmates are his best friends, and they encouraged him to pursue the record he needed to make. “It’s very, very, very much a selfish record,” he says. “It wasn’t just the record I wanted to write, but this is for me, this is to help me, and hopefully to look back on when I’m in the more destructive phases of the cycle and realize that it’s not permanent, and that I’ve confronted it before. I’ve put some math to it.”

But the calculus of reckoning with mental illness isn’t linear, and neither is Cosmic Thrill Seekers. “I Lost My Life” opens the record with muted acoustic guitar and plinking keys as Gregory wrestles with the catalyzing acid trip. “I hit it one too many times and I lost my life,” he sings before a crescendo that crashes into “Lauren,” a triumphant pop punk gem with scorching leads. “I’m trying to move past this but no such luck/But you drag me the furthest from giving up!” Gregory shouts. “Fuckin’ A” follows suit, a similarly bright, guitar-forward headbanger that sees him in a state of recovery. There are many dialogues and characters on the record; each represent a different piece of Gregory’s mental composition.

But none of this first suite of songs is linear; each deviates from its own schematic, swerving gleefully between style and sound as the song sprints onward. “Cosmic Thrill Seeking Forever” is a falsetto-driven Blue Album-waltz that climaxes in duelling Thin Lizzy harmonies underscored with thrilling Brian May-style lines. It’s a bit of Worry., and a bit of escapism (“Dear heart, my vehicle, I will teach you how to fly, and if not, I’ll sit by while you rot”). “Slip” is all Nirvana guitar tones and grunge riffing while “Breather” borrows from the brisk mid-2000s guitar and hyper high hats of Franz Ferdinand and Interpol. The journey ends with “The Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger,” a brilliant, 5-minute+ punk rock ballad that switches time signatures midway through before ending, alongside a brass section, where it began—with Gregory at his lowest point. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again/I’m bored and need support,” he roars.

Cosmic Thrill Seekers is a constant replaying of this cycle, equal parts joyous and challenging; it’s a punk rock, mental health-oriented declaration of, ‘time is a flat circle.’ “The record title is very ambitious and big and grand, but as the first and last song kind of display, the message of the story is almost like, ‘There’s no place like home,’ even though Cosmic Thrill Seekers is the direct opposite of that,” Gregory says. “But it takes a journey to realize that, as it did for me, and as it did for Dorothy.”

To summarize in Gregory’s words: “This has the potential to get semi-dark, if you’re down with that.”
SUNDRESSED
SUNDRESSED
Life is all about transitions, the desire to get from who you are to who you want to be. Just like the people who comprise them, every band is on a journey to find an identity and become comfortable in it’s own skin. For Phoenix, Arizona indie punks, Sundressed, these changes are the foundation of their new EP, The Same Condition.

After a string of releases dabbling in different sounds, Sundressed began to truly find their unique voice on their early 2015 EP, Dig Up A Miracle. Now with the release of The Same Condition, the band continue to deliver on the promise of their earlier work, creating endearingly honest melodic punk mixed with shades of indie rock, and massive hooks to spare.

Sonically, Sundressed excel at writing soaring harmonies and ear warm choruses, but lyrically, The Same Condition touches on darker territory. Heartbreak, depression, and toxic relationships are commonplace in alternative music, but Sundressed singer/guitarist Trevor Hedges takes a unique approach, deftly balancing intensely personal stories with universally relatable truths. Hedges said of the EP, “being in recovery and having struggled with depression in the past always makes things harder, but these songs are my way of letting it out and realizing that you can get through just about anything without going down a dark path.”

Sundressed walk a line between youthful enthusiasm and adult thoughtfulness, energetic punk and quirky indie, harrowing desperation and uplifting hopefulness. On The Same Condition the band have embraced these dynamics, found solace in transition, and are well on their way to becoming who they want to be.

FFO: Modern Baseball, Weezer, The Menzingers
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016
http://www.therebellounge.com/