STAYING ALIVE: They Won’t Stay Dead.
A couple of notable area bands have chosen to regroup lately, which is great news for folks who spend their time sniffing worthwhile music out and about on the local scene.
They Won’t Stay Dead is nothing if not appropriately named. Formed from the ashes of the late, lamented punk explosion M-80, the band is led by that band’s frontman Christian Blaney and anchored by M-80 alums, four-chord guitar monster Jeff Hanks and drummer Brian Bacon. The band also includes Joe Principe, Blaney’s replacement in M-80, and Dave Ladin, the original M-80 singer and former Badfish frontman. Rich Colasanto, once of Racket¬ball, rounds out the six-member act on sax. “We’re having so much fun right now it’s scary,” writes Blaney of his the venture. “The whole process was very organic. We basically jammed once a week for months and just wrote music, drank beer, and had fun. We did just about every style of music possible (except country and pop). Eventually we settled on a mash-up of punk, reggae, and ska.” You can check out a handful of the band’s fresh tunes at www.myspace.com/theywontstaydeadband or their own self-titled web spot.
The new stuff is truer to ska and manic reggae than punk, which plays easier on the ears. That’s not to say the band doesn’t have its rockin’ moments. There’s punk in the bloodstream of these dudes and that won’t go away. But there’s also more dynamic, less classic and hard rock influence than M-80, to go with simpler melodies. Blaney’s own comparison is “Operation Ivy meets the Suicide Machines,” which makes sense. But why the new band? Why now?
“I needed a creative outlet bad. I just can’t stop playing music,” he says. “We’re gearing up to keep writing and get into the studio.” The band is prepping for a show this weekend at the Ocean Mist, as well as some recording sessions at Machines With Magnets. We’re thinking the band has already hit the ground running. Blaney, Hanks, and Bacon have their second, or perhaps third and fourth, winds on the local scene and now they’re cocked and loaded for bear. Who knows? They may prove the old rock band irony — once you stop trying, success becomes imminent.
They Won’t Stay Dead + Tommy Coma + Verbana Darvell | May 4 | Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Beach Road, Matunuck | 401.782.3740
The three original members of Rebecca Nurse — Tracy Garrity (vox, bass), Shawn Garrity (vox, guitar), and Angelo Franco (drums) — have decided that a reinvention is in order. “Since the beginning we’ve gone through a lot of bass players,” says Shawn, stating a plight obvious to many bands. Last year, around this time, the active Garrity girl sprained her ankle during a show at the Living Room and had to stay off her feet for a while. “We didn’t have a permanent bass player at the time,” says Shawn, “and she couldn’t play any shows because of her ankle, so I taught her how to play bass.” Fortunately for the band, Tracy had a good amount of natural ability and she picked up the four-string real quick. Now she’s pulling double-duty on bass and mic. With the removal of the dedicated bass player role, and assuming a trio format, they felt a new name was in order — the Radionics.
The band is now in the final stages of recording their next album, a follow-up to ’04’s Bedtime Stories, with over a dozen new originals. “It’s got the same attitude, but the subject matter is much different,” says Shawn. “All the songs were written after the last album and they touch on the ups and downs we experienced around the release of that album.” The band has scheduled a tentative release date for sometime this summer.