Considering they’ve already worked on everything from a “dystopian rock musical” (Barcode) to songs that scored TV shows on TNT, ABC and MTV - and after wrapping up a live set on WFMU’s Goddamn Dave Hill show where they lit up Dave’s message board and then went on to headline a sold out NYC show - it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Debb Andrews and Mike Blaxill are at the peak of their creative powers on the new Gladshot album These Are Vitamins. Released in fall 2017, its their second effort with super producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee), who continues to perfect the push-and-pull dynamics Mike and Debb perfected on their last EP, Maxwell’s Cool Demon.
It’s something they’ve been working on ever since the two met at a songwriter collective that performed and critiqued one another’s songs. At the time, Mike and his propulsive guitar were on more of a roots-rock tip, and Debb pulled in pop influences and the serious jazz skills that earned her a National Endowment for the Arts nod and lessons with the legendary pianist Joanne Brackeen (a session player and live performer for such esteemed musicians as Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, and Stan Getz).
Now Gladshot can be best described as bold garage band, striking a perfect balance between pop and psychedelic music. Not to mention reflecting such varied influences as the Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, AC/DC, Crowded House, Marvin Gaye, and the road-tested records of Cherry Glazerr, Langhorne Slim, and Speedy Ortiz.
“We each generate our own musical ideas,” the pair explains, “then we get together to decide what will be a song. Once it’s written, one of Debb's favorite things is coming up with keyboard parts—cool ones that meld into the song, the way Nicky Hopkins does on ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ or ‘She's a Rainbow’. They inspire her to keep it all lo-fi and simple.”
Skating is the songwriting project of Jake Shaker from New Haven, CT. Blending together influences from soul, doo wop, and emo music, Skating creates a recorded sound that is layered, colorful, and intimate. Their live show takes those bedroom pop recordings and fleshes them out into full-blown rock songs that are dynamic, earnest, and at times even funny. Skating's debut album, Ultra Blue was released on Z Tapes and is available for download at skating.bandcamp.com
Dangerous Animals is a rock 'n' roll group formed in Storrs, CT in 2012. Consisting of four guys who like to have fun, the band has a knack for making every show a party. Their debut EP "Don't Blame the Floor if You Can't Dance" is out later this summer.