Guitarist Marcel Neumann would like you to know that WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER "are NOT a joke band." I wish he'd told me that a couple of weeks ago when I was out cruising in the Mazda3 I'd been loaned, while cranking SiriusXM Liquid Metal under the cover of darkness. It was then that my ears first took in the music of WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER, but all I could think was - "There's actually a band called WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER." Much to my surprise, a press stream of their PROJEKT HERZ EP arrived in my inbox here at Rock Father HQ a few days later.
Nearly ten years ago (it was October of 2003), I stood inside a dimly-lit ballroom at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas amongst a group of Musicland employees brought together for what would be (unbeknownst to them) one of their final Annual Meetings. The major crash of the music industry was looming just ahead, and if you asked them at the time, I'm sure that few (if any) would've predicted that the eventual bankruptcy, purchase, and elimination of their brand would come just three years later. As I stood there, Martini in-hand, the lights from the stage illuminated and the curtain dropped as the unannounced "surprise" performers for the night broke into their first song with the familiar lyrics... "It's been one week since you looked at me..."
I'm late on this one. In fact, I think it's the first time in several album cycles that there's been a new CLUTCH record out that I haven't been able to get reviewed in time for release day. The reason? I'm The Rock Father now - a work-at-home Dad with two little ones running around. I'm an unapologetic CLUTCH fan, dating back to the days of the TRANSNATIONAL SPEEDWAY LEAGUE - a record that's 20 years old as of this year. As a guy that's literally worn out a few CLUTCH shirts (my favorite was the one with dual SGs on the sleeves - complete with flames) and hats over the course of two decades, I don't think the Maryland purveyors of fine rock can do much wrong. That said, I do have a problem with EARTH ROCKER, their 10th studio album...
In one of my past lives as a music writer, I might've spent a great deal of time breaking down the sonic content of HYDRA, the just-released and proclaimed "final album" from OTEP. 2013 certainly brings with it a new era, and one where I'll just cut to the chase and tell you this: HYDRA is not a good album.
When the members of a band come from such groovalistic heavy rockers as CLUTCH, FU MANCHU, CKY, and FIREBALL MINISTRY, it's a safe bet that what they'll be creating something of quality - provided you're already a fan of the source artists. When the band in question is THE COMPANY BAND, you can bet that customer service is a high priority in the interest of providing listeners with a top product at a fair price. On their latest EP, PROS & CONS (out now on Weathermaker Music), THE COMPANY BAND proves that to be true.
Having covered THE DIRTY HEADS at length on the last site I worked for, I've long-respected the band while not necessarily getting into them. Despite loving surf rock, I'm not a big 'beach' guy, and that's probably what kept them at a distance. I tend to skip the Jimmy Buffett and leave the Sublime with Rome to someone else. With the release of THE DIRTY HEADS' latest album, CABIN BY THE SEA (out now in standard and deluxe editions), something hit me and became very clear: their sun-drenched, beach-infused vibes are irresistible.