Alt-Nation: Handsome Pete and Lincoln Tunnel
Handsome Pete’s Birthday Shitshow – The Funcrushers – Self-Titled CD Release (75orLessRecords)
Longtime local music fixture Handsome Pete Lima’s annual birthday never fails to live up to its billing. This year will be no exception as it includes a self titled CD Release for Lima’s surf rock band, The Funcrushers, who no longer exist. His new surf rock band, The Anchorites, will play instead. That’s a little confusing so I contacted Handsome Pete to get the lowdown. As far as The Funcrushers CD, I’ve heard bits of the album over the years, but it was always around 4am in a practice space in Olneyville so those memories are sketchy. I feared the record was lost forever in a warehouse next to Dr. Dre’s Detox album. Happily, the lost Funcrushers record has resurfaced and is even better than I remembered. The all instrumental record is very much in the style of Man or Astro-Man? as far as spacey surf punk. Highlight tracks include the sprawling “Rampart,” “Seamantics” and the soothing “Fond Farewell.” The whole album is something one can listen to on repeat because it just has a great chill atmosphere for sunny days.
Marc Clarkin: There are a lot urban legends surrounding The Funcrushers. Who is in the band and how long have they been together?
Handsome Pete Lima: The Funcrushers are myself and Jesse Roy, who I’ve known since the 5th grade. We recorded the record in November 2008, and we only played together for maybe 6 months before that. There were never any plans for it to be an active project; initially we just wanted to document what we had written and I wanted to try my hand at recording and mixing. The entire process was kind of a nightmare up until this past year or so, when I finally learned the “right” way to approach mixing. Somehow a rough mix leaked and since then there has been great speculation that this was the greatest unreleased surf album ever created by two guys from Seekonk.
MC: Some call this record a very political instrumental record. Did it start out that way?
HPL: If you listen closely to the lyrics on this album you would be hard pressed to disagree with any of our political leanings. We are all things to all people
MC: I believe it was Cream magazine that likened the record as the surf rock answer to Dr. Dre’s Detox and GnR’s Chinese Democracy. Do you think that’s fair?
HPL: During the 6+ years it took to finish the record, I can totally relate. The only thing I can say for sure is that it’s better than Chinese Democracy, and I’ve never even heard it.
MC: Oh it was the best thing GnR ever put out! Who is in The Anchorites and how would you describe the sound?
HPL: The Anchorites are myself and Kevin Bowden on guitars, Bobby Gregory on drums, and Chris Monti on bass. The sound is based on the traditional surf rock style, but it’s a definitely a little rough around the edges. Man or Astro-Man? is obviously a huge influence along with Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and maybe some of the twang of the Flat Duo Jets thrown in there.
MC: What are The Anchorites’ upcoming plans? And what is it about the band that has publications like The Source magazine saying that The Anchorites are far superior to any band today?
HPL: We’ve already started working on writing tracks for our debut EP. I’m hoping to have it out sometime before 2022. We just wanna show people that it takes a little more than reverb to have a “surf” sound. After such high praises, I’m really hoping they invite us to the Source awards. I wanna take a selfie with Diddy.
Handsome Pete’s Birthday Shitshow featuring performances by Teazer and The Anchorites will rock The Met Café on August 21. The show will also be your first chance to get the new CD by The Funcrushers.
The Lincoln Tunnel – Today 2.0 (75orLess Records)
The debut release from the Lincoln Tunnel is a mess of indie rock, Americana and mariachi horns thrown together like a Jackson Pollock painting where against all odds, it somehow works. On Today 2.0, Lincoln Tunnel come out swinging like Mike Tyson with the frenetic “Damn, I Wear It Well,” which has the gall to sound like a cross between The Gun Club and the Jim Carroll Band. “Big Decision” and “All Together Wrong” are rockers that get bailed out by big infectious choruses, but otherwise would have no redeeming value. The horns on “Friend of the Roses” invoke bands like Mariachi El Bronx, but I can’t picture singer/guitarist Christian Caldarone being able to pull off a sombrero. On “Memphis” they have the nerve to sound like pre-sober Replacements — think “Left of the Dial” on meth. “Makin’ Cents & Takin’ Vows” and “Line My Pockets” turn to Americana folk. Begrudgingly, I’ll admit to really liking the lyrics on the latter. “Ordinary Sun” was probably a mistake because it is just an all around good tune with a soaring skyscraper hook.
75orLess Records presents a triple CD release show featuring new biscuits and performances by Lincoln Tunnel, Karma Rocket, and Groundhawgs. As an added bonus, Jets Can’t Land will also rock the house and it all goes down at The Parlour on August 29.
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