Artist Spotlight: Sonic Graffiti

Today is special! I recently received an email from St. Pete three-piece Sonic Graffiti, who thought I might like there stuff. Before I start, let me say thank you to everyone who has been supportive of The Vinyl Warhol so far. It is already doing better than I ever hoped, and I love hearing/reviewing new music from talented musicians. Enough with the emotional intro, I give you Sonic Graffiti. Enjoy.

If you make music, send it to me!

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Friendly Unit Creation Kit

Sonic Graffiti’s music can be described as neo-Zeppelin, barn burning rock n’ roll. Their debut EP, Friendly Unit Creation Kit, was released on June 1, is a gritty collage of rock, punk, rockabilly, and blues. This EP starts off right. “The Morning Electric” is the quintessential Sonic Graffiti song. It describes Sonic Graffiti, at there core, better than I ever could. Their loud, unapologetic, and you better get out of their way. Guitar licks that dance the fine line between  garage blues and heavy metal, and the bass doesn’t stop for a second, the groove alone will give you carpel tunnel. Drew (vocals/guitar) keeps it simple, no chorus here, just a group chant, that reminds me of Japandroids, and a pair of verses. Drew’s voice is reminiscent Rob Tyner of the MC5. On “Head in the Clouds” he shines as a vocalist, the delivery is convincing and the melody sticks.

Sonic Graffiti delivers riff-rock like old pros, but what’s good here is it never feels stale. They’re more aggressive than the bands their sound comes from, which can be highlighted in the sporadic guitar solos. Their long and numerous, but don’t feel at all forced. “Scribbles” is the wildest of all the tracks on Friendly Unit Creation Kit. The vocals are volatile, so much that the outro is cloaked in gristle of a voice about to break. I’ve never seen Sonic Graffiti live, but I’ll be damned if these songs don’t sound better in person.

The fifth track is a surprise. The guitars, drums, and bass are gone. They’re replaced with what I think is mandolin, because their Facebook says Drew plays mandolin, but to me it sounds like ukulele. There’s nothing wrong with a band putting in a slow song. But to go right from “Scribbles” into this, is too much of a change. I prefer garage rock bands to go more of the psychedelic route with their slower songs. Evan an acoustic guitar with a rolling beat would have fit better on Friendly Unit Creation Kit. I can appreciate the risk, but the mandolin/ukulele thing just contrasts too much the vocals.

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Low Dough Mondays: Butter Queen, The Woolly Bushmen, Alias Punch

There are two things in this universe that can always brighten up my day: live music and a leather jacket. It’s not cold enough yet for a leather jacket, and this blog isn’t really geared towards leather goods, so today I’m talking about some live music. Last night, at the infamous Will’s Pub, Butter Queen, The Woolly Bushmen, and Alias Punch kept it smooth, and made us move. It was Low Dough Monday, so I got all this goodness for $3, so don’t miss the next one. Enjoy.

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Butter Queen

First on, crawling straight out of the gutter, was Butter Queen. Butter Queen is the supergroup of the Orlando music scene. Composed of one part Wet Nurse, one part Basements of Florida, and one part Tam Tam the Sandwich Man, this Frankenstein’s Monster came out swinging. Although a fairly new act, their experience shows. Vocal duties change between salty and sweet, but their sound is all sleaze. One song was even dedicated to longtime local dive bar, Wally’s. I look forward to hearing more from Butter Queen, and seeing some of my favorite local bands come together was magic.

The Woolly Bushmen

The Woolly Bushmen are in a league all their own. I’ve seen them a few times, and they never fail to get the whole crowd moving. Get your rockabilly gear out because you will be swing dancing, you will be amazed, you will not survive. Simon Palombi (vocals/guitar/keyboards) has a presence on stage that is somewhere between Jack White and a stumbling drunk. Throughout the set he stomped around on stage like a caveman. Julian Palombi (drums) beat the hell out of his drum set, and the banter between the brothers turned this set into a show. If you haven’t seen The Woolly Bushmen live, do yourself a favor and fix that. They have another show at Will’s again on November 9, don’t miss it!

Alias Punch

Alias Punch closed out the night, and they did so in a big way. Off what sounds like an exhausting tour, the band still seemed fresh, and played with a sound all their own. Self described as, ” a sludgy blanket to keep you warm through the winters, and cool in the summers,” this band is really hard to pinpoint. They’re experimental rock, with killer riffs, a FUCK IT attitude, and enough beer to put down a football team. Screaming vocals, talking vocals, chanting vocals, melodic guitars, crunching guitars, these songs stay fresh. But, one things remains the same. They kick your ass all over the room.