NEW YORK CITY, 1976: While the rest of the country celebrates the bicentennial and arty bands like Talking Heads and Television break new musical waves, a couple of roommates In Queens, NY, find some instruments left by a previous tenant and start jamming together. They soon became famous for their house dance parties - fun-living, go-go affairs fueled by an intoxicating blue beverage known as the Blue Whale. Amid this heady environment, guitarist Keith Streng and Jan-Marek Pakulski are introduced to art student Peter Zaremba, a harmonica-blowin', maracashakin' force of nature who takes his place front and center as the group's singer. With punk being birthed in the back room at C.B.G.B. and the disco revolution in full sans-a-belt splendor, Streng and Zaremba somehow manage to emerge from the '70s musically unscathed, Nehru jackets with nary a wrinkle, love beads intact; they christen themselves The Fleshtones. Their choice of material is the music they've grown up grooving to: '60s garage rock (from The Seeds to The Standells), British pop (a la The Yardbirds) and funky, backfield-in-motion soul. By '78, their high-energy shows, neo-psychedelic sound (tremolo guitars, trash,fuzz organ and pounding drums) gain The Fleshtones a rep as a don't-miss live band, even if the art-punk set-at first-dismisses them as a "dance/twist band" (Streng's words). The Fleshtones know they will have the last laugh.
In '78, after a single on the quickly defunct Red Star Records, The Fleshtones are snapped up by the '80s most visible "alternative label,I.R.S. Records (R.E.M., The Go-Gos). The band adds drummer Bill Milhizer and release a classic trio of discs: Roman Gods, Hexbreaker and Speed Connection. Zaremba becomes a celebrity of sorts as the host of MTV's "The Cutting Edge," precursor to "120 Minutes." But mainstream success eludes the band and I.R.S. cuts them loose; co-founder Pakulski leaves, to be replaced by Kenny Fox. It's the lineup that's continued to this day, through several neo-garage revivals and more sub-genres of indie rock, post rock, electronica and blues explosions than you can shake a stick at. Stubborn as pack mules, the band continues doing what they do best: winning live audiences over here and abroad with their own distinct brand of Super Rock. Now, after 16 albums and more than 25 years conquering rock fans in the US and abroad (including an album recorded with producer Steve Albini), The Fleshtones have remained amazingly true to their shindiggin' rock ethic. And there have been rewards: they even have their own "republic," Fleshtonia, founded in Gijon by a grateful Spanish fan. These days, they wear the mantle of "world's best party band" with pride; in fact, they've issued a standing challenge to any band out there to a live showdown. Says Zaremba (aka The Garagefather): "The Garage thing … A lot of people take it and it's almost like archeology-very dry, keeping it the same as it was - they're too much in awe of it. We look at it as an approach … we see it as a living thing. We'll cover stuff like Sylvester's 'Do You Wanna Funk' and people accuse us of not being pure. We're working with the essence of rock and roll-the thing that gives you the buzz from the music." After over two decades of playing "retro" rock, The Fleshtones have themselves become timeless-the harmonica, the "power stance" (that's standing and facing down the audience with your arms folded and legs spread, ready to do rock battle), the Three Stooges-style banter and onstage antics. Their first release for Yep Roc Records, Do You Swing?, was a triumphant return to the band's patented sound. Their new release, Beachhead,reunites the 'Tones with producer Rick Miller (Southern Culture on the Skids) at Miller's retro-gear filled NC studio, Kudzu Ranch, for half the tracks; the rest were recorded at Detroit's Ghetto Recorder Studios with The Dirtbombs' Jim Diamond. Beachhand finds Zaremba and company armed and ready to commandeer your stereo speakers! Get ready to dig into 11 original studio tracks of the band's patented Super Rock- served raw, just the way you like it. Aye, 'tis a manly record, but chicks dig it too!
LP vinyl 12", colored transparent Blue
- 1 Bigger & Better
- 2 Serious
- 3 Pretty Pretty Pretty
- 4 You Don't Know
- 5 Do Something For Me
- 6 I Want The Answers
- 1 She Looks Like A Woman
- 2 I Am What I Am
- 3 Super Rock Baby (bonus track)
- 4 Hit Me !
- 5 Push Up Man
- 6 Late September Moon
vinyl 12",colored transparent Blue
Produced by Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs) at Ghetto Recorders, Detroit,USA and Rick Miller at Kudzu Ranch, Mebane, NC. "Super Rock Baby" appear only the vinyl version of Beachhead.