Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

American Wrestlers

American Wrestlers

Varsity, Ceramic Animal

Thu, December 8, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

American Wrestlers
American Wrestlers
Now based in Missouri, the Scotsman behind American Wrestlers has been on one hell of a journey. Born and raised in Glasgow, he then found his way to Manchester, where he recorded some demos under a different name and posted the songs online. It was then that his now-wife first got in touch, and after becoming enraptured with one another, he moved across the Atlantic to get married.

"I like to write real songs that survive all on their own," he explains of the sound. "One human and one instrument. Just the human even." Melodic and hazy, its ramshackle surface hides an attention to detail that leaves the 'lo-fi' tag dead in the water.

"The lo-fi thing was all unintentional," he confirms. "This was me trying my hardest to keep all the different sounds and layers under control. Make the reverbs and chorus sound nice and get just the right amount of overdrive from the multi-track's inputs, while at the same time trying to make sure I kept the natural sounds and feels of the real sources the music was coming from."

Armed with little more than a TASCAM 8-track and "the cheapest pawn shop instruments [he] could afford," the upcoming self-titled debut took shape in remote and rural America, and that comforting step away from the hustle and bustle is felt throughout.

First single sees 'I Can Do No Wrong' sees shimmery guitar-work draw upon that feeling of a Midwestern summer's stifling heat. Driven along by a crackling beat, it's a stripped back approach to garage-rock that focuses on melody and avoids the all-too-common desire to drench everything in layer-upon-layer of fuzz.

"The warbling in the chorus is me shaking the whole cassette after taking off the front of the tape tray," he explains of his process. There's a similar free-spiritedness throughout the record – on 'There's No One Crying Over Me Either', the four-note piano refrain was a happy accident: "I was walking past a piano in a friends house and hit four notes at random, stopped and played them again a few times, then sang a melody, and it eventually became this song."

"The last time I had a TASCAM 8-track I was fourteen," he continues on the subject of the record's playful and timeless nature. "The TASCAM was fitting because I was kinda trying to write the album I had always wanted to write since I first started playing music." For the character behind American Wrestlers, then, it's a lifelong ambition finally realised – for all us lucky enough to hear the fruits of his labour, it's a wonderfully timeless record, and one that's destined to inspire another generation of youngsters to pick up their own 8-track.
Varsity
Comprised of Stephanie Smith (vocals/keyboards), Dylan Weschler (guitars), Pat Stanton (guitars) and brothers Jake (drums) and Paul Stolz (bass), VARSITY is flexipop transfused with sepia-soaked indie rock, a five-napkin band wiping down memories of faux-nostalgia and expired suburbia.

In 2013, the Chicago quintet debuted its first EP, Thanks for Nothing, and subsequently released VARSITY, a self-titled LP, in March 2015. Both releasesare the infectious sum of each member’s musical aesthetics, and impossibly weighted with all the good stuff - a misbehaved tone and frenetic pulse that polaroids the last recess before summer vacation, tetherball realism, and sunny slaps in the face. Smith’s pliable lyrics and remedying voice make each song feel like she wrote it just for you--your very own five-foot-something bedroom beat poet.

The well-received releases garnered VARSITY an eclectic following, shimmering blog affection, and a spot in Chicago weekly Redeye’s “10 under-the-radar, must-own Chicago releases from 2015.” Along with being featured over the airwaves on WHPK, WXRT’s “Local Anesthetic,” CHIRP Radio and WLUW’s Clambake (showcasing songs by “ladies, women, and grrrls”), the band’s badges include support for Courtney Barnett, Alvvays, Car Seat Headrest, Twin Peaks, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Diet Cig and Protomartyr.

"VARSITY...takes summery pop hooks and gives them a distinctly rough edge, likeif acts like Tennis or Best Coast had more crunchy guitar riffs and piercing rock jams," writes Josh Terry, Chicago Redeye.

The band is currently releasing a new digital double A-side single, “Smash / Still Apart”, and kicking off another East Coast tour in July. Much like the acclaimed split single releases before them, VARSITY again sounds wistful, unhinged, and fun like a fridge full of beer.
Ceramic Animal
The recipe goes something like four fingers cask strength indie rock with a twist of surf grunge and a psychedelic chaser. It can be served wet and topless but never neat.

Critics say they are "...reminiscent of lo-fi baroque pop Dr. Dog, neo-psychedelia Tame Impala and blues rock Jack White".

YouTube fans insist they sound like the "...the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and The Growlers all in one".

That Mag says "Ceramic Animal is one band to bet on."
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
http://www.bootandsaddlephilly.com