The Ankles found their sound brimming with melody, emotion, textured guitars and rocking drums when they were forced to go low-tech by accident.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
One of the bands to put Jersey City on the musical
map (well, 20 years after Kool & The Gang) may just
be The Ankles.
These four guys from New City, N.Y.,
who found each other and bonded over their appetite
for rock n roll and who now all live together in J.C.
have a solid, honest sound that confidently walks the
tightrope between raw and polished. The band
(bassist Billy Ferrara, guitarist Fred Macaraeg,
drummer Rob Farren and guitarist/singer Shaun Towey)
purveys rock with just the right amount of
emotion to make its songs heartfelt without
falling overboard into the histrionic. They deftly
thread far-reaching melodies through textured guitars
and meaty drumming, resulting in a sound with an
Singer/guitarist Shaun Towey's
vocals have an arresting clarity and an endearing,
earnest quality. When asked about the group's
songwriting process, Towey simply states: "We play the
rock and roll until the rock suits the roll for us."
The Ankles' current CD, "Kill Themselves" (Maggadee
Records) is the kind of CD that sounds great when you
listen to it all the way through, and the band's songs
steadfastly travel onward from point A to B and
beyond. The production here is crisp and no-nonsense
and the songs (especially "Hands Out Of Pockets") give
forth a heated glow from center stage. They've just recorded
another four songs with Michael Moebius producing.
Speaking of stages, the Ankles live are truly in their
element. You feel a sense a camaraderie among these
guys that adds a sprinkle of humor to the feelings put
forth by their songs. When asked about their first
gig, Towey tells us, "It was at Bar East on the Upper
West Side of NYC. We forgot to
bring a microphone (or the bar did) and we just played
our songs instrumentally. We got drunk and our friends
who were there surprisingly dug it."
about their inspiration, they cite the Beatles having
broken up by the time they were 30 as a motivation.
Still fresh into their 20s, let's hope the Ankles
stick together for quite some time.
|DECEMBER 7, 2003|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
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