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  •  BAND: THE ANKLES

    The Ankles

    Ankle deep

    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
    Offoffoff.com

    One of the bands to put Jersey City on the musical map (well, 20 years after Kool & The Gang) may just be The Ankles.

      
    THE ANKLES
    Billy Ferrara (bass)
    Bill Murphy (guitar)
    Rob Rarren (drums)
    Shawn Towey (guitar, vocals).

    Related links: Official site | Maggadee Records
    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 impressive sheen.

    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."

    When asked 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


    Reader comments on The Ankles:

  • I saw them   from Billy D, Apr 13, 2004
  • i heard they're...   from Dr. Yes, Jan 3, 2009

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