Doors @ 9PM ★ $10 Adv – $12 Door
The Star bar presents THE FLESHTONES ★ TIGER! TIGER! ★ and introducing BLACK LINEN (featuring members of The BOOZE) + more!
Often tagged as garage rock revivalists, The Fleshtones mix the fuzz guitar and Farfisa organ sounds of that genre with rockabilly, '50s and '60s R&B, and surf into a potent retro stew the group likes to call "super rock." The group formed in 1976 in Queens, New York with vocalist/keyboardist Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng, bassist Jan Marek Pakulski, and drummer Bill Milhizer and aimed to return rock & roll to the simplicity and unselfconsciousness of the '50s and early '60s. (The group was often joined on-stage and in the studio by sax player Gordon Spaeth, who passed on in 2005.) The group fit nicely into New York's punk and new wave scene, and an early single, "American Beat," attracted the attention of independent label Red Star and, in time, IRS. The group's debut EP, Up-Front, was released in 1980 and was followed by its first full-length album, Roman Gods, and Blast Off!, an unreleased studio album recorded for Red Star in 1978.
Hexbreaker, widely regarded as the Fleshtones' finest album, arrived in 1983. The band continued to record through the '80s and released Powerstance in 1992 and Beautiful Light in 1994. (Powerstance also marked the debut of new Fleshtones bassist Ken Fox, who replaced Pakulski in the lineup and has been with the group ever since.) While the group's popularity dipped under the radar in the last half of the '90s, in 2003 the Fleshtones bounded back when they were signed to the potent indie label Yep Roc Records and released one of their best albums, Do You Swing? An equally solid follow-up, Beachhead, was issued in 2005 and was produced in part by Detroit garage rock kingpin Jim Diamond. In 2008, more than 30 years after the Fleshtones formed, they released Take a Good Look, proving their ability to be just as raucous as they were in the good ol' days, and a few months later, the group dropped its first Christmas-themed release, Stocking Stuffer.
The band brought in Lenny Kaye to guest on guitar for 2011's Brooklyn Sound Solution, a change-of-pace album dominated by covers and interwoven guitar work, and in 2012 the Fleshtones tipped their hats to their Spanish-speaking fans with a four-song EP recorded en español, Quatro x Quatro. The Fleshtones returned to typically raucous form for 2014's Wheel of Talent, a set recorded in Spain, Detroit, and Brooklyn. Fleshtones side projects have included Keith Streng's band Full Time Men, which featured R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck; Peter Zaremba's Love Delegation; and the Master Plan, featuring Streng and Milhizer collaborating with Andy Shernoff of the Dictators.
Since 2005 Tiger! Tiger! has become an important figure in Atlanta's underground music scene, working at the cross roads of garage rock, punk and R&B. The group's second full-length, The Kind of Goodnight, is a catty and cool collection of retro rock and roll rhythms that dive headlong into the dark side of the tensions that bind and repel the sexes. The album is by turns sultry and frenetic, obsessive and triumphant as vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Buffi Aguero cruelly croons away, kicking at the rubble of love in the ruins. Sam Leyja (organ), Susanne Gibboney (bass, vocals), Mario Colangelo (drums) and Shane Pringle (guitar, saxophone, vocals) craft a gritty and careening big beat that wanders into the most menacing parts of the ego and the soul. This is the battle cry of strength, reckoning and psychological vengeance that kicks like a Stiletto to the guts. Each song tells a tale of hurt feelings, deceit and rising above with extreme prejudice.
Opening number, "Stand In" is a Velvet Underground inspired ditty that serves as a primer into the simple, powerful plod of the group's pace. And yes, "Garage rock" is the inexorable catch phrase of Tiger! Tiger!'s approach. It is a dominate strain in the group's genetic make-up, which makes sense. Aguero also plays drums for Atlanta's long-standing garage rock legends the Subsonics (who will be featured on a split 7-inch with the Black Lips later this year on Rob's House Records). Songs like "Black Daggers" and "Cheap Imitation" are not only cut from the same cloth as younger ATL siblings the Black Lips, the Carbonas and the Coathangers, the group contains fragments of the same cornerstones upon which new Atlanta is built.
Tiger! Tiger! draws power from real life experience, and even though there are more than three chords bounding throughout each song, the impact of it all remains in a direct and uncomplicated channeling of very complicated emotions. Dueling frontwomen Gibboney and Aguero bring the pressure to a fine point - the wrath of not one, but two women scorned has never been so enticing.
Goodnight is an exercise in catharsis and sheer triumph of will, but it is so sculpted from so much more than spun-out punk aggression. Pringle's restrained saxophone blasts in "Cheap Imitation" reveal hidden layers in the music that summon an affinity for the artful bend of '70 post-punk and '80s new wave, but it all comes back together in Leyja's long, sustained organ drones and staccato rhythms. "How Much Can You Take" and "Seaside Romance" sidestep the explosive connotations of such punchy and ragged descriptors to follow the course of a slow burn that is no less volatile, and The Kind of Goodnight is white hot.