ALIENS "HEAD FIRST"
ALIENS HEAD FIRST
"Aliens is tough to label, probably in part because Blake and Raanen—
the guitar-and-drum duo that comprises the band, and who apparently
prefer to use their first names only—have made it their mission to be. Not
to be confused with The Beta Band offshoot The Aliens, Austin’s own
Aliens (note the lack of the “The”, as this will be important in tracking
inevitable lawsuits later) might just be single-handedly bringing
something gritty back to our local music scene that we’ve been sorely
missing. Sometimes they sound like Helmet, sometimes Blake sounds
like Thurston Moore or even “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”-
era Michael Stipe, and sometimes they just sound like sheer,
Any time a two-person band manages such a noisy sound, the band
needs to be watched and possibly reckoned with. Though Head First is
their debut, Aliens has already garnered attention from local,
longstanding rock bands. They have played at CBGB’s and have
somehow made songs like “Committed to Wind” and “Moving Parts”
seem slightly familiar. Despite being young and fairly scruffy compared to
the skinny jeansed, carefully-coiffed hipster bands lurking around town,
they’ve made pins and t-shirts and an early gaggle of fans. All of this
means that someday, if you’re any kind of savvy music consumer, you
can point to your record shelf, hold up the simple, bright album cover that
depicts a swimmer clonking her head on a diving board, and say, “Look, I’
ve got Aliens’ first album.” You will thus impress the pants off your
-Dina Guidubaldi SOUNDCHECK MAGAZINE
ALIENS HEAD FIRST
For immediate release:
Austin, Texas - November 16, 2007 -After a string of successful single releases
like Committed To Wind, Stow Away, Moving Parts, Reflex Motor, and Don't Panic
recorded live in New York's CBGB, ALIENS release their first album, Head First.
The album represents the culmination of more than a year of recording and
mixing starting last July at the legendary SUN STUDIOS in Memphis.
ALIENS is the musical entity created by Blake Sandberg, featuring Blake on
guitars and vocals with drummer Raanen Bozzio. While living in New York City,
the artist and musician was coping with the destruction and lingering aftermath
of 9/11, Blake began using ALIENS as a name for his band in 2002. (Not to be
confused with "The Aliens," the former Beta Band) This defining moment and
time, along with a chronic illness, influenced future Head First tracks like
Guinea Pig and Survivor Story, which Blake wrote while looking out his Tribeca
apartment window, blocks from where the Trade Center stood, "watching the
sun come up as Ground Zero burned."
Head First brings together musicians and talent from around the world
including guest drummers Tamaki Ui from Japan, Raanen Bozzio, son of Frank
Zappa's drummer Terry Bozzio, and even Iggy Pop and David Bowie drummer,
Hunt Sales. The bulk of the album was recorded in Austin with engineer Mark
Younger-Smith. Fred Remmert recorded the bonus track Mirror Song on Elvis's
NEVE mixing console.
Ironically, Alien Mind Control, a Daniel Johnston composition was recorded on
SHIMMY DISC founder KRAMER's board in New York, the same board that was
used to record Daniel Johnston, Jad Fair, and so many others. KRAMER even
entered the project by mastering Head First.
The Head First album proves that ALIENS are not afraid, and not afraid to rock!
ALIENS debut is an expansive album with each song adding a different sound or
mood and feeling. Each song is simple, stripped down, but each unique. The
songs are direct and catchy. These are songs you will remember the next day.
A US tour is being planned for summer.
The CD and LP is available online through MISC. MUSIC.
Please visit www.miscmusiconline.com or directly from the band at
www.aliensmusic.com in addition to local retail outlets. Digital downloads are
available through iTunes.
ALIENS COMMITTED TO WIND CD AND 7” SINGLES Released February 2007
MISC. MUSIC MISC005 (COMBINES SINGLES: MISC003 + MISC004 ONTO ONE CD)
ALIENS present their first two singles on one CD. Including the Committed To
Wind single (MISC003). A studio single recorded at the legendary Sun Studios in
Memphis! These songs kick started the career of Austin’s stellar ALIENS!
These songs were recorded at Sun Studios while on a tour up the east coast to
New York City and back. Includes Committed To Wind and Stow Away
The CD includes the unlisted and secret addition of three live tracks recorded
at CBGB in New York with DJ HIGH PRIEST, just before the club closed its doors:
ALIENS DON’T PANIC: LIVE AT CBGB includes Reflex Motor, High Priest
Break Down, and Watch and Learn.
“Aliens have had a textbook career thus far. The EP is a raw and unnerving.
The new single "Committed to Wind" b/w "Stow Away," recorded at
Memphis's Sun Studios and issued on green vinyl, is equally unnerving, a
visceral attack on pop culture. Both spin at 45 rpm for Austin's Misc. Music”
– AUSTIN CHRONICLE
ALIENS Committed to Wind CD (5 song EP) MISC005 CD
ALIENS Committed to Wind b/w Stow Away 7” MISC003 Ed. of 500 7”
ALIENS Don’t Panic Live at CBGB 7” MISC004 Ed. of 315 7”
FOR MORE ON ALIENS PLEASE VISIT THEIR
SITE, FOR MORE REVIEWS SEE THE PRESS
Aliens - CD - Head First
Raw, edgy and blindingly intoxicating, 'Head First' is the debut album release
from Austin, Texas reality-rocksters Aliens. With nowt really complicated but
loads of punkish fluidity, Aliens beat out their electrifying nu-punk with a true
grit and intense angularity.
Infectious as clap but much more pleasant to live with, 'Head First' takes
things down to street level with a lo-fi rhythmic melee that's driven by
incessant guitar chords and a ferociously savage percussive engine room.
Vocally, Aliens make sweet noise happen from humble and non-too-showy but
honest and occasionally grungy outpourings that are totally suited to the
refreshingly organic and minimalist instrumental backdrop. Altogether, Aliens
sound is gritty, pounding and compelling; nothing about Aliens sounds
pretentious or self-indulgent, Aliens appear to write and play from somewhere
deep inside the gut rather than the heart and their energetic but tantalising
roots punk/rock is hemmed by tattered seams and frayed edges that allow
freedom of movement and unrestricted ebb of flow of murky waves of sound
that suck you in and hold you fast until you're drunk on Aliens' home brew of
'Head First' by Aliens is kick-ass nu-punk with a big rockin' twist. Aliens'
stripped-back sound is as simple as it is powerful; a basic but smartly
innovative cocktail of gritty rockin' sounds that cross genre boundaries and
stick two fingers up at pretentious indie normality. Aliens' music is 'now', it's
honest, it's totally laid bare and it's a very pleasant change from most of what's
going down at the mo'. 'Head First' by Aliens is a simplistic but wholly
enthralling work of gritty, powerful grunge-punk - great fun, massively likeable
and a somewhat delicious musical morsel that shoves conformity out the door
and brings harsh reality to the party. I love it, it's just a no bullshit work that
gets down to business and spits in the face of indie convention and is all the
better for its blatant grubbiness and off-the-street attitude.
Peter J Brown aka toxic pete (www.toxicpete.co.uk)
Aliens - Single - Committed To Wind / Stow Away
'Committed To Wind' and 'Stow Away' can also be found on the splendid
Aliens' album, 'Head First'; both absolutely typical of Aliens, both great blasts
of edgy poppy punk.
It's raw and it's laid bare but what Aliens do is pretty compelling; there's an
excitement and honesty that normally emanates from the speakers when
Aliens are on the deck and these two great tracks are no different. Hints of
grunge mixed with a looseness of punk combine with pop/rock sensibilities
to result in a commercial if somewhat grubby but hooky sound. There's
nothing too clinical about Aliens music and if the double 'A' single doesn't
prove that to you then the three bonus tracks will. Recorded live at CBGB,
'Reflex Motor', 'High Priest Break Down' and 'Watch And Learn' dish the
Aliens dirt with a warts'n'all display of grim-rock - this is what you get, this is
Aliens pure, simple and honest!
Now, I know some out there won't go for Aliens lo-fi meanderings rather
preferring a polished and sublimely finished end product - all whistles and
bells, mixed and produced to the hilt. But, that's obviously not the way of
Aliens - Aliens give it out real, in the flesh, proper rock'n'roll and actually
benefit from the lack of studio finesse and digital enhancement. Aliens play
rock music as it's meant to be; with the guts, grime and gore still hanging of
its battered and bothered 'body'.
'Committed To Wind' and 'Stow Away' combine to give the listener a true
rendition of Alien rock'n'growl; like it or not you have to admit that it's not
trying to deceive anyone with clever studio embellishments of cover-ups, a
very true to 'live' offering that pulls no punches but can still hit hard.
Peter J Brown aka toxic pete (www.toxicpete.co.uk)