When I found out these guys were gonna be here in Atlanta with Seven Story Fall, I was way psyched. Out of Dallas, Disco Curtis is Texas's best kept pop-punk/powerpop secret. Blending catchy melodies with sick drums and polished, professional vocals, Disco Curtis are most certainly going to join Seven Story Fall on Hot Topic's shelves before 2010 is up.
Composed of Tanner Howe (lead vocals and guitar), Garrett Perales (guitar), Brendan Barone (bass), and AJ Novak (drums), DC burst from the Texas heat to deliver to you a dose of pop-punk melody and ethics. Though DC's most current release, their EP Play with Fire, Get Burned, is still very new, only making its debut in late September of this year, it already promises to take the music industry by storm, and help Disco Curtis solidify a name for themselves by, at the very most, the end of next year.
Right from second one of the leadoff song from the new EP, I'm floored by DC's driving rhythms and stick-in-your-head melodies that have me singing along, and I don't even know the words. Yet. "Alone and Loving It" is a track to be reckoned with. Blasting off from Perales's and Howe's guitar progressions, Barone and and Novak chime in on a tight rhythm section that already has the song moving to a brilliant beat. And then Howe starts with his vocals, and this one's an easy five-star track. With a catchy verse rhythm and sing-along chorus, "Alone and Loving It" promises to be a song that will have the audience on their toes at every turn. As Howe keeps going with polished, lucid vocals, Perales takes off on a mini guitar solo, and it sounds like something Mick Mars from Motley Crue would do. Novak's drumming is perfect here, and locks with Barone's bass in a way that moves the song along, but not in a way that drowns the instruments out.
Track two on my list is "Breaking Hearts." From the very first drumbeat, the song is different than its predecessor. Whereas "Alone and Loving It" seemed careful, calculated, "Breaking Hearts" lets go in an almost frantic fashion. But for those of you shaking your heads sympathetically, don't. Disco Curtis have calculated just how much panic they need, and while Novak satiates himself with Travis Barker-like drumming, Barone's bass is scaled back a little, but you can still hear it right beside Novak's base drum, pumping life into a mess of brilliance and ingenuity. Then I'm floored and knocked breathless as Howe takes a small break from the vocals, and Perales shoots me up with a perfect concoction of shining notes on his guitar. Absolutely brilliant. And as I trail out on Howe's smooth vocals and guitar chords, it's clear to me that a song this strong is just the statement that these guys can use to show that they're dead serious about their business.
And as "Breaking Hearts" slowly fades, "Surprise Me" starts, and the shitstorm of perfect notes and bombastic drums continues. Here, Barone is particularly on his game as his bass moves the song along, blending well with Perales's and Howe's palm-mutes during the verses. Then it's all out, and Novak is pushing his drumming skills as far as they'll go. This one's got the chorus, the fantastic drum fills, the guitar chords, and the soft interlude where Barone's bass notes are especially solid. An overall great song, and one I'd definitely recommend.
The last song on the EP that I listen to, however, is the jewel of the whole recording. Truly there is nothing to say about "Ashley" other than that it is going to be all over the radio not even two months from now. It's not even a maybe. It WILL be the single to hear next year. It's such an incredible track, that even if the other three sucked like hell, this one would more than make up for it. Novak's drumming is simply fantastic, and Barone's bass prowess is the best it's been on the whole EP. Meanwhile, Perales is at the top of his game with a guitar riff that just sings to your soul even when Howe's vocals stop for a few seconds. And then we're driven home with Howe wrapping up a perfect song. His guitar chords blend more than nicely, and his vocals, at their limits, and even past, are simply sweet. If you're looking for a song you can sink your teeth into, here it is, wrapped up in nice paper and a bow. There is nothing else to say about this track other than that it is, simply put, a perfect song. Simply said, and the simple truth. I'll tell you what guys, you'd all better start lining up outside Spencer's and Hot Topic right now, because once these Texas pop-punks make their splash, the pop-punk scene will never be the same.
Sounds Like: Boys Like Girls, Mayday Parade, Forever the Sickest Kids, All Time Low, Cartel
Key Tracks from Play with Fire, Get Burned: "Ashley," "Breaking Hearts," "Alone and Loving It," "Surprise Me"