Label: Saved By Radio
from Calgary Alberta
The Story So Far...
Chapter 1: The "Unfurl The Flag of Righteousness" Era... The Summerlad is a rock and roll group from the heart of the prairies - corn-fed, high minded and possessed by a drive to rise above their flatland surroundings. The frontman for this effort, P7, caused quite a stir in local circles when his former combo, The Primrods, signed a deal with those city slickers in LA, Geffen Records. The result was a fantastic album of wicked guitar sounds that was submerged in a sea of indifference and plain old "What the hell do we do with this, boys?" P7 got up, brushed himself off and, in the heady days of 1999, allied himself with the chaps who were to join him as The Summerlad. Why? Because he just might be too dumb to quit.
So the 'Lads have been a growing concern ever since, impressing a lot of people and influencing a small cult of rock and roll aficionados with their brand of "barbed wire art rock". Naturally, these boys took their prairie squall on the road and have traversed this country and the big neighbour below us six times, sweating blood on the stage in over 200 shows with such musical brethren as The Constantines, Hot Hot Heat, The Buttless Chaps, The Flashing Lights,Xui Xui,The Besnard Lakes and The Weakerthans, just to name a few.
In the spring of 2001, these young turks put out "Distance Will Be Swept Up," their first full length recording, and the cult numbers swelled. The album was a critical success and appeared on the national Earshot listings as well as on campus radio charts from coast to coast. In Calgary, they stayed on CJSW's top 20 for seven weeks, an unheard-of achievement for a local band!
After releasing the rare and sought-after "Mandarin Hand" single, The Summerlad toured the almighty out of their album for over a year with reactions ranging from adoration to apathy (Canada - the highs, the horrors). A pair of shows during New Music West in early 2003 spurred the 'Lads to return to the calm and isolation of their country hinterlands and finish work on their second full-length effort at their underground studio. Over the course of an intense and rewarding year, the band created a sweeping cinematic album surpassing their own expectations. To keep the faithful appeased until the imminent release of said album, the 'Lads put out a limited release single called "The Golden Hammers Project." The single features excellent remixes by three impressive fellow Calgarians and a producer from Montreal. More touring was set for the fall of 2003 and beyond to help make the record even more successful than the last one.
From there it started all over again. Why? Because The Summerlad really are too dumb to quit.
Chapter 2: The "Take Our Fight To The Streets" Era...
So where do we find the tight rhythms and space rock squalls that is The Summerlad in the year 2005? Why, they're still fightin', shuckin' and jivin' and still seeing blood. Once the phenomena that was "Distance Will Be Swept Up" had subsided into a slow burning ember and "The Golden Hammers Project" had sealed itself into a capsule and had gone up and into outer space on the last shuttle launch, the 'Lads figured it was time to get effin' serious. A date was set to release their first true statement of intent. Their "Rock and Roll Thesis", if you will. Its name? "Themes: International." It's purpose? Nobody really knows...
Released in March of '05, "Themes..." was the icing on a very big, sweet, dairy free cake. After hiding out in their home studio learning the alchemical mysteries of tape hiss and frequency tweeking all on their own, the 'Lads were approached in the summer of '04 by the grand dukes of the Calgary performing arts community, One Yellow Rabbit. Asked to provide something out of the ordinary for one night in January of '05 during OYR's High Performance Rodeo, the boys hatched the idea of soundtracking a day in the life of a city. After spending 4 months writing, arranging and scoring a 45 minute composition for a 16 person ensemble that included a guitar orchestra, The Summerlad presented "City Of Noise" for one sold out night that nobody would soon forget...or their eardrums either.
The repercussions are still being felt as offers to do film scores both live and on film, translations of Dadaist plays to song cycles and encore performances of "City..." were being shouted out from way back in the cheap seats that night. But that would all have to wait. To celebrate the release of "Themes: International," the band pulled off two stunning shows in one night, and in two different venues (including a critically acclaimed show in a Cathedral with the previously mentioned ensemble). The Summerlad began to plan their summer of touring, touring and more bloody touring (See "News" and "Tours" sections...). Still, the band has taken some time to begin recording a studio version of the "City Of Noise" composition as well as a new single, also called "City Of Noise", and some material for a possible release on an archaic, yet highly fetishized, medium... the 7" record. Encore performances of "City..." have tentatively been slated for the fall and "The Fall" of 2005 in one go...
And so...this slow, beautiful, blue skinned waltz shall continue for some time now...hold your breath just a little longer darlings.
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|(We Need a) Breakdown Gang|