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Dec 07

Top 10′s and Best Of’s

A couple of top ten and best of lists to note here at the end of the year…

Evan “Funk” Davies of WFMU has The Laureates EP sitting pretty at #5 in his “Top Singles/EPs” of 2007. Take a look at the whole list here.

Also, The Unblinking Ear has “Witching Boots” in The 2007 Playlist and sporting the title for the obscure category of Song I heard on Evan “Funk” Davies show on WFMU and immediately thought “I must have this”. Check the whole 2007 in Review story here.

Thanks to Evan and Paul for the shouts. In recording news, we’re heading back to the Manor to work on the album again in mid-January. We’ll let you know how it’s going.

Happy New Year!!

Dec 07

The Phantom Manor (part 1)

We had a great time with the brilliant Mr. Lust at Phantom Manor last weekend. We watched some DVDs, played some video games, had some laughs at Lust’s interpretation of dirty south hip-hop and his sensitive MC alter-ego, tried to avoid the man-child who almost stole our beer, and played a lot of air drums in the control room. But aside from all that, we recorded basic tracks for 13 songs. Here are those songs:

Your Filthy Eastern Ways
Tomorrow Today
It’s Shattering
A Novel Approach
Nothing’s Perfect
My Association
I Want to Miss You
Make You
Her Fiction
There Are No More Gentlemen
Furniture Moves
Coronation Now!
Witching Boots

We’re not sure at all yet about the tracklisting or even what songs will make the final product, but those are the ones that we have basics for. We’ll be heading back in to the Manor in January to put down some more guitars, vocals, horns, organ, percussion, etc. We’ll post some photos from last weekend here when we get them.

Dec 07

Soul Sessions

Thanks to everybody who came out to the free Monday show at the Empty Bottle. That was a hell of a fun time. If you took any pictures send ‘em to us. We’re gonna take a break from the shows for the holidays, but we’ll be back in 2008.

Tomorrow we head over to the Manor to start tracking the full-length, armed with horns, maracas, sleigh bells, and a boat-load of chili. The organ is still in the shop, so we’re gonna have to wait to put the keys down. We’ll keep you posted with photos and updates about what we’re recording as we go.

We made a Christmas jingle at the practice space last night. We’ll post it here or on our MySpace when Chad gets it mixed.

Dec 07

Seven Inches Every Day

There’s a nice little review of the 7″ EP over at the Seven Inches Every Day blog. Check it out, it’s a pretty cool blog.

We start recording at Phantom Manor this weekend. We’re all pretty psyched to get these tunes down on some tape.

See you at the Empty Bottle tonight!!

Dec 07

The Unblinking Ear

From The Unblinking Ear’s 2007 in review:

“The Laureates ‘Witching Boots.’ MP3s of all the songs from the Laureates’ 4 song 7″ EP are available for free on their website but I was so floored by this track I needed it in a hard format as well. Anytime I’ve played it for anyone since they’ve immediately perked up with ‘Who is this?’ Yes, it’s that good. Go show them some love.”


Dec 07

Seven Inches Every Day

“The Laureates were kind enough to send me their latest single on Funambulist recording company. I finally got around to giving it a spin this weekend:

This could easily have been recorded a few decades ago in the wall of sound tradition of bands like The Crystals, in fact this opening riff on the first track “I want to miss you’ reminds me so much of their track ‘Then he kissed me’ that it was one of those ‘what’s the name of that song’ moments which, thanks to the internet only lasts a minute.

From there the EP keeps this 60′s garage feel, complete with rhythm guitar lines, and chorus changes, and harmonizing. There is heavy reverb/echo on everything, including Chad’s vocals, down to the drum kit. I like the distance vocally, placed somewhere in the middle of the mix and sounding a bit like an upbeat Paul Banks from Interpol, that deep, half talking, kind of holding back emotionally, saving it up to lay it on if and when it’s called for.

It’s not far from early Rolling Stones, or the Kinks, like ‘Mother’s little helper’ when the distortion was novel and incorporated into little pop jems. The guitar on ‘Hello, Hello’ really reminded me specifically of ‘Can’t get no satisfaction’ that up the scale chord and even blues-ish influenced riffs.

This recording lends itself perfectly to the seven inch format, I’m a huge fan of mini EP’s like this where you can really get a feeling for the band. How they fit these 4 tracks on a single I still don’t understand, they don’t feel short, this is like one of those unearthed gems that collectors drool over finding a copy, a misplaced garage band like the Zombies that is mentioned repeatedly as influencing all kinds of people to pick up a guitar. It’s stripped down, I’d believe it if you told me it was recorded fairly live in the studio. It’s just successful rock period.

They reference the spectrum from The Jam and Spoon as independent contemporaries and I can hear that, the structures, the songwriting, and honest rock sound, no gimmicks. Witching Boots starts out with bass line which is joined by a fuzz guitar single string melody and another layer of guitar comes in over that. I like this two rhythm guitar sound, they’re always working together. They never drown each other, they’re both necessary. There isn’t a lead, both working towards the same end, that arm windmill energy. Chad’s vocals are echoed and in traditional wall of sound style, all the sounds bleeding into each other. There’s a lot of capable harmonizing on all tracks, which at first I don’t even think I noticed right away.

This single is an impressive first EP in this balanced, timeless sound. A modern take on the infancy of straight ahead rock and roll.”


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