For the degenerate minority of us who buy records and obsess over ‘em, The Gotobeds first came to our attention when word began to spread that Kim Phuc guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer-turned-guitarist Tom Payne had a new band. That powerhouse pedigree certainly didn’t hurt, but non-residents of Blitzburgh were in for a slight headfuck upon hearing The Gotobeds’ debut 7”, “Ipso Facto (It’s All Happening)” (Mind Cure) in the Fall of 2013. Teamed with bassist Gavin Jensen and drummer Cary Belbeck, the quartet’s chaotic take on smart-dude avant punk could’ve passed for one of the best singles of 1979, ’89, ’99, really, any year that ended in a 9. 1859. 2019.
A subsequent 45 for Mind Cure, spring 2014’s “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones)” upped the ante considerably ; though one publication called it Lee Ving-baiting, ’twas a Parquet Courts LP that was smashed into tiny pieces in the song’s widely seen music video. Lest anyone believes this was manufactured attempt at creating a feud, the simple fact of the matter is that hardly anyone is willing to talk about the consequences of poor LP handling. You call it a promotional clip, I call it a PSA —- can’t we simply agree the song was amazing?
After some OTT blog hyperventilating and an action-packed trip to SXSW and back, we can fast forward to ‘Poor People Are Revolting’, as confident and filler-free a debut rock album as you’re gonna hear in these sad, otherwise sloppy times.
(photo by Ali Copeland)
Through Jason Smith’s tenures in the OBN III’s and playing alongside Orville Neeley and The Flesh Lights’ Max Vandever in the modestly-named The Best, Jason long ago established himself as a rock/pop/punk/whatever virtuoso, a devastatingly great soloist, yet a wildly inventive rhythm player with a razor-like focus on service-to-the-song. In late 2012, Neeley left town for an extended stint with Bad Sports and Smith found himself with no gigs or rehearsals to soak up time otherwise spent giving dancing clinics.
And with that, Jonly Bonly was formed. Smith spent that winter break composing a pile of new power pop classics that guitar prowess aside, bore little resemblance to his work alongside Andrew Cashen in OBN III’s ; Austin gigs throughout 2013 & ’14 with the crack rhythm section of bassist Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk, Uptown Bums) and drummer Marley Jones (OBN III’s, ex-Sweet Talk) unveiled a ridiculously talented trio far too dynamic to be relegated to side-project status.
??Put Together, recorded during this year and last with the assistance of Neeley —- in addition to sessions at Denton, TX’s Cool Devices with Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke (Marked Men, Radioactivity) has all the wit and swagger anybody who’s watched Smith in action has come to expect. And if you’re wondering, that he’s not even close to peaking is not an acceptable excuse for sleeping on this audacious debut album.
Preorder both albums here.