Thursday, September 22, 2011

Solid Attitude

Solid Attitude is a garage punk band from Iowa City. Starting in early 2010 as a side project to the band Viking Fuck, the band now consists of Matt Fenner on guitar, Mickey Shaw on vocals, Walker Neudorff on drums, and Brendan Wells on bass. As far as the band's influences ago, bands that stand out to me would have to be Black Flag and the Stooges and I'm sure some garage bands that I don't know that names of.

Solid Attitude originally formed as an alternative to Matt, Mickey, and Walker's synthpunk band Viking Fuck as a way to alleviate stress from that band's frequent show schedule. Matt dropped the keyboard and picked up the guitar, Walker added a floor tom to his stand up drumming style, and Mickey, well, still does vocals but with more of a strapping approach. A set consisting of 3 punk rippers was written and the trio started playing shows, completely frantic right off the bat: their first show was played with Yuppies at Public Space One in Iowa City and involved a 5 minute set ending in couch cushions being thrown at the crowd.

Soon enough, after playing a few shows and warming up to the new sound, Brendan Wells, of the band These Needles and NERV, was added to the band as the bass player after he approached the band about the idea. After playing some shows with this freak on bass (including opening for Skeletonwitch... god, I miss the Warehouse), Kyle from the band Cacaw (among many, many others) from Chicago asked the band to record an EP to be put out on cassette on his label, Rotted Tooth Recordings. Six tracks were recorded at the Viking Fuck House onto 4 track by Mickey, and Kyle liked the CDr so much he decided to put the songs out on 7" titled Prison Water. All the art was done and screen printed by Mister City Press.

1. Ghost Worthy
2. SMA (Solid Mental Attitude)
3. Constant Garbage / Totally Droll
4. Squirrel Trap
5. TV Life
6. Prison Water

Click to download.

A great 7" right here, nasty fuzzy guitar solos, gritted teeth bass, with chunks of noisey feedback throw in for good measure; this is just a good solid slice of current Midwest garage punk. The release show for Prison Water was in Chicago (where Rotted Tooth Recordings is based from) and was the first show of a 2 week long midwest tour for the band in late 2010. I'm pretty sure the band got stuck in a snow storm in Indiana for 3 days, if I remember correctly. Bummer dudes.

ANYWAY, they get back to town safely and start writing more songs and playing more local shows with the likes of Chicago's White Mystery and Detroit's Tyvek among many, many others. This is the time period, to me at least, where Solid Attitude totally buckled down and refined their berserk live performance. The performance itself became a lot tighter and a lot more aggro as far as Mickey's conduct goes. Often times they would close shows at The Birdcage, Mickey and Matt's house venue, and people would go bonkers, much to the bands dismay (lighten up, guys... but I guess moshing resulting in holes punched in the ceiling and beer and broken glass everywhere sorta sucks). They've been on their shit ever since.

Spring of 2011 rolled by and Summer was coming up, so the band began to plan a tour out east, down the coast, then back west through the southern states with their pals in the Omaha band Yuppies. At this time, the band was planning to release a tape on the Iowa City label Night People, but they ran out of time doing that, so they opted instead for a self released split tape called This Bogus Earth with Yuppies. What's cool about the recording of this tape is a majority of the vocals are recorded as a live stream of consciousness, but you may not know that just by listening to them.

(Thanks Jason Salek for the scan)

Solid Attitude side:
1. Shit Business
2. What Does Pussy Feel Like?
3. Shopping Mall
4. Bastard
5. Punk Beer
6. Get in the Trunk
7. No Comply

Yuppies side:
1. Banana Now
2. Getting Out
3. Sensations
4. What's That / Easy Night

Click to download.

The punk parts are a bit more freaked-out, the chill parts are a bit chiller, and it's all around a lot more rawer than the 7". This Bogus Earth, I dig it. This tape came out at the tour kickoff show at The Birdcage. I think there was some Australian band playing the show too, but I don't recall the name. They were garagy and drunk, and that's about the extent of what I remember about them. Whoops! Either way, the tour was 3 weeks long and I'm sure it went well and they had a ton of fun.

Okay, download the tunes, listen to the tunes, this shit is good. Solid Attitude is practicing in my basement right now as I type this, trying some new songs out for a Night People tape that is actually going to happen this time I hope. They're sounding good, and if you want proof for yourself, go check out a show.



Solid Attitude has been a pretty god damn active band, playing shows and going on tours whenever possible. At the end of last year the band headed north from their home in Iowa City to Cedar Rapids (what a long trek) to record all of the new songs they had been working on with a guy that plays in the Wheelers if that means anything to you. His name slips my mind. Sorry. The tracks they recorded were put to tape and released on Brendan Records with artwork done by me.

1. 3D
2. Part 1
3. Part 2
4. PCP
5. Slow Surf
6. Solid Ettiquette
7. Punk Beer
8. 2nd Newest
9. 3rd Newest
10. Volume
11. Newest

Click to download.

How punk. Obviously the names of these songs area all just placeholders and I'm sure they'll have them all truly named by the time Rotted Tooth Records re-releases these songs onto 12" in time for a tour the band is planning to the west coast this coming July and August.



So, Solid Attitude's LP on Rotted Tooth came out on schedule and they went on tour to promote it.  Even though Maximum Rocknroll bagged the final artwork for the record as "shitgaze bullshit" (or something similar, stay in California forever and get mugged by a junkie in Oakland please), the art done by Justin Thye of Goldendust and Wet Hair is actually fantastic and it was definitely my favorite record cover art from last year.  The record itself, finally ending up being called BB Gun Picnic, is one of my favorites of last year, too.  Noisy and very, very catchy frantic punk rock with the stream of consciousness vocal thoughts of a mad man on top of it all.  It's poppy, but it's not pop punk.  Slight hints of snotty hardcore pokes it head through every so often.  It rules.  The last track, Smoking Sheets, is the best ender for a record I've heard in awhile.  Oh yeah, let's get this straightened out once in for all: this record was recorded by Tucker Burns at his studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Buy the LP from Rotted Tooth!

1. Black Wall
2. Shit Business Pt 1
3. Shit Business Pt 2
4. (Cool) With Me
5. Black Pocket
6. Solid Ettiquette
7. Punk Beer
8. Can't Chill Out
9. Disco Nap
10. Volume
11. Smoking Sheets

Click to download.

Solid Attitude has a few records planned for the future, with a 7" on Sweet Rot out next month.  It's gonna be good.  The band is planning a two week east coast tour in April, so be on the lookout for that.