Melvoy, hailing from Haight Street in San Francisco, brings Raucous energy back to Rock and Roll with their debut EP "Midnight Makeup" produced by Grammy award winning musician Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta. At the shows the band pops the EP into a party bus and cranks it to 12, you're all invited.
Emmanuel "Chipper" Castro - Guitar, Lead Vocal
Natalie Rose Rafetto - Drums, Backup Vocals
Wayne Henry Helgeson - Bass, Backup Vocals
Kevin Eagle Oliver - Lead Guitar, Backup Vocals
"Midnight Makeup" EP released 2011
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Some ideas suck. Like going to Fisherman's Wharf. Gúndi and I spend the whole afternoon baking in to...Some ideas suck. Like going to Fisherman's Wharf. Gúndi and I spend the whole afternoon baking in tourist hell, searching for young street musicians in the so-called “Gold Coast” for buskers. At the end, all we have to show for our efforts are matching sunburns.
As we drive home dejected through North Beach, we hear the first, raw, chest-rattling chords of the story we have been looking for. Gúndi parks the car and we follow the electrifying music.
We find ourselves in the middle of a dancing mass of people that has closed down the intersection of Columbus and Filbert, where a band called Melvoy is playing. Cars honk, a shirtless bassist has paint smeared on his face, a drummer pounds on a set in a doorway of a local shop, and everyone does their best to ignore the police officer who has ambled over from Washington Square Park. “Sure, play one more song,” the cop grumbles, “but make it quick.” The guitarist doesn't miss a beat, jumping over the curb into the crowd and hitting a chord that reverberates down the street.
In the back room of the garden shop that supplied the band with power for the impromptu show, the bassist explains that they aren't playing for tips or to sell albums – they are playing the street to connect directly with listeners. Lead man, Emmanuel Castro, aka Chipper, says they were inspired to hit the street by the Ferocious Few, a two-man band who started on the street, played regular local gigs, and then snagged a label (more on them later). "It's like a form of guerilla music," the bassist says. "We just go out and play until someone tells us to stop." Everyone in Melvoy still has a second source of income. The musicians who actually make a living on the street set up around Union Square.
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The next show I’m at when I’m back in San Francisco? Melvoy. No doubt. Why? Just talk to frontman Ch...The next show I’m at when I’m back in San Francisco? Melvoy. No doubt. Why? Just talk to frontman Chipper Castro, who describes the band’s sound as “rock and roll that you can dance too”... or “Sex Rock Swag Pop Dance Party Nonstop.” Personally, I prefer the second one. Especially the sex rock part.
The band (including Kevin Eagle Oliver, Natalie Rose and Wayne Henry Helgeson) is pushing out punk influenced pop-rock that is something to behold on their debut EP, “Midnight Makeup”. Sure, the band will tell you to expect to sing along, but here’s what you should really know: The six tunes on the EP were produced by Grammy Award winner Ikey Owens, longtime keyboardist for progressive rockers The Mars Volta. Not bad.
If you’re ever in Northern California, you should really swing on by. Castro says “there’s definite sexual energy in the music and lyrics – but nothing like at the shows, where everyone’s making out, simulating or getting close to having sex and taking off their clothes just as the band sometimes does.” Check out that show… and “Midnight Makeup”. Now, keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound?
Melvoy: Rock and roll that you can dance too. And/Or Sex Rock Swag Pop Dance Party Nonstop.
PEV: Based out of San Francisco, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
Chipper: Wayne, Natalie and I are primarily Punk and Hardcore influenced while I also grew up on Latin music Listening to flamenco music from Spain with my grandmother. Kevin is a blues man and a classic rock king who worships Jimmy Page. My First concert was the Offspring with Cypress Hill and M.X.P.X…. It was an epic show and was also the first time I ever smelled pot.
Natalie: TLC. 1999. Anaheim.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
Chipper: Don't get hit by Wayne's Bass tonight.
Natalie: Take my shirt off now, or later?...
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
Chipper: Bad Relationships and the stories behind them play a big part in the content of the EP. While Musically A blend of Rock and roll, Dance, Punk and Soccer chants were the main influences.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Melvoy?
Natalie: We All Really, really, really Love each other, really.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Midnight Makeup”. What can fans expect from this? How is this different from past works?
Chipper: Expect it to grow on you -- expect to sing along.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Chipper: Wishing we were writing or playing music.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Chipper: For Kevin's sake - Jimmy Page.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?
Chipper: Bull Fighter.
Wayne: Porn star.
Natalie: Barbershop owner.
PEV: So, what is next for Melvoy!
Chipper: As Many Shows as possible. Becoming perfect.
Melvoy - Midnight Makeup
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In the land where originality is often sacrificed for familiarity and talent kowtows to hit-making f...In the land where originality is often sacrificed for familiarity and talent kowtows to hit-making formula, discovering a band like San Francisco's Melvoy is a welcome cool drink in an ever-baking desert.
While the band engages in pop-friendly melodies and sing-along arrangements, its strength lies in its subtext - the spaces between the notes. Melvoy may remind listeners of several bands and no bands. This is the spark I am talking about; the band is able to tap into a part of the brain that causes instant head-bobbing and booty-shaking, and yet, it makes you want to listen more and deeper in an effort to make a personal relationship to the song. Akin to artists like Into the Presence, Devo, Fiction Plane and Your Vegas, Melvoy goes beyond mere pop-tunage, twisting the ear-worm aesthetic into a thought-provoking nugget of musical philosophy.
Melvoy may call what they do "sex rock," but I think the term cerebral indie-pop is a bit more expressive (in spite of its ode to female masturbation "Touch Yourself"). The charm in a band like this is that it draws listeners in with its ravenous hooks and swooning vocals, but it creates an actual appreciation for music due to its consistency and unfettered desire to leave a permanent scar on the face of the industry.
Melvoy – San Francisco, California
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Talk to any A&R well, any that are left, and they will tell you that the toughest sell in music ri...
Talk to any A&R well, any that are left, and they will tell you that the toughest sell in music right now is anything in the “Rock” category. The problem is that the consumer has digested so much crap in the rock arena that it doesn’t resonate anymore. The art of the song has disappeared in Rock Music; it’s a sad, sad era. What rock needs to do is focus on the art, focus on the song and complement it with a voice that moves us. Whenever I say stuff of this nature I reference an artist, in this instance I reference the band Mars Volta. Definitely not a commercial band by any stretch of the imagination but really solid in their craft and the fans flocked. It’s ironic that I referenced them because this next band I am currently listening to was produced by Ikey Owens from The Mars Volta, called Melvoy. Melvoy come to us from my 2nd favorite city in the US, San Francisco. These four guys (3 Guys + 1 Girl) personify San Fran, with good time vibes, carefree spirit and a creative blend of culture that they deliver via their music. It’s like vintage Stones mixed with Jet and rocks like an all girls slumber party. It is the “art” delivered with the “substance” that this genre needs to reinvigorate a fan base and make kids Rock consumers again.
- Wurds Smith
Melvoy – Midnight Make Up (CD)
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There is a rapid-fire approach taken by Melvoy that will immediately capture the minds and hearts of...There is a rapid-fire approach taken by Melvoy that will immediately capture the minds and hearts of anyone listening in. The first track on Midnight Make Up, “Dirty Girrl”, blends equal parts emotive rock, flamenco, and funk to create something with a quick tempo and an utterly catchy demeanor. After this initial salvo, Melvoy keeps things going nicely with their “Holding On”. The track furthers the punk thread that plays at the periphery during the initial cut, adding an almost-Dischord type of feel to the swirl of guitars and drums.
It is during “Holding On” that the production begins to shine. While the band is singing and playing their hearts out, the rich production here allows the vocals to pop just as the guitars assault ears and drums splash in the background. With each side of the band shown, Melvoy is able to continue increasing the disc’s momentum into “I Love You”. “I Love You” is a perfect example of one of those tracks that will stick with listeners long after the disc finishes up. At a shade over two minutes, the blend of alt-country and straight-forward rock pounds its melodies indelibly into listeners’ minds. The band is able to recreate influences like Rise Against and The Replacements even as they forge boldly through with their own unique sound.
As the track sputters to an end, the band keeps things fresh with “Listen To Your Mother”. “Listen To Your Mother” has massive swings back and forth, creating the musical equivalent of a Nordic rowboat. With all members of the band striving for the same goal, the sound crafted by Melvoy here is nothing less than gargantuan. Touching briefly upon the work of The Red Hot Valentines and Yellowcard, “Listen To Your Mother” may be the track that Melvoy needs to break big. If what I’ve described sounds amenable to you, make it a point to pick up “Midnight Make Up” and see the band whenever they touch down on your neck of the woods.
Top Tracks: Dirty Girl, Listen To Your Mother
Melvoy – Midnight Make Up (CD) / 2011 Self / 6 Tracks / www.melvoy.com/
Melvoy, Midnight Makeup
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You might be asking yourself Mel Who? and I’m hear to tell you it’s Melvoy damn it! This four-piec...You might be asking yourself Mel Who? and I’m hear to tell you it’s Melvoy damn it! This four-piece band from San Francisco has a lot to prove on their debut EP ‘Midnight Makeup’. Melvoy lays all their cards out on the table so that listeners can take it ALL in ALL at once. Nothing to hide here as Melvoy is exposed to the entire listening audience.
This Bay Area group is made up of: front man & rhythm guitarist Chipper Castro, Ken Eagle Oliver on vocals & lead guitar, Natalie Rose on vocals & drums and Wayne Henry Helgeson on vocals & bass. All four members bring a sound & style to the table that Castro likes to refer to as “sex rock”. The six tracks on ‘Midnight Makeup’ definitely have that sexual tone both musically & vocally but it’s all done in a very playful ‘n’ innocent manner. As soon as I hit Play I’m hearing a bunch of crazy rascals just havin’ a blast on “Dirty Girl”. I can’t help but think of Vince Vaughn’s line “Now it’s a party” from the movie ‘Couples Retreat’ because that is exactly what Melvoy is giving you. The party continues with Melvoy bringin’ it home by way of ridiculously catchy hooks & melodies. I’m really diggin’ the song “I Love You” because it’s got flavor, it’s got style, it’s got pizzazz! Each song really holds its own as Chipper & company never once let up on the gas. You get a bit of a heavier presence on track four “Oh Melvoy” with some kick-ass guitar riffs, hard-hittin’ drums and an overall display of raw power. Melvoy is goin’ absolutely wild ‘n’ bananas and they don’t care who knows it! They’re burnin’ energy left & right for the whole world to hear & experience for themselves.
What you’re getting here are sizzling hot tracks that are purely-rock driven drizzled with some Pop & Alternative for shits & gigs. You’ll even pick up on a Punk Rock influence that comes across loud & clear on this EP. I can’t say enough about the cool brand of sound Melvoy has produced here; it’s “sexy rock” at its best! I’m really into this band’s whole approach to music and in the words of Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon “I Can’t Fight This Feeling anymore”. Go check out Melvoy’s ‘Midnight Makeup’ RIGHT NOW and GO NUTS!
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bay-area rockers, Melvoy, enlist the help of The Mars Volta's Ikey Owens in their debut CD 'Midnight Makeup
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At a first listen, the opening track to punk rock four-piece Melvoy, has this organic-Fall Out Boy s...At a first listen, the opening track to punk rock four-piece Melvoy, has this organic-Fall Out Boy sound. Then it hits the listener like some super tricked up party band waddling through the wee hours. This is the type of band that probably only starts to warm up at 3 a.m. With a striking opening guitar crunch that sounds sort of a like a mariachi band sweating it out with Blink 182, "Dirty Girl" puts the listener in the driver seat for the thrilling ride that is the debut CD Midnight Makeup.
Once "Holding On" (track two), the energy flow is really hitting on all cylinders. The layering of this song is more rock than punk, but the chorus is feverish. While this song is somewhat repetitive, it also once again showcases lead singer Chipper Castro's command. Just when you think the song has ended - it seems like a new song starts. The layering is interesting and still transpires into a finely packaged alternative rock piece. Fans of The All-American Rejects will dig this song.
"I Love You" Addictive
The addictive "I Love You" is full of this light spirit mixed with a raunchy college boy on the verge of manhood vibe. This song belongs on a frat party Saturday night mix and the anthem of any summer party. It is just an all out fun track. Castro's voice is sexy without sounding like a creepy old man, and not the still-obnoxious 21-year-old guy. What stood out the most on this track besides the simplicity is the subtle pounding from drummer Natalie Rose. This writer also liked the wall-of-sound and fullness of the chorus.
While much of Melvoy's songs sound very 'now' generation and are very party-like atmosphere, they really do have a lot going for them. Their songs are tight and polished - besides the first three tracks, "Oh Melvoy" and "Listen to Your Mother" consistently display the layering and understood command of writing great songs. And, the band has obviously gelled in a short time.
"Touch Yourself" (take a guess what this one's about!) and "Capeones" round out the CD. Overall, the first three tracks really hit it home for this listener. They are catchy without sounding too poppy. Castro's voice is clear - he doesn't have this hang up on sounding too Emo or too screechy.
Overall CD Review is A
Overall, Midnight Makeup gets a solid A. It is no wonder this band won the San Francisco Battle of the Bands. Again, check out "I Love You" and "Dirty Girl." In addition to Castro and Rose, Melvoy is Ken Eagle Oliver (vocals, lead guitar) and Wayne Henry Helgeson (vocals, bass).
Melvoy - Danceable Rock
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Melvoy brings out the fun, danceable indie rock. I Love You definitely feels like a hit song. The vi...Melvoy brings out the fun, danceable indie rock. I Love You definitely feels like a hit song. The video is at the bottom of this piece.
They’re talented and don’t seem to take life too seriously. They say they’re influenced by The Killers, The Artic Monkeys and Ima Robot. Those bands are pretty close to the target when describing their sound.
Melvoy, Friday at Bottom of the Hill. 10 p.m. $10.
Also performing are Cure For Gravity and Repeat After Me.
Set Length: 25 - 60 minutes
Listen To Your Mother
There's a riot
How do we carry on?
Bow down to her
Dance My Life Away
I Love You
There are no upcoming dates at this time.