Fortress of Attitude
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Fortress of Attitude

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Band Rock Comedy

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""We could have been so happy inside the fallout shelter": Fortress of Attitude and Drums and Tuba, Knitting Factory LA 8/2/06"

We came to see the oddly-named trio Drums and Tuba, but when we walked into the Knitting Factory about halfway into Fortress of Attitude’s set, we knew something was up. The entire band was dressed in postapocalyptic fatigues—except for the drummer, who was wearing a white lab coat and infrared goggles. The lead singer/guitarist, in a black pith helmet, was singing about pirates. Aye…pirates. The guitarist—later introduced as “Sniper Kitty” and whose distinguishing feature was a gigantic mop of camouflage-tinted dreadlocks—leaped off the stage, dropped to his knees and literally rocked down to the ground, then lay there and twitched a bit.

How to follow an act like that? Why, with an eight-minute long rock ballad, of course. “Super Volcano,” a song about doomed love at the apocalypse, reminded me Tenacious D: it had the same kind of clever lyrics, mock-epic grandeur, and serious chops. “We could have been so happy inside my fallout shelter!” the singer/guitarist lamented, before busting out a solo in a perfect imitation of Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Super Volcano” was followed by the anthemic “Burn All Books,” where the band instructed the audience to call out “Burn that shit!” whenever they yelled out book titles. “Harry Potter?” “Burn that shit!” “Moby-Dick?” “Burn that shit!” “The Joy of Cooking?” “Burn that shit!” they closed their set with a finale that involved those foam pool noodles and audience participation in an ode to American Gladiators circa 1989.

Gimmicky? Well, yeah. The set played like one big performance art project: but even so, it was an art project that worked. The songs were good, the lyrics were witty, and even the patter between songs was snappy. (“We want to abolish words,” the drummer announced, before launching into “Burn All Books.” “We’re on a mission to make all communication through tonal shifts.”) You’ve also got to admire a group that completely embraces their stage personas and totally goes for it in front of a sparse crowd of too-cool-for-school hipsters. Fortress of Attitude definitely knows how to put on a show.

After the blitzkrieg that was Fortress of Attitude, Drums and Tuba seemed positively tame. The energy level, while still strong, was definitely down from the Fortress of Attitude high. - The Gaze


"Fortress of Attitude steals show from Vindaloo and Gorgeous Armada"

Monstros Pizza on Friday was full of sweaty, head-banging fans and loud music.

The night's four bands used music to express how they viewed life at the all-ages show.

Coming to Chico from Seattle for the first time was Vindaloo, which means "super hot" in East Indian. The band played completely loud rock 'n' roll.

The third band, Fortress of Attitude, is trying to advance how the world communicates. The band members said they want to eliminate the written word and use "tones," which they demonstrated for the crowd at the beginning of their set.

Chico is one of Fortress of Attitude's favorite stops, and they like playing with their "steadfast ally, Handsome," said drummer Dr. Genius.

Wearing uniforms to each show gives them their edge. Guitarist Sniper Kitty said he has stage fright, and the uniform helps him be able to get on stage to perform.

Headliner Gorgeous Armada took the stage next and started with songs that the crowd could sing along to. Most notable was a tune about Gleem toothpaste and how everyone needs to brush their teeth.

"Good things are hard to find in life," lead singer Handsome Gorgeous said to the crowd about his favorite toothpaste.

Gorgeous Armada is a "green band," which means it is environmentally friendly. To show this, they have a lead Christmas tree to produce green power.

Sarah Posey can be reached at sposey@theorion.com - The Orion


"Baditude! Fortress of Attitude rocks!"

I'm leaving for a New York City vacation in a few weeks, and if NYC-based band Fortress of Attitude is any indication of what awaits me in the Manhattan club scene, I'm very excited indeed.

The quartet, currently on a nationwide tour that will include a stop on Saturday, August 5th at Frog and Peach, is a campy, rockin', fun-lovin' group that reminds me of bands like King Missile or Dead Milkmen.

Their combination of hooky rock melodies, toungue-in-cheek lyrics, and outrageous on stage antics have got to make for exciting viewing. They dress in a variety of paramilitary outfits and claim their goal is to liberate rock'n'roll from the "plodding melodic malaise" and "overwrought artsiness" that haved gripped it in recent years.

"Our message is so universal, we anticipate all disillusioned citizens citizens of Earth will quickly become our compatriots," said drummer Gregg Zehentner, aka Dr. Genius.

For more info about the band, check out www.fortressofattitude.net. Then come to the Frog and get ready to rock! - San Luis Obispo New Times


"Combat Rock! S.S. Kiss My Ass docks at Super Happy Fun Land!"

In the same vein as Tenacious D and Spinal Tap, Fortress of Attitude will make you laugh as hard as they make you mosh. The New York foursome dons paramilitary apparel at its shows, but it's just a facade, says drummer Gregg "Dr. Genius" Zehentner. "If anyone tried to start a fight with us, we'd probably just run away."

The group deems itself "a ragtag band of rock extremists, willing to spread rock and roll through any means necessary," but FOA really has a knack for mixing all things rock with all things dork. A sample lyric: "I'm Captain Rottenbottom of the S.S. Kiss My Ass/ I pillage and I plunder and I read Leaves of Grass." It's safe to say most testosterone-high, militant rockers would not reference a transcendentalist poet.
- The Houston Press


Discography

The Gift of Music (2008)

Photos

Bio

Half rock band, half comedy troupe, Fortress of Attitude and their hilarious and hard-hitting performances have gotten attention from coast to coast.

"With well-crafted hooks, hummable melodies and tons of jokes, Fortress of Attitude offers a much-appreciated reprieve from a rock scene saturated with stuffy, self-conscious bands that take themselves far more seriously than they ever should,” says Ian Sands of New York’s North Shore Sun.

“Fortress of Attitude really knows how to put on a show!” gushes the LA-based music review, The Gaze.

Using the conventions of rock, indie, punk, and any other style they can appropriate, Fortress of Attitude packs their songs with comedic but insightful lyrics that often wield a surprisingly emotional punch.

While the focus of any FoA performance is on delivering catchy, hard rocking tunes that anyone can sing along and dance to, every show features a healthy dose of audience interaction featuring costumes, props, contests, on stage banter and anything else they think up on the spot.

Fortress of Attitude is touring this year in support of their new album, "The Gift of Music", a tour de force of story-songs ranging in topic from American Gladiators to sleep-away camps to one man's unending love for his time machine.

Over the years, members of Fortress of Attitude have had the opportunity to open for and share festival slots with a host of diverse bands, including Ween, The Rapture, Gwar, Drums and Tuba, The Make Up, Aesop Rock, World Inferno/Friendship Society, Wolfeyes, and more.

For more information, including MP3s, videos, photos, previous tour dates, blogs and more, visit us at www.fortressofattitude.net or www.myspace.com/fortressofattitude. Also, feel free to contact us at fortressofattitude@hotmail.com.