Gazelles
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Gazelles

Fort Worth, Texas, United States

Fort Worth, Texas, United States
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Gazelles frontman Adam Bertholdi remembers The Beach Boys always being present on his family's home stereo. He remembers running and dancing around the living room couch with his younger brother, and when his family would take to the road, The Beach Boys' music would be on in the car too.

"They were all we listened to," Bertholdi says.

It's no surprise, then, that Bertholdi's music with the Denton-based Gazelles seems pretty heavily influenced by The Beach Boys. And though Bertholdi agrees that The Beach Boys' music made an impression on him, he disagrees when asked if he feels there are any comparisons between the two bands' sonic stylings.

"I personally don't think we sound like The Beach Boys," he says. "But they were a huge influence on me, musically, and certainly for all the other members in the band as well."

He's right to an extent. Listening to a Gazelles song, you wouldn't think, "Hey, this sounds just like The Beach Boys!" But you might notice that the poppy sing-along songs are just as safe and accessible as the Boys'—kinda like something you'd listen to while at the beach or bouncing around your parents' living room.

"We're writing fairly simplistic pop songs that people will hopefully like and connect with," Bertholdi explains. "I remember hearing 'God Only Knows' as a kid and not having any idea what the song was about. But the music created a certain feeling, and I get the same feeling I felt back then when listening to it now. I was very connected with the emotion of the sound of the music.

"I think we try to create that, in a way, with our songs, though [our songs are] nowhere near as complex as the Beach Boys'."

Last week, Gazelles self-released a new four-song EP—its third since forming in 2005. Recently, the band posted the songs on its MySpace page, and though the EP was available for purchase at the band's show this past Sunday at Hailey's, the official CD release party will have to wait until mid-November when the band returns from touring the East Coast and playing the CMJ Music Marathon.

The release is more of the same from the catchy, poppy group, and for good reason, the band is quite proud of the songs.

"This EP, this time," Bertholdi says, "I feel like we are starting to really become who we are as a band. These songs sound like, well, they sound like Gazelles."

And if Gazelles sounds a little bit like The Beach Boys—whether or not Bertholdi wants to admit it—that's OK too.

- Dallas Observer (http://www.dallasobserver.com/2008-10-16/music/gazelles-beach-boys-influence-runs-d


Gazelles. Just Gazelles. Not The Gazelles or We Are Called Gazelles or anything like that--just Gazelles. Deviating from influences of the skull-thrashing degree, former A Faith Called Chaos keyboardist Adam Bertholdi fronts Dallas-based Gazelles with hip/happy/head-bobbing guitar happiness. Jason Faries commands drums with simple finesse and refinement while Rachel Wilkinson adds a feminine sass to the mix alongside Ryan Wood's running and jiving bass lines.

Gazelles' "Driving" might naturally invoke images of a car, but it's more than a simple ride around the block. It's a 70's film noir taxi ride through the streets of Rome. The sliding bass is the sun's descent into the Mediterranean and the strumming Fenders cover the city in a bluish dusk. Green street lights flicker and bloom as you and your friends zoom down cobble stone streets looking for some house party. Bertholdi seems to be the master of his domain with chords that stray from the formulaic power chord methodology employed by the majority of indie pop/rock bands. Common to this style is something of a straight-laced high-hat/snare combination. However, Faries adds his splash of technicalities with the breeze slipping in from the window to this combination by not being afraid to use the toms or ride cymbal. The narrowed alleys lead to dead ends and offer scenarios for laughing with friends and grinding gears of tittles on the high-hat. These measures of precision are complimented through Wood's skill on the low notes that boogie with the steadiness of retirement home and the pointed variation of a late 70's dance floor. The keyboard solo precursors the bop-bop sing along chorus just as Italian wine livens the spirit of the taxi driver, who claims to know where he's going. After all is said, it would perhaps be safe to say that Wilkinson is what makes the band take a special place in my heart. Her innovatively simple keyboard lines mirror Birtholdi's vocals exactly, which I suppose isn't so innovative as much as…well, just precious. I'm reminded of playing on my aunt's oak organ as a kid at her home in the desert. I can't decide if this particular song just doesn't showcase Wilkinson's abilities or what. Whatever the reason, it's something to smile about as does the rest of the during the palm-muted progression. The house party in the sight; you arrive, pay the driver and join the party wondering how it can any funner than the ride there. - http://ohbriefcase.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html


Denton's Gazelles know how to make us happy. They're making their new songs all available for free for download on MySpace. Frontman Adam Bertholdi explained it all in a blog post. "Since it's been forever and a day since we've had some new stuff, we've decided to give this away for free," he wrote. "There's only one STIPULATION. You have to give it to at least three friends, and let us know what you think via MySpace comment. It's called paying it forward. So feel free to burn, send, upload and tell your friends all about it." The indie band is demoing more new stuff in preparation for a full-length. - http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2007/11/bits_new_gazelles_songs_spin_d.php


Happy music is a good thing, really.

From the Dallas-based Gazelles to Brownsville natives The Citys, the bands at the “Goodbar Strikes Back!” show at McAllen’s Creative Incubator seem to endorse that philosophy. In a world filled with commercialism and aggressive, angst-ridden tunes, these bands present alternatives. Music can be fun, and you should have fun listening to it.

“We always say that we have a good time, that we make fun, happy, sunshine indie music,” said Adam Bertholdi, lead vocalist and founder of Gazelles. “My job is to get people to come out, and tell them, ‘Hey, this is a good time.’ (At shows) we catch people dancing to our music, and it’s really cool.”

Gazelles, which herald from Dallas, is one of two acts on the show’s roster not from the Rio Grande Valley (the other is Dear Panda, a one-man project out of Austin). According to Bertholdi — whose line-up includes Rachel Wilkinson on keyboard, Jason Faries on drums and Ronald Giehart on bass — his band is still in a stage of growth, having morphed from a solo endeavor to a quartet with big goals. The music they play has also changed as Bertholdi has gotten older, from angsty teenage tunes to natural indie pop.

“I’m pretty content with saying I’m kind of a mama’s boy,” Bertholdi said. “I’m a sensitive guy out there playing music. You know, growing up on pop punk and punk rock and then getting into the indie thing, the music would be so focused on some issues. As a teenager growing up, it was all about girls, but nowadays it’s not that. It’s not so much about me any more. It’s about everything, life as a whole.”

Spontaneous and simple seems to be key adjectives for Gazelles and the other bands scheduled to appear. The Brownsville-based The Citys have been together since July 2006, said bassist Raul Altamirano, and their song-writing process has remained straightforward.

“The easiest way to describe it is, whenever we write music, we try to keep it as natural as possible,” he said. “We never push to write anything that sounds like The Citys, we never go into a practice thinking that. We always let it come to us. If anything, it’s real natural.”

Patrons to today’s concert can expect a good show, the bands said: local favorites The December Drive will grace the stage along with newer alt-pop bands Apple in the Tree and Young Maths.

McAllen is a good scene for young groups, Bertholdi said, with enthusiastic concert attendees.

“McAllen always shows us a good time,” he said. “With all the food and all the culture, we like visiting.” - http://www.thev247.com/entertainment/music_396___article.html/good_mcallen.html


It was a joy to finally hear the Gazelles after hearing about them for so long. A sort of nerdy four piece, the crowd went from rocking to getting their dancing shoes on.

By the end of the first song, the singer and bassist were surrounded on the stage with people dancing to the infectious, less hard-edged beats. The Gazelles’ drummer was, more often than not, solidly straight-ahead, but he also played some very cool stuff, as well, and occasionally let loose.

The Gazelles’ set was dynamic enough and also fun. They mixed in a keyboard player with guitar, bass and drums. I seriously have not seen a crowd have that much dancey fun since the Paulson show. Again, it’s all about the beat, and the Gazelles had it in spades.

The Gazelles is another band that I want to see playing to a larger crowd in a more interesting space than the 169. I love the fact that there’s no separation between the band and the crowd, and it can get messy on stage, but I think it’s about time a new venue became available. - Times Records News (http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2007/oct/15/eclecticism-ruled-roost-his-evil


Julia: More Like The Moon + Pompeii + Gazelles = awesome. - http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=236964


Discography

I am Waves LP - 2005
The Free EP - 2007
Self Titled EP - 2008

Photos

Bio

Originally a bedroom recording act, Gazelles officially formed in the winter/spring of 2005 as a full band. With simple guitar-pop ideals, Adam Bertholdi (vocals, guitar), Jason Faries (drums), Ronald Gierhart (bass, vocals) and Rachel Wilkinson (keyboards, bells) joined forces to create what has caught the eye of the Dallas music scene and surrounding regional areas. Originally from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Gazelles re-located to Denton, TX in early 2006 to solidify themselves as a true touring band and to have a headquarters to call home. The band has played over 170 shows, including multiple national and regional tours; and has shared stages with such acts as Umbrellas, Jonah Matranga, Minus the Bear and Eisley. The band describes their simple brand of music as "sunshine guitar-pop" and have been praised by the Dallas Observer, and local radio station 102.1 The Edge. It has been cited that the band has finally settled into themselves with their newest offering, a self-titled EP to be released later this summer. The sound is a bit of a departure from their last releases, paying a summertime homage to pop bands like Teenage Fanclub, The Pixies, and the Beach Boys. Currently the band is booking an east coast tour to promote the album, and hope to have a new full length recorded by the beginning of next year.

Band Members