Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes
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Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes

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Jan
13
Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes @ The Living Room (w/ Big D and the Kids Table)

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

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11/15/07 - Take It or Leave It, Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes' most recent album kicks off with a bang.

The band, composed of URI students, starts the first track off fast with a ska beat, complimented by a terrific horns section. This seems to be a recurring theme throughout the album, as each song is dominated by the fast-paced guitars, incendiary horns and a driving drum beat.

The idea of being young is also a recurring theme throughout the album. Songs such as "Day Off!" "Selective Service," "Drag You Down" and "Save the World," display the band's youthful ideals. Meanwhile, the instrumentals continue that theme by playing fast energetic beats only a person hopped up on speed or under the age of 30 could enjoy.

Take It or Leave It represents the band well. The first track "Day Off!" prominently displays its youth (the oldest member of the band is only 21). It sings about leaving town and dismissing its problems: "I think I've got the remedy to take the whole day off." The band finely demonstrates its ability to still be able to drop everything and relax - a quality that many older people forget how to do.

"Selective Service" is the first song on the album that really emphasizes and focuses on Colin Gillespie as a guitarist. The opening exhibits his talent well with a short, but intricate lead. The band once again brings up being young in the chorus singing, "Who have I become?"

It's clear that the songwriter is still young and trying to find himself. You might call him a coming-of-age character. After each chorus, Gillespie compliments the vocals that dominate the song with guitar work. Although the vocals aren't the most poetic and intricate of all lyrics, they get the point across and mold the song well.

The next track, "Drag You Down," is definitely the album's best song, from its catchy hook "Don't let me drag you down, she said/Don't let me drag you down," to Wade Zawatsky's jazz-like trumpet solos, which take the song to a whole new level. Like many of its songs, the lyrics aren't the most dynamic words ever written, but Matt Kelley can write well and proves it here. He brings his point across clear while telling an interesting story, and did I mention just how catchy it is? Definitely one for the ladies - it's a dancing song.

"Save The World" is by far the album's most complex song and displays the band as they should want to be displayed. In this song, the band's youth is fully exhibited - it puts their lives on the line here. Like many people their age, it's still reality to them that they may be able to influence the world.

Unlike fine wine, people do not always get better with time. With this song, it's evident they're not burned out yet; there's still hope.

This song showcases Matt Kelley's best lyrics on the album; it's something many people can relate to and it's even enough to inspire an uplifting attitude.

Take It or Leave It is more or less your run-of-the-mill ska album. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's by far more than entertaining. This album will easily enough put the band on the map and gives great material for live shows.

This is a party soundtrack. If you're looking for something fun - this is the album.

-Drew Mika - Good 5 cent Cigar (newspaper)


11/07/07 - At first glance Wade Zawatsky looked like any other college freshman. He had semi-long dirty blonde hair, was a little unshaven and dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. After talking to him for a little while though, you realize there's a bit more to him. Wade has a rock 'n roll atmosphere to him - he's relaxed. I don't know how though - after all, his band, Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes, just scored a major record deal with White Noise Records.

As I spoke to Wade, he began to fill me in on all the details. The record deal was technically won in a contest, a "battle of the bands" put on by White Noise Records and the music store chain F.Y.E. This battle of the bands was a bit more complicated than your average high school show.

First of all, to enter you had to do a little more than scribble your name on a sign-up sheet. Every band that entered had to already have a CD.

Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes has already cut two albums and an EP. The first album, New Taste, was cut a number of years ago, and they also dropped an EP two years ago. Their most recent production, an 11-song disc entitled Take It or Leave It is their best work so far.

That album, as Wade told me, "Was cut in one week, and with this album we have as much time as we need, because of that I'm especially excited."

For the next step in the contest (after submitting an album) each band had to play in front of a live audience and three panel judges from the local music scene at the F.Y.E store in Warwick, R.I.

After each performance, the winning band would come back later for an encore performance. This went on for four weeks until the announcement was made that Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes won. Wade attributes their win to the fact that "We brought the most people to our portion and played really well."

On the announcement of their success they found out that the 12-song record would be produced by an RIAA Gold Record Certified producer. Included would be a retail-ready CD and another 1,000 CDs.

Each CD will have a full color insert, bar code and standard jewel case. The CDs will also be shrink-wrapped and distributed to local F.Y.E. stores. As an added bonus, the band was also given a $250 F.Y.E. gift card.

Wade told me they already had nine or 10 songs written for the album, but they plan to write around thirteen. "The album will consist of all new songs," he said.

Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes is an extremely young band (all members range between the ages of 18 and 21) and is made up of six members: Matt Kelley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Colin Gillespie on lead guitar and backup vocals, Brian Riendeau on bass, Jon Kelley (Matt's younger brother) on drums, Paul Dussault on the tenor sax and Wade on trumpet.

"The band has been around for a while," he said. "Colin and Matt have been playing together for eight years." Eventually everybody else fell into place. Wade has been playing in the band for two years now.

The band, along with playing some high profile shows in Rhode Island, including The Living Room and The Century Club in Providence, has done some extensive touring. Two years ago they toured the Northeast from New Hampshire to Connecticut and this past summer they went from Ohio to Georgia.

While on tour, they played Club Midway in New York City, which has hosted a number of musical acts.

Even though the band will be in the studio for an extensive period of time, it does not plan to stop its shows. In fact, the band will play at URI on Nov. 8 in the Memorial Union in support of the Fashion Merchandizing Society.

Along with that they will be opening for Big D Dec. 16 at the Living Room in Providence. To find out more about the band visit its Myspace page at myspace.com/lemonlimetennisshoes.
- Good 5 cent Cigar (URI newspaper)


Hailing from Warwick, RI, Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes is a ska-rock band with plenty of energy to keep the music exciting. However, there are times on Take It or Leave It where the band seems unsure of where to go. Starting with the excellent opener, “Day Off!”, the album contains an amalgam of ska, rock, punk and pop influences. It’s great to see such diversity from an unsigned band, but LLTS needs to figure out what they do best and stick with it. This indecisiveness is perplexing, but it never truly takes away from the album’s appeal.

Instrumentally, Take It or Leave It shines. Each member of the band is skilled at what they do, and the horn section is surprisingly tight. On songs like “Final Decision”, the band’s playing is both powerful and engaging. LLTS is at their best when they crank it up to 11, but some of the slower songs interrupt the frantic pace for a bit of reflection, such as “Selective Service” and “Look In the Mirror”. Perhaps the most impressive part of the album is LLTS’ knack for memorable songs. Nearly every song is timed and crafted with skill that usually comes from years upon years of experience.

Take It or Leave It may be uneven at times, but Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes has done quite a bang-up job in making an album that helps the band stand out from the hordes of New England ska-rock bands. For listeners who like their ska with a little more rock (or just need something to skank to), check out Take It or Leave It. - Forthesound.com


Discography

Demo: "The New Taste Of:" 2004
Demo: "A New Hope" 2005
LP: "Take It or Leave It" 2006
Compilation: "Sign Us/Local Bands RI" 2007

*Four tracks from our full-length album (Final Decision, Selective Service, Day Off!, Lobster Boy) have received radio play from local radio station 95.5WBRU, and NE college radio stations (URI, Roger Williams).
"Final Decision" has received play on 94.1WHJY.

Photos

Bio

Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes is a six piece punk/ska band based out of Warwick, RI. The group was formed in 2003 and only one rule was made... To have fun.
Their sound had been said to contain three main ingredients; Roots Reggae, catchy Punk Rock, and a heavy dose of soulful Ska.
Remaining busy for the past four years writing and touring New England, Lemon Lime Tennis Shoes proves itself worthy with the debut release of "Take It or Leave It," of being a force to be wreckoned with. Their impact on the local RI ska scene is apparent, and could be summarized by a fun live show and the new colorful ability to write and record radio worthy material.
Right off the heels of winning an all expenses-paid record deal from FYE/White Noise Records in the fall of '07, LLTS will be releasing a 12-song record that will be sold in FYE stores all over New England. Having faced many obstacles and gaining support from RI national-bookers, LLTS has come a long way, and the best is yet to come