Lesser Knowns
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Lesser Knowns

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"Lesser Known...But for how long?"

Much has happened since Lesser Knowns first came to be. Seemingly through destiny three lifelong friends and musical counterparts found their immensely talented drummer (who also happened to have a sweet practice space in his house--now deemed "The Crag") and meshed immediately. They had five practices in which one song was written and seven others were nearly completed. Lesser Knowns contacted their friends at The Soundbox in South Dartmouth MA with whom some of them had worked previously and before they knew it, Lesser Knowns recorded an eight song EP. That EP can be heard in full on their Myspace.

Now, many shows and practices later, Lesser Knowns are about to enter the studio again. This time with the likes of Brandon Duarte (Vistas Change) and Trevor Vaughan (Bedford Academy, Figures, Atlantic Blue, and a litany of other New Bedford, MA bands). They will be recording a 10-12 track as of yet untitled full album with the possibility of a 4-5 song EP to be released as well.

In a time where technical virtuosity, overtly pop oriented production, and an attitude of bitterness and angst has started to reign over contemporary music, Lesser Knowns are an anomaly, they were raised on the blistering attitude of classic rock and they strive to bring that feel to their performance as well as their songwriting. But don't discount this band as a mere throwback to the glory days of rock and roll (The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cream), for they list the likes of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Kings of Leon, Television, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, and MC5 as a few of their more prominent influences.

In speaking with Nick and listening to their EP, their attitude and mish-mash of influence was very apparent.

HCC-So it only took five practices before you recorded this EP?
Nick-Yep, it was kind of funny, you know? I had arranged a majority of the songs previously and we all sort of had to coach one another through the recording process.
HCC-What do you mean?
Nick-Like, there would be one song where Dan (lead guitarist) had come up with a couple of riffs and I would take those riffs or progressions and organize them and write the words. It was sort of like a puzzle, all four of us had the pieces but it was pretty unclear to everyone as to how we were supposed to put it together. This combined with the fact that we didn't use a metronome led to a few mistakes, and lucky for us, usually those mistakes worked out.
HCC-Do bands typically use a metronome in studio?
Nick-Yeah, usually. It helps to keep time and ensures that the songs don't sound awkward or out of time or anything.
HCC-But you didn't use it?
Nick-(laughs) Nope, we did not. We just kind of winged it and it worked out.
HCC-Now what about your new material and recording, you say you expect a lot more out of it?
Nick-Well of course, I mean instead of being together for five practices we've been together for five months, and unlike the old EP--the one you have a copy of there--the majority of songs were written by all of us and have a much more coherent sound, the sum of Lesser Knowns as opposed to a glimpse at it's individual parts. The guys we're going to be working with in the studio are incredibly talented and have a great resume of recording. They get rock and roll, and that's exactly what we were looking for in recording this next album. Don't get me wrong, that first EP came out way better than I had anticipated. But, looking back on it the guy we worked with does a lot of pop-punk and hardcore music and as a result our final product's mix came out sounding good, but not sounding like us, like the Lesser Knowns, really sound. Also, I mean we barely knew the songs and since then we've changed them all up a bit. I'll be sure to get you guys a copy of the new one when it's done.
HCC-Thanks for that and thank you for your time Nick.
Nick-No problemo.

Review of The Real Scene Can't Be Seen EP
Considering Nick's opinion on the quality of this EP, I expected something completely different from what I heard. The mixes were very clear, though I could see his qualms with the mastering as certain songs could have used a fuller bass tone or a less in your face drum sound, etc, etc. Overall, the EP is an enjoyable listen for any fan of quality rock and roll. The most shocking facet of this band and the first thing I noticed is their skill for crafting dynamics, they can go from hard rock pounding riff machines (In Your Sleep) to latin-jazz tinged jam rock (Little Death). At times it is tough to believe that it is Nick singing on every track, his voice can change from a man-possessed rock and roll growl(Dead Meadow Blues, Holy Sh*t) to a pleasantly convincing mid range sing-song reminiscent of a time when frontmen actually meant what they wrote about.
The dual guitar attack is stellar, at times one can see the studio "cold feet syndrome" present, but that is quickly ignored in favor of their seeming obsession with melodic and lyrical guitar lines. Talented lead guitarist Dan Mcmahon plays like a young Eric Clapton who has listened to too much punk while Nick's style possesses a unique frantic free jazz quality that is incredibly hard to place in the realm of contemporary music. Their drummer Riley Mello and bassist Dan Letourneau are a rhythm section certainly worth mentioning. The bass lines groove hard and provide an incredibly solid base holding down the flourishing leads while the drums dynamically shift from the sound of a reserved jazz drummer (Little Death, Less and More) to Wild-man Fill-Meister (In Your Sleep, Holy Sh*t).
Lyrically, the album is solid as well. There is a lack of pretentiousness in what Nick has to say, he doesn't hide his emotion behind a wall of metaphor or confounded similes and because of this the words often come across as being incredibly sincere. They often abandon words during the choruses, instead relying on the music to fill their place. This works a majority of the time, but runs into trouble in songs like In Your Sleep where it feels like there is just something missing.
Overall, I was very impressed with this EP and look forward to hearing more from this band in the future. With the help of two veteran producers and a litany of shows under their belt, Lesser Knowns seem almost destined for rock and roll heraldry. Be sure to check these guys out soon while they are still lesser known, I've got a feeling that it won't be for much longer.

You can find show and booking information as well as music on their websites, WWW.MYSPACE.COM/LESSERKNOWNS and WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/LESSERKNOWNS.


-Ryan M.
HOLY CROSS CRUSADER - The Crusader (Holy Cross College)


Discography

The Real Scene Can't Be Seen EP - released summer 2009. 8 tracks, 30 mintues.

Get Famous - new full length album to be released in 2010.

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Bio

Lesser Knowns formed in the summer of 2009 when three long-time musical comrades found their foil in a talented, young drummer. After only 5 weeks together, the band recorded an 8-song, 30 minute EP of all original music. They began playing shows in their hometown of New Bedford, MA and soon branched out across New England, gaining notoriety for their highly energetic and entertaining live shows. Soon, they began writing new material together which was recorded in downtown New Bedford to create their debut full length album. With a catalog of catchy songs ranging stylistically across the spectrum of rock and roll, taking influence from bands such as Dinosaur Jr., Kings of Leon, MC5, Pixies, Weezer, Pavement, Black Sabbath and more, Lesser Knowns have become a band to watch, and are eager to impress with their musicianship and showmanship at a venue, bar, club, or living room near you.