Michigan City Vandals
Gig Seeker Pro

Michigan City Vandals

Benton Harbor, Michigan, United States

Benton Harbor, Michigan, United States
Rock Indie

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"There is a distinguishable line in the sand between people who make music because they eat and bleed music, and people who make music because it buys them boats and planes."

"We have reviewed a good number of albums and tracks in the last few weeks, but this CD has been making the rounds in our office for a good month now. If you can listen to a song like “Say It To My Face” and not be genuinely pumped up when Julee’s vocals climb to a scream and this band rocks so hard they sound like a band that has twice as many members, than it might be a good time to check your pulse. And then to be guided back down to Earth so gently by a song like “Spinning” is exactly why we got into this music gig in the first place. This album is raw emotion. There is a distinguishable line in the sand between people who make music because they eat and bleed music, and people who make music because it buys them boats and planes. This music seeps from their pours, and we have not gotten a more raw and rocking album in we don’t know how long, but we do know in hearing this now, that it has been too long."

Remy Carreiro - Somanymp3's.com/Unreality Magazine


""Rollicking, optimistic and relentlessly tuneful, the Vandals’ indie-pop songs take aim at Gen Y apathy and attempt to inspire it to action—all without taking themselves too seriously.""

"It’s hard to doubt the sincerity of the Michigan City Vandals, who proudly boast of being “post-ironic” and trumpet the slogan “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Rollicking, optimistic and relentlessly tuneful, the Vandals' indie-pop songs take aim at Gen Y apathy and attempt to inspire it to action " - Chicago Sun Times-Jim DeRogatis/NPR Sound Opinions


"I love a girl who can rock"

“Up next was the Michigan City Vandals, a 3-piece band that definitely had some chops. Especially their singer/bassist Julee Laurent. They did all originals ...and you know I love a girl who can rock, and Julee most certainly did," Andrew Babcock - mamas fallen angels show review - Some dude with his own webcast that saw us when we opened for Faster Pussycat


"Menacing vocals with lyrics to unite and move people forward"

“The naivety of Julee Laurent may have gotten the better of her, but it's not slowing her down much. Laurent's menacing vocals with lyrics about her annoyance with the country's obsession with fame, a few choice words for pharmaceutical companies show her desire to "unite and move people forward."” - Kalamazoo Gazette


"Dark pop-rock sound reminiscent of the indie rock from artists such as The Breeders and Throwing Muses"

“The band presents a dark pop-rock sound reminiscent of the indie rock from the early '90s and artists such as Juliana Hatfield, The Breeders and Throwing Muses. Laurent sings with a sincere sense of desperation in her voice, to be sure, but her delivery also contains a measure of glee in its energy that borders on absurdist humor.”
Andrew Hughes - South Bend Tribune


"An infectious sound similar to Veruca Salt or a harder version of Pretty Girls Make Graves"

“The Michigan City Vandals, play "crunk surf melodic music" with an infectious sound similar to Veruca Salt or a harder version of Pretty Girls Make Graves. It's Laurent's presence -- strong, effusive and magnetic -- that commands attention in the band's music and even on the phone.The singer oozes charisma and most importantly, perspective.”
— Christian Czerwinski, - Lansing State Journal


"Recommend for fans of: “Shark Week, Formula 1, penicillin, and a good shillelagh”"

Recommend for fans of: “Shark Week, Formula 1, penicillin, and a good shillelagh” - Village Voice Media-Cleveland Scene


"Rock and Roll that Makes a Difference"

Gail Isaacson
Lake Magazine
CD Review

MICHIGAN CITY VANDALS:

Our Own Little Slice of Hell

The potent images on its cover – thighs on a beach towel, a mushroom cloud on the horizon – make it clear this CD isn’t full of mindless pop. No way. Michigan City Vandals are loud, their drums pound an incessant beat, two guitars wail away. The track “Generation RX” slaps the children of baby boomers with a lethal prescription:

I am messed up

Feel like giving up

Pharmaceuticals

Make life beautiful.

The ironically named Miss Fortune – pseudonym of Blondie-inspired lead singer Julee Laurent – sings the chorus like a spoiled schoolgirl:

We don’t have to go to sleep

We don’t have to wake up

We can do what we want

And we don’t give a f ---

“Meltdown” features similarly biting lyrics:

We live in the shadow

Of a nuclear reactor,

And all our children

Seem to run a little faster

This group, which has opened for such headliners as John Mayer and Veruca Salt, has a brilliant future. Catch their acoustic set on March 22 at The Box Factory in St. Joseph, Mich.

BOTTOM LINE: With all proceeds from the CD going to a Habitat for Humanity house in Benton Harbor, this rock ’n’ roll makes a difference. –Gail Isaacson - Lake Magazine


"MCV presents a dark pop-rock sound reminiscent indie rockers such as Juliana Hatfield, The Breeders and Throwing Muses."

Surge to support humanity
Band selling first album to pay for Habitat house (edited for length)
ANDREW S. HUGHES Tribune Staff Writer

Julee Laurent sings "Meltdown" with a sincere sense of desperation in her voice, to be sure, but her delivery also contains a measure of glee in its energy that borders on absurdest humor as she sings, "We live in the shadow of a nuclear reactor/Where all our parents keep on getting cancer."

Laurent wrote "Meltdown" after passing (Nuclear Reactor) while riding the South Shore Railroad from South Bend to Chicago.

"I remember looking at it and the houses around it, and they all had bars on their windows," she says. "I was looking at this monolith to wealthy corporations. It just kind of set my brain off on a track of how some people get forgotten in the wake of big business."

If Laurent sounds like a progressive liberal, she is (she works for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Michigan), and that comes through in both the lyrics she writes for The Michigan City Vandals and how the band conducts its business.

Rather than market their first album, "Our Own Little Slice of Hell," for their own profit, the trio is selling it to raise the money to build a Habitat for Humanity house in Benton Harbor.

"It all boils down to the three of us really like to write songs and record songs," Laurent says about the band. "It's something that we can't stop doing. It's just that our focus has shifted from getting out there and getting known and getting a big record deal to asking what the alternatives are."

Enter Habitat for Humanity and using the album's sales to build a house.
"Pursuing something to propel my own fame seems really selfish, especially with the state the world is in," Laurent says and describes her discontent with the reality television-bred notion that people should now "expect 15 minutes of fame." "I think we need to get back to being who we are and doing the things we love, not to be famous, but to help the world."

The Habitat for Humanity project grew out of Laurent's participation in Whirlpool Corp.'s "Blitz Build" in Phoenix, which a friend recommended she apply for. In Phoenix, Laurent worked alongside the father and daughter who now live in the house she helped to build -- "My
sweat is on the drywall" -- and returned fired-up by the experience.

"It's a generational cycle that's being changed," she says. "It's changing the world. ... When I got back, I said, 'Let's build a house with our music.' ... That is so much bigger than getting a song on the radio."

Her band mates agree with her.

"I really believe in this house," guitarist Joey Green says. "It's not a huge amount of money to build the house. I think it would be great to have other artists come help build the house. We love to play music together, so that's not an issue."

The band needs to raise $75,000 to build its Habitat house -- "I'd say we're at least $73,000 away," Laurent says deadpan.

In addition to album sales, the band's setting up creative funding opportunities. All of the recording for "Our Own Little Slice of Hell," for example, was donated, four tracks from Peak Audio and Dustin Maust in South Bend and four tracks by Czar's 505 and sound engineer Dave Maki in St. Joseph.

"We're covering up the names on our instruments with duct tape," Laurent says. "If somebody wants to buy that endorsement slot, they have to give us money for the house, and then we'll take the duct tape off. They know what their instruments look like."

Also, "Vodka Dave" at the Round Barn Winery is sponsoring shows for the band in Chicago to get it into clubs for people to buy the album.

(The Michigan City Vandals play all original music). After playing in two cover bands, drummer Matt Clancy says he has no interest in that now.

"The cover bands were great in my teens and early 20s to get the exposure to playing with other musicians, which is entirely different" from practicing alone, he says. "I hooked up with my first original band and got that shock of looking at the original song and being able to do whatever I wanted to do with it. I didn't want to go back."

On "Our Own Little Slice of Hell," the band presents a dark pop-rock sound reminiscent of the indie rock from the early '90s and artists such as Juliana Hatfield, The Breeders and Throwing Muses.

"I think a lot of people like to think they've reinvented the wheel, but we like what we do and it fits into a couple of different genres, and you can take it or leave it," Clancy says.

"Noisy," Green says in an attempt to define his style of guitar playing. "That sounds like a joke, but there's a lot of texture. There's a defining anchor in there that kind of gives it a melody, but there's fuzz and hiss and all kinds of things that give it more color."

Laurent and Green formed the band about two years ago with the intention of playing original songs. They had known each other from when both of them had lived in - The Tribune


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Described by NPR Sound Opinions and Chicago Sun Times Rock Critic Jim DeRogatis as a rollicking, optimistic and relentlessly tuneful indie band, the Michigan City Vandals first gained national notice when they donated 100% of the album profits from their first record 'Little Slice of Hell' to go toward building a Habitat for Humanity home in the state of Michigan. 18 months later, they released the 'Revolve' EP which took them on tour to regional college campuses, major Midwest cities and garnered them opening spots for Bowling for Soup, Hank III, Mute Math and the Avett Brothers. After a year hiatus the Vandals returned in 2012 with ‘Back to Life’ and are currently releasing singles off their new album 'Licking the Knife'. The 2nd release off this album, 'Tell Tale Heart' is currently being nationally distributed on all 6 packs of Tell Tale Heart Ale. The full album will be released in January of 2014. MCV has placed songs on shows for HBO and the soon to be released film Kathy T by Cinema Concepts.