The Only Children
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The Only Children

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THE ONLY CHILDREN - These former members of The Anniversary and their newfound collaborators may hail from Kansas, but they've crafted a glowingly beautiful California-Country/Southern-Rock hybrid for a new generation. Awash in pedal steel and melancholy harmonies, Neil Young, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers--and, more recently, Beachwood Sparks--come to mind as The Only Children paint soundscapes brilliant as an Arizona sunset and refreshing as an Appalachian streem. - Paste - Feb/Mar 05 - Steve LaBate


The Only Children may face an uphill battle, trying to peddle their brand of old-soul country folk in a world of screamo, hardcore and pop punk, but they aren't fazed--well, sort of. "What can you do when all the music that's popular pretty much sucks?" ponders singer/guitarist Josh Berwanger. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe New Found Glory ARE the most amazing thing ever, and I'm missing the point--but I don't think so." What can you do, Josh? In protest, you can release "Change of Living" a collection of 12 beautifully crafted, timeless tracks that pick up where half the band--Berwanger, drummer Christian "Janko" Jankowski and bassist Jim David--left off when their previous outfit, The Anniversary, folded in 2003. Change of living, indeed. - Alternative Press - May 2004


Maybe it's my fetish for crime writing that makes it hard for me to not like an album that begins with the line, "I drove down to New York City / with an ice cold switchblade in my hand." Indeed, frontman and lyricist Josh Berwanger, formerly of the acclaimed emo band The Anniversary, offers plenty of the dark stuff: "Your lady yellin' ain't life a bitch / the rope around her neck it don't fit" ("Before It Fades"); "Now your soul is like a whorehouse -- so many lovers but none you can name" ("Jesus Came Too Late"); and "This heart was filled with gold now it's all gone black" ("Change of Living"). Happy, happy stuff. But it's not all gloom and doom, and the band's blend of country rock, blues and psychedelic pop--propelled by harp, organ, accordian and various other instruments--is well done and very enjoyable...Quite a debut. - Amplifier - Nov/Dec 2004


While displaying flashes of psychedelic brilliance, the Anniversary's final full-length, 2001's "Your Majesty", was also a bit overwrought. Perhaps inevitably, the veneer of the band's meticulously crafted indie-pop began to crack in subsequent recording sessions (see its 2001 split EP with Superdrag), revealing more earthy, relaxed sounds. Following the Anniversary's dissolution in 2003, co-songwriter Josh Berwanger went on to turn his former band's dalliance with roots music into a full-blown love affair. On "Change of Living", Berwangers nasal drawl finds constant companionship in pedal-steel guitar and barroom piano, plus pretty vocal harmonies from Heidi-Lynn Gluck of Juliana Hatfield's band...Berwanger also steals dirty guitar licks from "Exile on Main Street" and can deliver dirt floor stompers...Despite its wealth of talent, the Anniversary often sounded like it was trying too hard. With The Only Children, Berwanger makes it all seem effortless. - Magnet - Aug/Sept 2004 - Matt Ryan


Discography

2004 - Change of Living LP (glurp records)
2006 - Girl With The Golden Hair Limited Edition 7" & CD Pack (Xvala/Vinyl Nerd Records)
2006 - 7" Single Series Volume 6 (Art of the Underground)
2007 - Keeper of Youth LP (Sidecho Records)

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Bio

The Only Children is the latest project from Josh Berwanger, former lead singer of The Anniversary and his wife Heidi-Lynne Gluck, formerly of Juliana Hatfield's band Some Girls. In the late 90s, The Anniversary sold more than 80,000 units for emo-scene stalwarts Vagrant Records (Dashboard Confessional, Saves the Day) and toured with everyone from Modest Mouse to Guided by Voices. Lead singer Josh Berwanger was the broken heart and soul of The Anniversary. Those who appreciated The Anniversary�s blossoming from emo to psych-masters on their last record, Your Majesty, will love Berwanger�s new project The Only Children.

"In The Anniversary, I was writing when I was 17 to 18 years old. I was still learning how to write and sing. Honestly, I have no idea how I wrote some of those songs. I can't listen to that stuff anymore," says Berwanger. Perhaps inevitably, the veneer of the Anniversary�s perfectly crafted indie pop was beginning to crack as Berwanger began a dalliance a few years ago with more earthly, relaxed sounds inspired by a love of John Fahey and Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones.

Following The Anniversary�s dissolution in 2003, Berwanger turned his flirtation with roots music into a full blown love affair with his new band. The Only Children has a sound inspiration is clearly Neil Young, Lightin' Hopkins and even bands like Cheap Trick, Fleetwood Mac, Guided By Voices and Modest Mouse. But The Only Children have got something more: the skills to play catchy songs. Their first release "Change Of Living" [Glurp Records 2004] is not a sad album where you sit in your couch, put your headphones on, close your eyes and start sleeping: it's a strong disc, filled with pop rhythms and great melodies. Songs like "Lonesome Road" are pretty unique and there is not a chance you will find them anywhere else.

After a steady year and half of touring, Josh returned home to write more songs with Heidi-Lynne, resulting in a new demo of songs that show a maturation of the rootsy, psychedelic vision originally put forward by the Anniversary�but purer, cleaner, and more stripped down. Listen and enjoy by clicking the "Audio" button above or request a demo CD by emailing anne@lowefarmrecords.com.