Risers
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Risers

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop

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Opening with surging, swaggering slam-bang indie rock kinetics of “A Current Affair,” all rolling waves of pummeling percussion and sugar-sweetened melodies cascading on top of one another, and closing with the wistful minimalism and piano-plinked sadness of the vaguely National-esque “Can’t Get From Here to There,” Risers’ self-titled debut EP covers a lot of ground in its nearly 30-minute running time.

Hopscotching from herky-jerky tempos bound tightly together by a series of swooning sighs and nods towards Americana (“Rites of Spring”) to vertiginous melodies and slick pop jams (“Devil’s Game”) to a hypnotic swirl of rhythmic, bass-heavy spaceyness (“Perforated Lungs”), Risers EP sets its goals high, and its payoff results even higher—insert your own cheesy critic’s pun about ‘rising’ to expectations here, if you like, but make sure and grab this EP (for free) right after. - Web In Front


Opening with surging, swaggering slam-bang indie rock kinetics of “A Current Affair,” all rolling waves of pummeling percussion and sugar-sweetened melodies cascading on top of one another, and closing with the wistful minimalism and piano-plinked sadness of the vaguely National-esque “Can’t Get From Here to There,” Risers’ self-titled debut EP covers a lot of ground in its nearly 30-minute running time.

Hopscotching from herky-jerky tempos bound tightly together by a series of swooning sighs and nods towards Americana (“Rites of Spring”) to vertiginous melodies and slick pop jams (“Devil’s Game”) to a hypnotic swirl of rhythmic, bass-heavy spaceyness (“Perforated Lungs”), Risers EP sets its goals high, and its payoff results even higher—insert your own cheesy critic’s pun about ‘rising’ to expectations here, if you like, but make sure and grab this EP (for free) right after. - Web In Front


One of my favorite things about emerging music is how hard it can be to classify. Some is easy: metal, jazz, blues, tehno-pop, the catch-all weird-ass “indie”, but listening to Risers, it’s quite difficult to nail down. Hear A Current Affair and just when you’re convinced they’re a straight rock evolution, piano-laden semi-rock ballad “Perforated Lungs” plays, and you’re back to square one. The relaxed, mature, and at times delightfully lazy vocals make for a unique vibe, providing a welcome break from typical whiny anguish. Though at the end of it all, it sounds like a band that’s still searching for its perfect sound. Listen to them now if you’re one of those people who like to say “dude, I’ve been listening to this band before they were popular!” I bet this won’t be the last time you hear Risers. - The Owl


One of my favorite things about emerging music is how hard it can be to classify. Some is easy: metal, jazz, blues, tehno-pop, the catch-all weird-ass “indie”, but listening to Risers, it’s quite difficult to nail down. Hear A Current Affair and just when you’re convinced they’re a straight rock evolution, piano-laden semi-rock ballad “Perforated Lungs” plays, and you’re back to square one. The relaxed, mature, and at times delightfully lazy vocals make for a unique vibe, providing a welcome break from typical whiny anguish. Though at the end of it all, it sounds like a band that’s still searching for its perfect sound. Listen to them now if you’re one of those people who like to say “dude, I’ve been listening to this band before they were popular!” I bet this won’t be the last time you hear Risers. - The Owl


Josh Thorpe, one-half of the songwriting braintrust behind Risers, concedes there’s a certain amount of “fed-up-ness” behind the music on the L.A. quintet’s debut EP. “Is that word?” he says, stopping himself and chuckling. “Well, you know what I mean. Love and struggle.” There’s plenty of emotional push and pull in the intricately layered rock Americana that Thorpe creates with longtime collaborator Sean Miller, from the wistful but buoyant single “A Current Affair” to the sprawling, noir-ish “Can’t Get There From Here.” Originally from Portland, Thorpe and Miller fronted a quartet called Anglos and released an EP in 2009 (featuring the memorable “Cleopatra”). But they lost half the band — the lineup is now filled out by drummer Daniel Goldblatt (ex-Walking Sleep), bassist Pat Nally and multi-instrumentalist Greg Katz (LA Font) — and spent much of last year agonizing over new recordings. “It was just not as expansive as we wanted it to be,” Thorpe says. “We had to walk away with it for a while.” Finally, a mix executed by Rob Brill did the trick, and the EP [available in its entirety here] is out this week. - Buzz Bands LA


Maybe it’s the leviathan drums or maybe it’s the story in the lyrics, but “Cleopatra” makes Anglos sound like they’re more than a flavor of the moment. The big, patient anthem, the title track off the foursome’s debut EP, is the work of songwriters Josh Thorpe and Sean Miller, Portland boyhood pals who have assembled an L.A. lineup that includes ex-Acute bassist Matt Herman and drummer Roger Brogan, who plays with Sonic Boom in Spectrum. The EP was released on upstart imprint Greatminds. - Buzz Bands LA


A deep, crisp bass, slow, thumping toms and reverb-steeped electric guitar commence the Anglos new 7" with an epic sound, worthy of St. Paul's Cathedral. Proverbial lyrics offer insight while the rolling beat conjures California surf imagery. Perfect music for a life-changing road trip.

Ratings:
Hamburger = Rock
Hash Brownie = Psychedelic
Taco = Prime LA Music - The Deli


Early on, Anglos chose to step into the studio. With a completed project in hand, it wasn't long before an informal connection would lead them to a deal with LA-area indie, greatminds!, although a deal with no formal contract.

Anglos formed in 2007 when longtime friends Sean Miller and Josh Thorpe met Roger Brogan and Matt Herman. Coming from varied musical backgrounds, they agreed that it was important to have something to offer at the onset. Thorpe recalls, "We were rehearsing and not getting a lot of steam behind us. We decided to record in order to bring the band beyond us just getting together." The band also saw the importance of having CDs to sell after a show.

"Greatminds! used to be a part of a label Number 3," says Thorpe. "Roger [Brogan] had done a 7-inch with Number 3 a few years back." Brogan ran into Toddrick of greatminds!, told him about Anglos and gave him an unmastered CD-R. "After hearing it, they didn't need us to talk them into a deal. They just enjoyed us as a band."

Anglos' deal with greatminds! is verbal; there's no signed contract. Says bassist Matt Herman, "They're trying to bring 'artist-friendly' back to record labels. We believe that this is better for both parties and will encourage a more sustainable view of the label/band relationship."

Anglos hope to become a touring band, but only when they're confident it's the right move/ "We don't want to go out just because we can," Thorpe says.

Anglos' first EP, (Anglos EP) will dropped in early 2009. They released a 7-inch vinyl and a digital download file but, notably, no CD. Thorpe believes this is a the obvious choice. "Often CDs just sit around and gather dust," he observes.

This is greatminds!' first release as an offshoot of Number 3.

-Jennifer Shepherd - Music Connection


Discography

Anglos EP, 2009 - http://risers.bandcamp.com/
Risers EP, 2011 - http://risers.bandcamp.com/

Photos

Bio

The seeds for Risers were planted long ago in Portland, Oregon where Josh Thorpe and Sean Miller - songwriters/co-vocalists/guitarist and keyboardist respectively - grew up in each other's company. Their partnership first took root in the theatre where they often performed opposite one another, and collaborated on the production of original material. It was during this time they discovered their mutual admiration and practice of music and songwriting.

In their very early 20s, Josh and Sean went their separate ways to strike out on their own in various cities. During this time, each developed their voices as songwriters, moving through the shoe-gazer, singer/songwriter model into more dynamic territories. Though separated by miles and time zones, they stayed in close contact, discussing the bands they were listening to and sharing the songs they were writing.

Then, after a number of years apart, the two found themselves living just blocks away from one another in Los Angeles, CA. They wasted little time taking advantage of their new proximity. Within two month they'd formed their first band, The Baby Mammals, with a third Portland ex-pat songwriter. The Baby Mammals released an EP, toured the west coast and played out extensively in LA before disbanding over creative differences.

The experience served as a garage band grad school of sorts for Josh and Sean, who walked away determined to start anew as a unified front. They wrote new material, recorded home demos and began playing out as a duo with the assistance of a drum machine. After cutting their teeth on random gigs at Medical Marijuana dispensaries and charity events they gathered together a bona fide rhythm section and the band was born.

Very shortly after its inception as a full band, Risers (then called Anglos) went into the studio to record a small handful of songs. Some early mixes landed in the hands of Angel Mendoza and Toddrick Spalding - formerly of The Number 3 Records. Mendoza and Spalding immediately agreed to release the Anglos EP as their first offering under their new label, Greatminds.

Risers' Anglos EP, which The Deli LA hails as "An epic sound, worthy of St. Paul's Cathedral... perfect music for a life-changing road trip," and Buzz Bands LA asserts makes them "sound like they're more than a flavor of the moment," is now available digitally and on 7" vinyl.

Risers' self-titled follow-up EP was released in January and has had much acclaim from the blogosphere:

"There's plenty of emotional push and pull in the intricately layered rock Americana that (Risers) creates."
- Buzz Bands

"The relaxed, mature, and at times delightfully lazy vocals make for a unique vibe, providing a welcome break from typical whiny anguish."
- The Owl Mag

"Risers EP sets its goals high, and its payoff results even higher - insert your own cheesy critic's pun about 'rising' to expectations here"
- Web in Front

"Their music is actually very heroic - gives me the same feeling as Coldplay and Muse but in a straight up rock and roll package."
- Stephen Tobolowsky - Actor, Writer, Storyteller

Risers have a track on Greatminds' forthcoming Beat LA compilation album of LA bands w/ the likes of No Age, Crystal Antlers and Geisha Girls.

The band has been playing out live in and around LA for the last two year at venues such as The Troubadour, Spaceland and Santa Monica Civic Center with bands such as Delta Spirit, Voxhaul Broadcast, We Barbarians, Gamblehouse and Superhumanoids.

The current line up for Risers includes Josh & Sean, bassist Greg Shadwick (Jon Hardy & the Public) and drummer Daniel Goldblatt (Walking Sleep).