Rooftop Suicide Club
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Rooftop Suicide Club

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Six Days A Week"

April 8, 2004

By SEAN McCARTHY, Standard-Times correspondent

Friday: Rooftop Suicide Club
Bridge Street Station, 122 Main St., Fairhaven.

Modern rock has many faces and so has Rooftop Suicide Club. The band plays pop music with a richness that most pop doesn't always evoke, yet they occasionally make their way to the verge of modern alternative rock, as well.

The quartet of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards provides a spectrum that goes from top-down summertime rock to something that digs for deeper, more serious emotional ground.

You get the impression that these guys -- Mike Almond, Eric Stotts, Chris Haskell and Josh Gobush -- are sure about what they want to convey, resulting not in a sound so much as a collage of emotional experiences.

Rooftop Suicide Club's sound stays full enough to carry their more expansive mellow material, but it's not overbearing when they open it up.
- The Standard Times


"Always Like This"

Rooftop Suicide Club
Graham Bailey 8/25/2005
Music Review

"Always Like This"

2005 Stop, Pop, and Roll
Score: 8 (of 10)

When you pick up an album by a band called Rooftop Suicide Club what would you expect? Probably machine gun beats, blaring guitars and guttural screams, right? Having formed in New Bedford, MA, an area rife with heavy music, made the members of Rooftop Suicide Club try to do something different; Always Like This is the result of their effort.

Always Like This is one of those rare recordings that are just quite hard to define; scrutinizing and categorizing it just isn’t as easy as the average album. The band was trying to create “harmony-laden, melodic rock,� and has done so, but that is so vague. The band consists of four members that play everything from organ and piano, to synths and glockenspiels, to washboard and sleigh bells, to the expected drums, bass and guitars. The album also features a whole slew of musicians on instruments like the trumpet, violin, viola, cello and slide guitar. This incredible array of instrumentation is combined to create a unique blend of music.

The album starts out with “The Bones That Keep Me Alive,� an up-tempo pop-rocker in the vein of (a less-crappy) Everclear. The very next song, “Plea For My Life,� relies more heavily on synthesizers, showcasing a bit more range. Slowly the album introduces more and more aspects of Rooftop Suicide Club, including horn arrangements (“Indie Girl�), country-esque piano ballads (“More Like You�), a low-key surf jam (“Arizona�) and punky jams (“Gold Rush.�)

On top of some well-played instrumentation and incredible melodies the Rooftop Suicide Club pile some very good vocals, including many songs with great harmonies. Lyrically the band also does a fine job, such as on the country-tinged “If I Could Tell The Truth,� where they sing: “If I didn’t give a fuck/ I think I’d be out of luck/ Contrary to what I say.�

Of course not everything on Always Like This is perfect. Several of the songs tend to drag on a bit, and a few of them get repetitive (such as “Don’t You Want To Go� featuring the title line repeated approximately 100 times.) It would also be nice to see a bit more rocking out, as the few times Rooftop Suicide Club get a little bit heavier they sound great.

Overall: A good variety of instruments and great melodies make Always Like This quite a good album. - Pucknation.com


"Always Like This"

Rooftop Suicide Club - Always Like This (CD, Stop, Pop, and Roll, Pop)
The debut album from New Bedford, Massachusetts' Rooftop Suicide Club. The four gentlemen in this band play melodic guitar pop that is unusually smooth and accessible...recalling similar artists like The Gigolo Aunts and The Hang Ups. Their tunes are, in fact, so upbeat and positive that they may frighten some listeners away. You won't hear scorching lead guitars or walls of blaring feedback. Just groovy rhythms, great harmonies, and an overall upbeat vibe. This is a particularly good collection of tunes...but it is even more impressive when you consider the fact that this is the band's first (!) album. These folks have certainly built a solid foundation here. Kickass tunes include "The Bones That Keep Me Alive," "Plea For My Life," "Our Ride," "Arizona," and "If I Could Tell the Truth." Extremely catchy stuff. (Rating: 5+ out of 6) - Babysue.com


"Staying Alive"

Issue Date: September 2 - 8, 2005
BY JONATHAN PERRY

Rooftop Suicide Club knew they were on to something when after opening for the Killers in Providence the New Bedford quartet got flamed by a fan of the neo-new-wave chart-toppers. "He e-mailed us after the show and said we sounded like a modern-day Wings," recalls singer/guitarist Chris Haskell when he and pianist/singer Jeff Gobush sit down with me at the Middle East. "And for me, anybody that compares us to Wings, I�m down with that!"

Sounds perfectly sensible coming from a guy who recommends that the "Indie Girl" in the track of the same name "put on some Air Supply while applying your red hair dye." Like the other wistful RSC numbers on the band�s full-length debut, Always like This (out last week on the Stop, Pop, and Roll label of Aaron Tap and Paula Kelley), it evokes hazy asphalt summers and amber waves of Wheat � the band Wheat. But scratch the tuneful surface of breezy vocals, loping guitars, and subtle trumpet accents, zero in on the lyrics, and you�ll see it�s also a send-up of indie-rock poseurs � a wry critique dressed in sunny songcraft.

"Indie Girl," which Haskell claims is "about this girl I met on-line," is only the most pointed example of a recurring theme. Artifice, image, and the restless search for something real are RSC staples. "Radio" is the title of one track and also a word that comes up again and again. For a striving rock band, airplay�s a holy grail.

Yet RSC, who�ll be holding down a Tuesday-night residency at the Abbey Lounge this month, are steeped in the underdog pop of Teenage Fanclub, Velvet Crush, Fountains of Wayne, and � most obviously � Big Star. ("Don�t even get me started on how much I love Big Star," Haskell warns.) And with the exception of FOW (who thanks to a bikini-clad Rachel Hunter scored a left-field breakthrough hit with "Stacy�s Mom"), that suggests they�re headed down a path that leads to the adoration of critics, a solid cult audience, and not much more.

"Radio should be like it was in 1975, when rock bands were rock bands," says Haskell. "Radio now is about whose sunglasses you�re wearing and how thin you are. I force-feed myself radio � I drive a truck for a living � to hear what�s out there, and I know what I don�t want to sound like. Bread, Led Zep, Pearl Jam � I don�t think there�s any music like that anymore. Joe Cocker and Neil Young were ugly and on the radio. Now, everybody�s beautiful and skinny, but the music isn�t there."

Gobush shrugs. "I don�t picture us ever being on the radio. But we do have the potential to do bigger things on a different level as far as gaining our own crowd goes." Haskell: "As long as the four of us get a copy of our CD and some of our friends like it, we�ll be pretty happy."

Gobush and Haskell started out as solo singer-songwriters in New Bedford before forming a "weird Pixies tribute band" with a revolving cast of players. Once bassist Eric Stotts and drummer Michael Almond had signed on, Rooftop Suicide Club were born. Haskell recalls, "It was very different when we started � this intense thing where we would come out and scream. But I think we both realized we knew how to sing, so why the hell should we be screaming all the time?"

And the name Rooftop Suicide Club? "I seem to have a small problem with gravity," Haskell explains. "I took a three-story dive off the top of a parking garage and broke both my legs and a bunch of other stuff. There was lots of whiskey involved. It was a stunt gone bad. Mike, our drummer, is the one who saved my life. He carried me up four flights of stairs to get help. There were a couple of other accidents I had like that due to various problems in my life, so �rooftop suicide club� sort of became a tongue-in-cheek thing. But" � he brightens � "I thought it was a good name for a band." - Boston Phoenix - Cellars By Starlight


Discography

The Duck EP (2002)
Death of Radio EP (2003)
Always Like This (2005)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

If the Rooftop Suicide Club had a motto, it might be this: cynicism, love, despair, hope.

The four longtime friends that make up Rooftop Suicide Club were brought together by a fanatical love of music combined with an almost desperate escapism. Scraping it out in their working-class hometown of New Bedford, MA, they began modestly by recording skeletal, but inspired rock songs on guitarist/vocalist Haskell’s cannibalized computer in a
converted textile-mill-turned-rehearsal-space. Getting the band into a proper studio was like giving a brilliant fingerpainter brushes for the first time. Always Like This, the band’s full length debut, is a thrilling emotional ride replete with examples of their effortless and unlikely fusing of indie-rock aesthetics, lush harmony vocals, and big guitar solos, propelled by tracks like the biting, yet jubilant “Radio,” “The Bones That Keep Us Alive,” with its jangly pop verses
contrasting with the dark, wordless chorus, and the
catchy anti-anthem “Gold Rush.”

The members of Rooftop Suicide Club are driven to
create and to constantly challenge themselves. It’s
a drive that is at times as frantic as the name implies
and leads to accordingly dramatic results.