Rough Church
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Rough Church

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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Music

Press


"Each song is a different brightly colored, tightly wrapped piece of candy on Ferdinand's debut CD, DEMOTED TO GREETER (Rubber Band Ball). Some are gushing and sweet, others bitter and lemony, while still others are salty at first, leaving an aftertaste that mutates by memory into cinnamon." -- Falling James, L.A. Weekly

"...after several years of hearing these tunes performed live, DEMOTED TO GREETER is still a surprise, containing as it does definitive versions of many of the songs, yet with so many textures and colors, from the shimmering country feel of "Any Loose Parts?" to the unsettling, jerky funk of "Decal Stickers". Ferdinand's sound is difficult to pin down; one could use stock phrases like 'roots music', 'early '90s alternative', or 'guitar rock', but they really don't do the band justice. However you categorize their music, it's devoid of cliches -- except when the band is having fun with them....It is at times meandering and ruminative, at times breakneck fierce; this dynamic makes for exhilarating listening, and it makes for an album that wears well, a collection of songs that are heartfelt, intelligent, and off the beaten path." -- Gwynne Garfinkle, New Times Los Angeles

"Ferdinand does for rock and roll what potatoes do for the Irish. So eat up!" -- y records
- various


One of this city's cleverest pop songwriters is finally returning to live action after many years of apparent hibernation. Singer-guitarist Greg Franco fronted the indie-rock band Ferdinand in the previous century, releasing DEMOTED TO GREETER, a fine assortment of witty, underrated songs, in 2000 before dropping out of public view. It turns out he was spending much of that time in New Zealand, collaborating with members of the legendary Kiwi combo The Clean on a solo album, SOUTHPAWWEST (Powertool Records), that was released under the name Greg Franco & the Wandering Bear. SOUTHPAWWEST is a happy marriage, blending the best of both hemispheres, with Franco's intelligent lyrics swept along breezily by David Kilgour's distinctively swirling, faintly psychedelic guitar chirps -- it's like the great lost Clean album, and well worth searching for. The suddenly prolific Mr. Franco has also reconfigured Ferdinand with his old bassist, Laura Smith, and her partner in Third Grade Teacher, the inventive guitarist David Guerrero, for another brand-new release, MEMORIAL INTERCHANGE, which encompasses sarcastic, Kinks-like folk ("Not Pissed Not Hurt"), exotically dreamy pop ("Frame"), sparkling jangle ("Sad Eyes From Van Nuys") and vintage melodrama (a hazy version of Gene Pitney's "Half the Laughter, Twice the Tears"). With Double Naught Spy Car, Boll Weevil, Patria Jacobs. --Falling James [November 20, 2008] - L.A. Weekly


"...simple verses that shift tectonically into powerful choruses a la the Pixies and the Cure, while certain songs...evoke Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips' surreal, hazy dreaminess. The truth is, these loose reference points just demarcate the arrival of a gifted, idiosyncratic, intelligent songwriter in Franco, backed by a clever, propulsive indie-rock band finding hooks in unexpected places." -- Falling James - L.A. Weekly


Discography

* The Wow Signal - ROUGH CHURCH, LP (forthcoming)

* Memorial Interchange - FERDINAND, LP (Rubberband Ball Records, 2008)

* The White Dove of the Desert - GREG FRANCO & WANDERING BEAR/ROUGH CHURCH, LP (Powertool Records, 2008)

* Thanks For The Pen! - GREG FRANCO, split double A single w/Otis Mace (Powertool Records, 2008)

* Southpawwest - GREG FRANCO & WANDERING BEAR, LP (Powertool Records, 2006; produced by David Kilgour)

* W Stands for Worst - ROUGH CHURCH, single (Rubber Band Ball Records, 2006)

* Demoted To Greeter - FERDINAND, LP (Rubber Band Ball Records, 2000)

* Butterscotch b/w Costume Disappointment - FERDINAND, 7" single (Pronto Records, 1997)

Photos

Bio

ROUGH CHURCH is a 3-car garage band. Wide and spacious. Full of lots of different kinds of interesting stuff. Comfy and grungy all at the same time.

Greg Franco started ROUGH CHURCH in 2004 out of the ashes of his former band, FERDINAND. With FERDINAND, Franco established himself as a spokesman-for-the-disenfranchised in the tradition of socially conscious punk/alternative pioneers like D Boon and Mike Watt of the MINUTEMEN. And during FERDINAND’s reign, he had the pleasure of opening for Mike Watt, The Figgs, David Thomas (Pere Ubu), and The Clean.

FERDINAND played at SXSW in 2000 and that same year the band was a Village Voice year-end Top Ten pick.

For years, Franco has been documenting the seemingly hopeless condition of the American slacker-savant in different forms (with titles like FERDINAND's full-length DEMOTED TO GREETER) and ROUGH CHURCH may well be his most accessible communique thus far. With their new record, THE WOW SIGNAL, Franco continues the journey and continues to evolve. His songs flow out in rants, tales, odes (to his wife and also to singer Beth Orton), psychedelic ballads, driving rock beats, deathbed pleading, and ethereal majesty.

THE WOW SIGNAL is a direct transmission from the alien terrain of the human heart and each song-chapter takes you on a different trip. While speaking for himself, Franco speaks for all of us and his message is easier to hear and understand than ever.