Sons of Great Dane
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Sons of Great Dane

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | INDIE

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Americana

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"CD of the Day, Sons of Great Dane- Why Ramble?"

History is littered with alternate universe questions. What if the Allies lost World War II? What if the South won the Civil War? These questions can never be answered for sure, but the debut disc from the Kansas City band Sons of Great Dane gives us a plausible answer to the counterfactual that asks what if Alex Chilton and Chris Bell were into country-rock instead of the Beatles?

Blending power pop and country in a tuneful fashion not heard since the turn of the century heyday of Wilco's Summerteeth, Old 97s' Fight Songs and The Jayhawks' Smile, Sons of Great Dane have one of the early 2009 best-of frontrunners on their hands. Opener "Early Train" leans to the pop side, and recalls Red Guitar, The Meadows and other contemporary country-influenced pop bands, while "Always Wrong, Always Right" has a western noir sound that brings to mind Joe Pernice's "Bum Leg".

The bright pop of "Bullet Left Its Barrel's Head" is another album highlight, "The Ballad of Lou Baker" is Elliott Smith in a cowboy hat, and "One Man (Wishful Thinking") is Midwestern pop/rock in the vein of The BoDeans. Elsewhere, "Drug Queen Beauty" rocks a la Wilco's "Monday" (from Being There, which their producer Lou Whitney worked on as well), and while "Question" shares its title with a classic Old 97s track, the resemblance ends there as instead of an acoustic number, it's a densely produced pop/rock gem that turns into a guitar freak-out at the 4-minute mark and doesn't look back over the next 2 1/2 minutes. And the closing triumvirate of "St. Andrew", "Cut/Paste" and "Something" hold up their end of the album in melodic rocking fashion.

This one's a treat, and it holds the promise of uniting the No Depression crowd and the IPO crowd if it can get before enough ears, something for which I'm doing my part.
- Absolute Powerpop


"Powerpopaholic Review"

Sons of Great Dane "Why Ramble?"
This is a Kansas City trio lead by singer/songwriter Brent Windler. Brent has an excellent melodic instinct and
writes roots rock similar to Rhett Miller or Jay Bennett. The bass slapping, muscular guitar riffs are effortlessly
catchy. It also helps to have Wilco producer Lou Whitney's assistance here. The combo of alt. country and power
pop is seamless here and brilliant on the pop openers "Early Train" and "Bullet Left It's Barrels Head." The
galloping rhythm of "Always Right, Always Wrong" reminds me of the Nashville band Joe, Marc's Brother. The
somber "Ballad Of Lou Baker" is an Elliot Smith inspired composition that starts out simple and builds to a strong
chorus. My favorite song on the album is the Wilco-like "Drug Queen Beauty" with a terrific rolling beat and riff
combo. "Question" turns into a dense alt country version of The Beatles' "A Day In The Life," including overlapping
instrumental chaos. Every single track shines here (no filler for this bunch) and the blended styles work
beautifully together. But most of all, Windler knows how to write great songs by the seat of his pants. I can't wait
to hear more from The Sons of Great Dane - Powerpopacholic


"Daggerzine Review"

Sons Of Great Dane
S/T- (SELF-RELEASED)-Had it not been for a positive review on the Absolute Powerpop site I would never have heard this band.
Now I have and they were kind enough to send me copy of their cd. This Kansas City, MO bunch do trad pop the right way. The band
does a real nice mix of power pop and alt country (ala Old 97’s) but the strength of the songs is what makes this record so darn tasty.
Plus, inside the hand done cardboard sleeve is a small envelope that has “Why ramble?” on the outside and inside has a small card
with the songs titles and no other info. No address, no band info, nothin’ (go to their my space site for that) . The tunes are terrific,
opener “Early Train” reminded me a bit of the more upbeat Volebeats tunes while the more noir-ish “Always Wrong, Always Right”
adds some twang to the proceedings and “Bullet Left Its Barrel’s Head” is pure, shiny melody. That’s the first there tracks and there’s
7 more and not a bum one in the batch. There’s even a few fine acoustic numbers mixed in between. This is definitely going to make
the DAGGER top 15 “Under the Radar” cds for 2009. Write the band and send ‘em your money. - Dagger


Discography

"Why Ramble?" LP scheduled for re-release on Sharp County Records 2/10/12
"You Can't Lose It All, All At Once" EP scheduled for release on Sharp County Records April 2012

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Bio

This winter found Sons of Great Dane hunkered down in a small studio control room finishing mixing on their new EP “You Can’t Lose it All, All at Once”. Recorded just south of their native Kansas City it marks a new twist in their sound, and also a new relationship with Sharp County Records, with whom they’ve recently signed. “You Can’t Lose it All…” shows Sons embracing a darker, more somber tone to their songs, dismissing some of the alt country influences that have earned them praise in the past, while bringing a love of Big Star and Elliot Smith style pop to the forefront.

In addition to the upcoming release of their new EP, Sharp County is re-releasing Sons first record “Why Ramble?” recorded in 2009 with engineer/ producer Lou Whitney in his Springfield, MO studio. Whitney’s long list of premiere work in roots rock, including the arguably genre defining album, Wilco’s, “Being There”, deeply colored Sons burgeoning sound. Given its limited, regional release, “Why Ramble?” received national accolades in the power pop scene, earning spots on Top 20 album of the year lists in both Absolute Power Pop, and Daggerzine.

Sons began in 2007 when singer/ songwriter Brent Windler came back to Kansas City after a stint as touring guitar player for “Scratch Track” and stayed on friend, Nolle Bond’s couch. The two soon started to put together the songs that would become “Why Ramble?” in the apartment’s living room. The sound was completed with the addition of Nathan “Jr.” Richardson (Coalesce, Casket Lottery, Appleseed Cast) on drums, and that lineup went into the studio in 2009. A year later, Sons added longtime friend and guitar player Evanjohn Nash McIntosh on lead guitar, and finally in 2011 added drummer John Yeates, providing a highly skilled anchor to a rotating drum throne between Richardson and Brenden Culp (Making Movies).

The newly formed relationship with Sharp County Records adds a lot of excitement for the upcoming year. The release of the new EP and shining a spotlight on “Why Ramble?” has Sons excited to make the most of the opportunities that national promotion and distribution provide.
“We never felt that we really gave “Why Ramble?” a shot to be heard. Giving it a second life, and getting “You Can’t Lose it All…” out there to people is really amazing.”- Brent Windler