The Compulsions
Gig Seeker Pro

The Compulsions

Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Head-bangin' Raunch"

The Compulsions crank out a loud 'n' loose blend of street-savvy Dolls-meet-KISS-meet-Dictators roar coupled with a barrage of AC/DC-via-Stones head-bangin' raunch that'll have you turning up the volume as far as it'll go. - The Aquarian

"Blues & Booze"

Rob Carlyle and the rest of the Compulsions don't just play their blues and booze blend of rock 'n' roll, they come right out and smack you straight across the face with it. Everything from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Thunders with a little Guns N' Roses exists in the Compulsions' songs of discontent. - The New York Press

"The New Gold Standard"

Calling the smoke filled, puke stained underworld of NYC home, the Compulsions evoke the gone but not forgotten spirit of down and dirty sounding rock 'n' roll ala the Stones' classic, Sticky Fingers. In fact, I'd love to hear these guys do a cover of "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'." Alcohol and nicotine fueled bluesy riffs lay the footings for instant classics like "Shake Hands with the Devil," "Down on the Tracks," "Dance Around the Fire" and "Howlin' for You." The boys show they're no one trick pony and change it up a bit on the mellower "My Favorite Wine" and the reggae influenced "Turn it On" whose bass line would make (the Wailers') Aston "Family Man" Barrett nod in approval. This is one of the best discs I've heard in a long time. The Compulsions are the new gold standard of what real rock should be- so much so that this release should only be available on vinyl. - East Coast Romper

"Swaggering, Confident Performance"

Rob Carlyle is from New York, but his band, the Compulsions, play the kind of sweaty blues rock that usually resides south of the Mason Dixon line. Spinning their new EP, Laughter from Below, is like walking into a southern blues bar, circa 1975. Beyond retro, their sound channels the atmosphere almost too well. Peanut shells on the floor, cloudy beer, and stale cigarette air; they even got the smell right. I'll warn you not to make eye contact with the bikers and watch out for beer bottles being thrown across the room. Carlyle is a student of the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. His heroes, Jagger and Axl, shine through in his swaggering, confident performance. - Deli Magazine

"Think Stones meet ZZ Top meets GN'R"

Recommended, "If you love the Stones (and we know ya do), mixed with some ZZ Top and a lil' GNR." - The Village Voice

"Sounds like Madison Square Garden, circa 1969"

You might have to look around and make sure you're not at Madison Square Garden, circa 1969, waiting for Jagger to 'Welcome [you] to the breakfast show.' - The Bergen Record

"The Coolest Band In The World"

Demon Love is a bucketful of slithery NYC sleaze with trumpets and harmonicas and all that slick-willy uptown stuff, plus a sinister, semi-industrial cover of JJ Cale's "Cocaine" and a song about how awesome it is having sex with fat girls.

I always sorta knew it anyway, but now it's official: The Compulsions are the coolest band in the world.
- Classic Rock Magazine

"Rock 'N' Roll Is Not Dead!"

Since I was given their latest CD, Demon Love, I haven't been able to stop listening to it. It's a down and dirty NYC-style of sleazy punk rock. Songs like "Groove On," the catchiness of "Can't Get Through To You," and my favorite track "Big, Fat, Sexy Mama," really make you believe that rock 'n' roll is NOT dead. You can't miss these guys! - The Aquarian

"One Of The Best Things To Come Out Of New York, Lately"

The Compulsions are one of the best things to come from the Big Apple lately, proof that there's a hell of a lot more to New Yawk than hipster indie faux-rock like the Strokes. Leader Rob Carlyle and his crew make dirtyass rock & roll the way your mama used to make – as long as your mama rode a Harley, shtupped Johnny Thunders as often as Phil Lynott and thought "irony" was a mispronunciation of what she was doing to your jeans after washing. Demon Love is the Compulsions' third EP in as many years and shows the breadth of the band's guitar-rock vision as well as anything they've done so far.

The disk opens with the one-two punch of the powerhouse hipsway of "Groove On" and the good-humored raunch of "Big, Fat Sexy Mama," both spiked with horns so perfect as to bring tears to Al Kooper's eyes. The delicious combination of songwriting smarts and big ol' six-string hooks makes both tunes easily the best things the band's ever done. Those cuts would be hard to top, and Carlyle wisely doesn't try, but that doesn't mean there aren't other juicy bites of the Apple here. "Betrayed" injects a grungy power ballad with real spite and anger, "Can't Get Through to You" kicks its way out the garage with steel-toed boots and "My Heart Still Aches For You" turns off the amps for a fiddle-laced, adrenalized two-step that takes the Pogues to a Texas honkytonk.

All that's left is the band's cover of Cale/Clapton's "Cocaine;" whether or not this wah-wah and drum machine-infused pisstake will sit right depends on how overplayed you think the original classic rock dinosaur is. (Why "Cocaine" instead of including the great title tune "Demon Love", which so far exists only in privately distributed CD-r form?) But that doesn't worry me much – I can forgive a combo as world-rockingly great as the Compulsions the occasional misstep, as long as they keep kicking my ass as does the rest of Demon Love. - Sonic Ruin Magazine

"Rock 'N' Roll Genius"

It's hard to believe four years have passed since the last Compulsions release Laughter from Below. With that EP, it seemed as if the world had at long last been blessed with the rock 'n' roll saviors they prayed would eventually come. Unfortunately for the world, they haven't entirely caught on, yet. That's okay, though. With their new CD Demon Love, the Compulsions have crafted a work so perfect it leaves no room for naysayers, simultaneously restoring both fun and danger back to the form. As much of an epiphany as Laughter from Below was, this new outing absolutely obliterates it. The undeniable and inevitable has just become more so.

One advantage Demon Love clearly has over its predecessor is the stabilization of the band's lineup. Gone are the days of leader Rob Carlyle relying entirely on session players to fill out the ranks from song to song. With Jon Weber on drums, Brian Gabriel playing lead guitar, and Joe Merrigan providing bass over the majority of these six tracks, the lone wolf has seemingly found his pack. The resulting listen not only flows better for it but feels more alive and vibrant than before.

Furthermore, if anyone thought Carlyle just got lucky from a songwriting standpoint last time out, Demon Love should prove quite the bitter pill--it turns out he's legitimately a rock 'n' roll genius. Master's class kicks off with "Groove On." Driven by its funky riff and full blown horns, this is probably what Aerosmith hoped their Permanent Vacation album had turned out to be. The song starts with a sexy, female giggle, moves to a vocal that goes from full grit to breathy exhale, and ends with a woman's satisfied moan. In the middle, Gabriel manages to yank out one of the sickest solos in recent memory, playing outside himself, like Joe Perry in the early '70s on an empty stomach. Coming off as a reduced tempo hybrid of "Brown Sugar" and "Proud Mary," the Compulsions manage to out Stones anything the Stones have yielded in thirty years on "Big, Fat, Sexy Mama." If not for the raunchy lyrics, this super fun ditty would be primed for classic rock radio--it will surely become an instant classic amongst Compulsions faithful. This paves way for the most uptempo track in the band's entire canon "Can't Get Through To You." Here, Merrigan and Weber steal the show, holding down a rumbling jungle beat in the midst of the fracas. Then, it happens. After decades of haystack haired dirtbag rockers trying in vain, the Compulsions manage to conjure the ghost of Johnny Thunders like no other on "Betrayed." Caustic and venomous beyond words, its acoustic-to-electric shifts somewhat echo "So Alone." Pulling you deeper yet into the seedy depths, the band's cover of JJ Cale's "Cocaine" (famously interpreted by Eric Clapton) sounds like nothing that has come before. Industrial, programmed beats, reverse leads, talkboxes, and heavy processing are unable to completely tame the rock 'n' roll that flows so effortlessly from these guys. It's a truly landmark performance that probably sounds like what most hope Guns N' Roses' oft delayed Chinese Democracy album will--but, disappointingly, surely won't. Closing Demon Love like a "Factory Girl" for the new millennium is the fiddle drenched jig "My Heart Still Aches For You." This cut manages to bring the experience full circle, connecting back with the lighthearted feel found during the disc's first half. From top to bottom, the attention to detail found on Demon Love is staggering.

Rock 'n' roll is a treacherous jungle filled with too many predators and pitfalls for the average person to withstand. In waiting over a decade and a half to see if the last great lion could maneuver its terrain once more, the ecosystem has fallen to ruin. Now on life support, the truest believers search for an answer explaining how to bring this landscape back to life. That answer lies in a question. Why sit around waiting for an album that may or may not ever see release when there's obviously a new king delivering sheer flawlessness that's available to you this very moment in time? Make no mistake--this form is very much alive. May Demon Love reach your ears so you can know and feel it. - Uncle Dan's House Of Smut


Laughter from Below EP (self-released)
Demon Love EP (self-released)
A Fistful of Rock & Roll: Volume 13 compilation (Devil Doll Records)
New York City Rock 'N' Roll compilation (Radical Records)
Sound from the Underground compilation (CheapShot Records)



The Compulsions are a New York City rock 'n' roll band, formed in the summer of 2002.

Compared to other new bands, the Compulsions offer a grittier, more traditional take on rock music and have won many fans who admire their obvious authenticity.

Critics have compared the group favorably to the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, the New York Dolls, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many other classic and legendary artists.

In early reviews, the Compulsions were hailed by the underground press as "The World's Greatest Obscure Rock Band," "The New Gold Standard For Real Rock 'N' Roll" and "The Heir Apparent To Guns N' Roses' Long Vacant Mainstream Hard Rock Throne."

Since the band's inception, club deejays have spun self-released Compulsions tracks at downtown nightspots like Bar 13, the Delancey, Don Hill's, the Double Down Saloon, Lakeside Lounge, Lit, Motor City, Niagara and Three of Cups.

In December 2004, the Compulsions' Laughter from Below EP was featured on the “Best of 2004” installment of Out of the Box---Jonathan Clarke’s weekly radio show on New York’s Q104.3FM, showcasing “the best in new music and local, undiscovered bands.”

By 2006, over 100 radio stations across North America added Laughter from Below to their playlists, with album cuts "Down on the Tracks," "Howlin' for You" and "Shake Hands with the Devil" charting at more than 60 influential CMJ/Core stations.

In May 2007, the unsigned band was named Artist of the Week on Napster and nearly every European version of iTunes; including Finland, France, Great Britain, Spain and Sweden.

The Compulsions' loud 'n' loose live show has been generating a significant buzz; their final performance at CBGB inspiring one critic to proclaim, "If there is a God, the Compulsions will get signed, then immediately head down to the Mercury Lounge and beat the living sh*t out of each and every member of the Strokes."

The Compulsions are led by New York native, Rob Carlyle (vocals, guitar).

Like many bands in their formative years, the Compulsions have consisted of a rotating lineup; with special guests Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) of the Patti Smith Group, Frank Ferrer (drums) and Richard Fortus (guitar) of the revamped Guns N' Roses and Hubert Sumlin (guitar) of blues legend Howlin' Wolf, to name a few.

In June 2007, Carlyle and longtime Compulsions member, Jon Weber (drums), solidified the lineup with the addition of Brian Gabriel (guitar) and Joe Merrigan (bass). The quartet's first show together was at Make Music New York's citywide street festival.

The Compulsions' Laughter from Below EP was co-produced by Hugh Pool (Deborah Harry) and Ken Rich (Joseph Arthur, Tracy Bonham) at Excello Recording and mastered by Ted Jensen (Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock) at Sterling Sound.

In March 2008, the Compulsions released Demon Love (aka The Cocaine EP). Demon Love features five new originals, as well as a reworking of J.J. Cale's classic, "Cocaine." Once again, the group enlisted producers Pool and Rich, with mastering by Fred Kevorkian (Iggy Pop, The White Stripes) at Kevorkian Mastering, Inc.

Like its predecessor, Demon Love has been garnering rave reviews from the music press, including: "Rock 'N' Roll Is NOT Dead," "One Of The Best Things To Come Out Of New York, Lately" and "Rock 'N' Roll Genius."

According to the band, the Compulsions plan to put out another CD later this year, tentatively titled Davy Jones' Locker. Among the tracks slated for inclusion are "Demon Love," "Desperation" and a current staple of the group's live set, "Jungle Disease."