The Downbeat 5
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The Downbeat 5

Medford, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Medford, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


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



"Press Summary"

PRESS: Full features in New England papers and magazines include, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, Performer Magazine, Stuff, Providence Phoenix, Worcester Phoenix, Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and Portland Phoenix.
National coverage in LA Weekly, Chicago Sun Times, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, Razorcake and a variety of fanzines all gave positive reviews of CD and/or Live shows. - Assorted

"HARP at SXSW: Day 3 (March 16)"

At the Blender Bar, Boston’s Downbeat 5 was kicking out some serious garage jams. Fronted by Joan Jett-like singer/guitarist Jennifer D’Angora and guitarist J.J. Rassler (ex-DMZ/Queers), they deliver cat-scratch classic punk leavened by powerpop and no small dose of blue-eyed soul. Indeed, they brought the latter home when D’Angora casually announced, “Here’s a little tune by Sam Cooke,” and summarily launched into an incendiary “Shake.” Mmm, that’s doing it…”shake,” yeah, you’re looking good now, Downbeat 5. - HARP Magazine

"Hub rockers increase stage presence at SXSW fest"

If you’d walked onto the Sixth Street nightclub strip in Austin, Texas, last Friday night and turned into the cavernous Ritz Blender Bar, you’d have caught a familiar sight: Boston favorites Muck and the Mires were pumping out garage rock onstage, the Downbeat Five were up next, and the crowd was full of recognizable scenesters. For a minute you’d have thought you were at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville. - Boston Herald

"South by Southwest, Day 3"

Hungry for a little straight-ahead Boston-style garage rock, I headed to see the Downbeat 5 at the Blender Bar...D’Angora is a fireball of a singer and adorable to boot, and Rassler is a Boston rock mainstay dating back to his days in DMZ in the mid-’70s. The band mixed spunky originals with perfectly chosen covers — “Dum Dum Ditty” by the Shangri-Las, “Come On Now” by the Kinks, “Shake” by Sam Cooke. - The Mercury News

"SXSW 07: Editor's Blog: Day Three"

The Downbeat 5: Brash, lively, femme-fronted garage rockers from Boston, featuring (full disclosure) my friend Ed, who played my birthday party a few years ago. His pixie-punk girlfriend, Jen, has some voice—a dynamic, shouty rasp that you can't believe is coming from so tiny a package. - Spin Magazine

"Harp March/April 2008 Review"

When HARP stumbled into a showcase by the Downbeat 5 at the 2007 SXSW we had no clue that we were about to have our socks blown clean off. The Boston quartet very nearly upstaged headliners the Hoodoo Gurus, ripping through a set of Nuggets-approved garage ‘n’ psych with an animal ferocity. This live rec is almost as visceral thanks to frontwoman Jen D’Angora’s cat-scratch yelp and low-slung fretwork that’d make Joan Jett turn green with envy. Her partner-in-skree is guitarist JJ Rassler, who with a proto-punk pedigree dating back to his ‘70s DMZ tenure knows a thing or two about garage, and the pair’s got a heart attack-inducing rhythm section to boot. From sassy, swaggering originals like “Think About Me” and “My Way” to righteous covers of the Velvets (“Foggy Notion”), Yardbirds (“Rack My Mind”) and Sam Cooke (“Shake”), there ain’t a bum note played. Can I have my argyles back now, guys?

By Fred Mills
First printed in Mar/Apr 2008 - Harp Magazine

"The Daily Texan Review 2008"

The Downbeat 5 Tonight!

Garage rockers, here’s one for you. The Downbeat 5 are a rock and roll band from Boston, Massachusetts. Drawing from the likes of the Stooges, the New York Dolls, the Rolling Stones, and girl groups from the 60s, it’s obvious from listening that the band members have done their music homework. The band plays almost all original songs with a few covers sprinkled in. By the way, a great version of the Shangri-Las’ “Out in the Streets” can be heard on the Downbeat 5 myspace page.

Singer and guitarist Jennifer D’Angora has one of the strongest, toughest voices heard in rock music today. Her voice mixed with JJ Rassler’s guitar riffs bring a definite edge to their catchy songs. This isn’t just some new rock band playing a couple of old songs, either. The Downbeat 5 have been in existence since 1999, and have been members of other bands before that. If you’re looking for a good rock and roll band to check out, might I suggest the Downbeat 5. They know where it’s at.

Catch them Friday, 3/14 (that’s tonight!) at: 604 E. 6th St. (above Emo’s Lounge) and B.D. Riley’s

-Jennifer Monsees - The Daily Texan

"Advance Copy Blog"

The Downbeat 5 - [Boston] - featuring ex-Queers guitarist JJ Rassler and fronted by a raspy Jen D'Angora, the D5's garage punk has earned slots with Dick Dale, the Zombies, Detroit Cobras, the Muffs. If you can't handle the tough rough side, check out the 1950s girl group-pumped "Dum Dum Ditty" or swooning "Out in the Streets."


- Little Steven's Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 8
- The Downbeat 5, self-titled, full length CD 2001 on Sympathy for the Industry
- Victory Motel, full length CD 2005 on Hi-N-Dry/Abbey Lounge Records
- Smoke & Mirrors, full length live CD 2007 on Steel Cage Records



Formed in 1999 by lead guitarist JJ Rassler (founding member of influential Boston bands DMZ and guitarist / producer for The Queers) and singer/rhythm guitarist Jen D'Angora, along with bassist Mike Yocco and drummer Eric Almquist, The Downbeat 5 draws on British invasion bands like the Yardbirds and Animals, spikes the brew with the toughest female vocals this side of a women's prison riot, and tops it all off with decades worth of aggression, attitude and volume. The band is often heard on Little Steven's Underground Garage and is featured on his "Coolest Songs in the World" compilation series. The DB5 have shared the stage with such acts as; Holly Golightly, Magic Christian, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Pretty Things, The Knitters, The Blasters, The Zombies, Flaming Stars, Preachers Kids, Muffs, Dick Dale, Detroit Cobras, Sylvain Sylvain, Jayne County and countless like minded bands. Their relentlessly tough live shows have sometimes been augmented with the guest appearance of friend and Animals guitarist, Hilton Valentine.

Band Members