The Guts
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The Guts

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"The Guts Grow Up - By Tom Coletta"

Hey, Portsmouth, I’ve got news for you. The Guts, the rocking kid brothers you never knew you had, have unleashed "Say Goodbye To Fun," a sparkling slab of punk-pop greatness that’s as good as anything to come out of our quiet little burgh in years.

After kicking around together in such high school outfits as She’s A Guy and the U.F.s (full name withheld on account of, ahem, community standards) and a quick apprenticeship with punk über lords the Queers, the Guts are truly a band coming into their own on their new five-song EP. These four comrades in rock have obviously shared a few smelly van rides to crappy gigs in sticky basements during their formative years; the kind of collective character building they can’t teach you in the Berklee School of Music.

Indeed this is what shines through on "Say Goodbye To Fun," the all-for-one attitude evident in the songwriting - vocals, lead guitar trade-offs and tightly executed time changes. The four originals here are all credited to the Guts as a group. Like the classics (Beatles, Stones, Ramones), these guys are a team, clearly relishing the chance to get together and RAWK OUT. That sincerity and realness is what is special about the Guts, something missing in much of today’s prefab pop-punk product - Sum Charlotte 182, clean-up in aisle 41.

The disc is the Guts second release, the first being the full-length "The Sensitive Side Of the Guts" - released in 2001. And while that was a highly enjoyable effort, the new EP welcomes old She’s A Guy pal Rick Orcutt back into the fold on drums. Apparently Orcutt’s sabbatical in Colorado didn’t depreciate his drumming skills. His authoritative "boom swack" is felt all over "Goodbye," giving his bandmates a solid foundation to build their catchy riffs and melodies upon.

With the "sha na na na na"s that open the disc on "Out and Over," the Guts tip their hat to the obvious influence of local punk legends the Queers and Sinkhole and SF faves the Mr. T Experience. (Indeed, guitarist Geoff Palmer’s vocals are fairly reminiscent of MTX’s major domo Dr. Frank). But, like their punk forebears, these youngsters have also absorbed many of the tricks of classic 60’s pop. The handclaps, tambourine, concise lead guitar and dynamic stops and starts really put the pop spit and shine on this punky nugget. This kind of exceptional production is evident throughout this effort, courtesy of Chris Magruder’s Thundering Sky Studio in Berwick, Maine.

The second track "Mary Jane" is a classic slice of pop songcraft of the "boy loves girl/ girl doesn’t know it/ boy is too afraid to let girl know" variety. And while this theme has been beaten to death, bassist Nate Doyle’s lead vocals on this track deliver the message without any mess. Particularly intriguing is the guitar/vocal call and response during the verses, and the punk vs. heavy metal lead guitar interplay during the break. Palmer and Ben Rand, the other guitarist who does a ton of great harmonizing and who adds backup vocals throughout the disc, do a classic guitar face off that leaves me thinking somebody got into their older siblings Thin Lizzy vinyl.

Lyrically, "Stuck" could be the strongest tune in the Guts repertoire. It’s a Replacementsesque raver (think "Customer" or "Dope Smoking Moron"). Palmer retakes the vocal lead on this number about a rock and roll loser slogging it out, while his friends are getting married or joining the army. Pretty strong stuff, particularly when you figure that guys the Guts age have been dodging bullets in the desert for the last couple of months.

"New Song #3" is a ballad in the best Queers/ "Debra Jane" vein. Doyle once again shines vocally , with a vulnerability and grittiness that serves the song perfectly. When he outros the tune with a series of "I Just Want my Baby Back’s," it’s a classic sentiment that’s heartfelt - not cheesy. Only complaint: Find a title boys; this one’s too good for such a generic/numeric name.

The Elvis Costello cover of "Mystery Dance" is a great choice; not just because it is such a classic of teenage angst, longing and lust, but because the Guts totally make it THEIR song (sorry, Declan). Palmer’s vocals embellish the original with his own personality. Orcutt’s ferocious drumming, the wacky dual guitar break and mega destructo show biz finale makes a memorable exclamation point on this very memorable release.

If there’s a better CD released locally this year…, well I can’t wait to hear it.

- Portsmouth Herald (NH)


"Live Review (Lowell,MA)"

(of Geoff's songwriting etc)............ This kid is among the best rock and roll songwriters around. Heavily influenced by Elvis Costello and Joey Ramone, just about every song he writes is a potential hit. Brilliant, roller coaster melodies and vocal hooks, a charm that’s fun and yet all business, a ballsy performer, a pop music scholar - and he can’t be more than 24. I hope for the sake of rock that Geoff and The Guts have a long and smooth career, because keeping Joey’s torch burning isn’t a job that can be handled by just any shmoe.
- groovystylie.com


"(Review) "The Sensitive Side....""

"The Sensitive Side Of The Guts has a nice vintage sound to it, like the way pop-punk sounded before it got morphed into what you hear everywhere today. So at the very least, we should send the guys a thank-you card for reminding us this music has been around for a while, and used to be much better." - Northeast Performer


Discography

2004 - So What? (Death Before Dishes)
2003 - Say Goodbye to Fun (Spiderbite Records)
2003 - "Kick 'em While They're Down Vol. 2"
(Goblin Records)
2002 - The Sensitive Side of... (self released)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

In the winter of 1999 The GUTS formed in Portsmouth, NH. After brief stints as hired guns on numerous Canadian and US tours with bands such as The Queers, The Nobodys, Useless Fucks etc., boredom threatened to overtake them. The members commenced working on their own material. Armed with Gibson guitars, a small warehouse room, and a case of beer, the band was born.

Make no mistake, the NH punk scene is legendary, having spawned such international favorites as GG Allin, The Bruisers, The Queers, Sinkhole. Even Al Barr Lead Singer of The Dropkick Murphy's is from right here in Portsmouth,NH. Now, The Guts are poised to carry the torch in 2005.

Look for a new full length CD from the band, as well as their first foray into national touring in early 2005. The Guts will not be denied! If you are a fan of good Rock and Roll, of bands that get your adrenaline pumping from the first chord, you are already a fan of The Guts........

The Guts were asked by The Dropkick Murphy's to play the last of a 10 show sold out run at Boston's legendary Avalon.

Geoff and Rick backed up Joe "Queer" King as members of The Queers.