The Guystorm
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The Guystorm

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"Pick Six: A half-dozen cool things in music"

The Guystorm, 501 Club, Nov. 13. The young local quintet's ankle-level stage lights and punky energy did not overshadow its clever and killer music formula, sort of a danceable grunge roar that suggests -- wait for it! -- Franz Ferdinand meeting the Jesus Lizard. - StarTribune


"The Guystorm take over the food industry—now on to music"

Be warned: If you ever think about heckling a local band after having one too many cocktails, they may well be in the kitchen of your favorite breakfast joint the next day. In the case of the Guystorm, the odds are in their favor.

After hanging out with the band for a few hours, I am certain that they have touched my food. It's likely that they've touched yours, too.

During a recent meeting at Stub & Herb's, the bar where lead singer and quasi-manager Angelo Pennacchio works, the Guystorm are busy compiling a list that reads like a veritable murderer's row of quintessential Minneapolis eateries, all of which have employed members of the band. The names include Caffrey's Deli and Subs, Panera, Sunny Side Up, French Meadow, Barbette, Rainbow Chinese, Indio, the Bulldog, Cafe Agri, Memory Lanes, Matty B's, Town Talk Diner, 501 Club, Zelo, Mt. Fugi, Marin's Table, D'Amico and Sons, Nokomis Lanes, Jimmy John's, Convention Grill, and Davanni's. The guys reread the list over my shoulder. "I know we're forgetting some places," they say.

The fact is that the band wouldn't even exist without the service industry. Guitarist Ryan Norton was given a 600-dollar loan from his restaurateur boss to purchase the electric guitar he uses today.

I ask bassist Tanner Lien what the future holds for the band. Will they continue on at this pace? Will they finally get out of their respective kitchens? After all, the band has risen through the ranks of the Minneapolis music scene at breakneck speed. Barely over a year and a half into the Guystorm's existence, they're readying their second EP, getting airtime on and shows booked through the Current, and preparing for their first Midwestern tour.

Lien shakes his head. "What, like, get famous?" he says condescendingly. "Nothing's going to happen. We're not going to get famous. We're a dirty bar band. That's all."

Hearing this comes as a shock after seeing a number of the band's performances over the past year. The Guystorm have and will be called a lot of things, but modest is not one of them. (This isn't to say that the band take themselves too seriously; check out some of their press photos to find an amateurishly photo-shopped series featuring the band next to a tiger, holding an adult baby, and drinking super-imposed cans of Mountain Crest.) The Guystorm's sets are loud, raucous, and full of grandiose rock gestures. Pennacchio's swagger is so confident it could be confused with Robert Plant's. It's not uncommon to see a member of the band in the crowd, shirtless and wandering, as if to offer those with a poor view in the audience the full picture.

The first time I saw the band, back when they barely had enough songs to get through a set, Norton jumped onto a tall, wobbly table, danced a bit, and jumped down without looking, never missing a step—something you don't see from a typical band still in its infancy.

The band's brash live shows, combined with their relatively short history, have inspired a fair amount of criticism, though one thing no critic could say in earnest is that the Guystorm don't connect with audiences. Getting typically timid Minnesotans to crowd a stage and dance to music they're unfamiliar with is no small feat, and these guys pull it off at every show. The Guystorm also seem aware of this, and it makes them all the better. Playing with such confidence puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the players; if they go down, it's going to be in flames. After all, if you're jumping on tables in front of an audience and your songs suck, you end up looking like an idiot. Fortunately for the Guystorm, these antics only improve the spectacle.

At this point, they're less the little band that could, and more the little band that has to. For a town known throughout the world for being so goddamn nice, this is unbelievably refreshing. And for those who don't appreciate the Guystorm's attitude, there are a hundred other bands in the city that will thank you endlessly for coming to their shows.

But if you want to have fun listening to the best new proto-punk the Cities have to offer, check out the Guystorm as they kick off their tour at the Hexagon this weekend—the perfect place to send off this "dirty bar band." - City Pages


"Picked To Click - 2009"

It's a bustling karaoke night at Grumpy's when I meet Ryan Norton and Chris DuCharme, guitarists for the Guystorm. We're still waiting on singer Angelo Pennacchio and bassist Tanner Lien. Yes, these are band dudes. You know them. You are them, you've dated them, you've spurned them in favor of doctors and lawyers if you have any sense in that brain of yours.

They're late.

While waiting, we chat about the band's recent change of drummers. In spite of this little bump in the road for Guystorm, they appear to be in their usual good spirits.

Just late.

No worries, so DuCharme, Norton, and I slam more drinks. After all, DuCharme has had a successful shift at his day job, so he's buying. I put in to sing a Joe Tex song, and, after a smattering of applause, request Dolly Parton. Grumpy's is a sacred place for the Guystorm. "When we first started hanging out," Norton explains, "Angelo, Tanner, and I would come to sing karaoke. It kind of gave us the confidence to get up and sing. We'd learn to know a song and not be timid with it, so once we started writing our own songs, we'd learned how to emote."

"My first song was 'Lola,'" DuCharme recalls. "I remember singing it shit-ass drunk down on my knees to a super-square Twins fan. 'I'm not the world's most physical guy...and he nearly killed me.'"

"I mostly sang the Stones or the Kinks or Mitch Ryder," Norton explains. "Angelo would sing Prince or ELO, and Tanner sings Guess Who..."

DuCharme interrupts, "Doesn't he sing Neil Diamond?"

"No, you're confusing with the Guess Who."

DuCharme pulls out his phone, looking for an absent Lien to help with dispute resolution as Norton gives advice on being a karaoke aficionado in search of a legitimate band. "It's kind of luck finding people you can play and gel with. When things fall into place, they fall into place. I remember sitting in the practice space, and Tanner and Angelo had recorded some demos. We played through a whole song and I was like, holy shit."

DuCharme interrupts, setting down his phone. "'Rock Me Gently.' That was Tanner's song."

"We hit it," Norton continues. "We played a whole song. Now that whole period is nostalgic for me. I remember being mystified knowing we did it. Now that we know we can accomplish certain things, we can set the bar higher."

Discussion devolves from setting a new bar to sitting on a higher bar stool, and we decide it's time to order still more drinks before we discuss the rare occurrence of receiving audience requests at karaoke. DuCharme laughs, "Yeah, 'Stop singing.'"

"I've been asked to sing solo. So low they can't hear me," Norton laughs. "Tenor. Ten or twelve miles away. Grandpa jokes."

Around midnight, Pennacchio and Lien arrive. Lien bellies up to the bar while the rest of us huddle around the songbook. Pennacchio considers trying something new before opting for ELO. He signs up. Shots all around, then Chris attacks Creedence's "Midnight Special," Angelo croons "Sweet Talkin' Woman," and Ryan tackles "Symphony for the Devil." Norton leaves me with some parting wisdom on karaoke no-nos. "I think of it as—and I've done this—like putting in a ten-minute song with a nine-minute guitar solo." DuCharme shuns such etiquette. "It's karaoke. It's free expression. It's like trying to take a shit with rules. 'Oh, I can't! No! Uh, no! Uh...there it goes!'" - City Pages


"Local CD Roundup"

The Guystorm

ALBUM: “The Guystorm”

LABEL: Unsigned

The lead singer of The Guystorm is named Angelo V. Pennacchio. With a name as wildly flamboyant as that, it’s fitting that he manifests every bit of it on the recently formed but already buzz-worthy Minneapolis group’s debut self-titled EP. Too few local frontmen have the personality to drive an entire act, but Pennacchio’s distorted yelp is overwhelmingly prominent on the group’s first release, and that’s not a bad thing. As for the rock group’s EP itself, a young band could not possibly hope for more as The Guystorm’s five tracks forge a starkly clear identity right off the bat.

The disc’s opener, “Count on Us,” opens with a vocal howl and tears into a bouncing rhythm coupled with deliciously fuzzy guitars. Then the line “I took some drugs/from an Indian man/And I woke up in a business suit” is charismatically shouted by Pennacchio and, in three and a half minutes, the whirlwind experience that is The Guystorm is realized. The disc’s other premier cuts include the bass-heavy rocker “Meet Black Singles” and the nearly six-minute narrative freak-out that is “Let’s Do This/Let’s Do That.”

The most impressive thing about The Guystorm is the group’s ability to hint at mid-career form despite the fact they’re in relative infancy. Too many of the EP’s tracks start to sound monotonous (a valid concern considering a proper release would require at least double as many tracks), but it’s beyond clear that all the components are there.

In the realm of underground rock, bands that most closely identify with the “garage rock” title must tread lightly so as not to be lost in the droves of other bands who follow a similar style. But with Pennacchio, The Guystorm may just have a secret weapon. While it’s too early to pass any real judgment on a band so young, it’s clear that The Guystorm have all the necessary pieces to construct an act that will hopefully become a scene staple.

(3.5 of 5 stars) - The Minnesota Daily


"Real Big Business"

The Guystorm’s debut EP, loosely titled The Dark Album, contains a handful of whirlwind tracks that the band has been fine-tuning since first coming together in late 2007. If my memory serves me correctly (it usually doesn’t), I believe the band’s performance at the 2007 Clapperclaw Music Festival was its second show ever, and that’s where I first saw the band. Not to discount the part that a few strong drinks played that night, but the Guystorm are the only band I really remember from the show… and from what I remember, they blew me away. Despite the band being a bit green, they were fierce and proved early on that they had a feel for their sound, something many bands never find. The next time I saw the band, I was flat out drunk. Opening for the Hands at the Nomad last March, the Guystorm once again impressed me—this time playing songs that I’d become familiar with from the ultra-rough demos they’d uploaded to their MySpace page.

Normally, I’d be hesitant to suggest a group based on a few drunken memories, but with one listen to their EP all skepticism is quickly dismissed. Perhaps the energy that singer Angelo V. Pennacchio showcases at the band’s live shows fails to completely transfer to the recordings, but his wails and howls still effectively drive the thrust and bounce that envelopes the EP. Sounding like a pre-Rick Ruben (International) Noise Conspiracy, the recording of “Real Big Business” effectively trumps any preconceived drunken notions I had of the band. The EP’s four other tracks all offer something unique, from hints of surf to funk, but they collectively echo the same feeling and emotion—one that the band hopefully carries over to a full length release sometime in the near future. - CultureBully.com


"The Guystorm - Self Titled 7""

GUYSTORM, THE:
Self-titled: 7”
The Guystorm will get political on you, winking and drinking. This is a dancey, chunky bass-y, not entirely unserious, guitar dueling-y, and solid debut record. The recording itself is all self-released pop and squeal, all punk tinniness and crackle. That’s a good thing. If this were the new—so, right here, I tried to think of a band that would sound better with glossed production and couldn’t. So there’s that bias. Anyways, considering these guys have been together a little over a year, and that this is their first record (and it’s actually good), they seem likely to earn their place in the completely imagined “New Golden Age” of Minneapolis. - Razorcake.org


Discography

Sex & Drugs & Money/Turn Out the Lights split single, both songs are regularly played on 89.3 the Current, on Minneapolis FM radio. The Guystorm - The Guystorm (5 song ep) "Heart of Grass" is played regularly on 89.3 The Current in Minneapolis FM Radio.

Photos

Bio

The Guystorm grew up in a time when there was a plethora of terrible punk bands that played all ages shows all the time. These shows were in houses, VFW Halls, churches, and occasionally at music venues. Kids would go to these shows and have the time of their lives, often leaving tired, sore, injured, without a voice, and drenched in sweat. Well the Guystorm is playing this show, every time they play. The major difference is the people in the crowd aren't middle school kids, stoners or dudes with spiked anything.
The guystorm is destroying bars all over Minneapolis, leaving the crowds of people looking around asking "What the fuck just happened?" Just as the music stops, these people find themselves embarrassed, having let their guard down for a short time in which music made them act without thinking. They quickly revert back to their usual selves; a sorry facade, artificially stoic and reserved. Suddenly unimpressed, these people offer up their opinions about the music.
"It isn't intelligent."
"It's party music. Nothing more."
"Their singer sucks."
"Every song sounds the same."
Another thing happens just as the music stops. Reality sets in. These people realize that they have to go back to their depressing lives, to their dead end jobs, to their tired routines. For the members of The Guystorm, it is no different. When the music's over, they have to go back to their tired routines. No, their music isn't what everyone wants it to be. It isn't beautiful. It's not melodic or sensible. It's exactly what they want it to be. It's the only thing worth doing.