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"... a musical product worth buzzing over"

San Francisco has done it again. Once more the great city by the Bay has fashioned a musical product worth buzzing over. The May Fire are described as a band that knows how to meld indie rock, simmering ache & indestructible pop chops into just the kind of ear candy you’ve been craving. Led by El Pipe and Catty Tasso, the band is taking the Bay Area by storm and making people fall victim to their sound. The May Fire have a charismatic appeal and energy that is undisputable by anyone who has met the band or seen a live performance. Their 2006 debut, Right And Wrong has captured and liberated local listeners with sassy songs and adrenaline filled choruses which echo that of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell. Their liveliness has been compared to that of Metric and it’s quite apparent that there’s no end in sight for the young band. The May Fire have embodied the rawness of Pat Benatar and will leave you shaking, on the dance floor. Check their websites for upcoming shows and a taste of The May Fire. - Zero Magazine

"Highly Recommended"

Adventurous and creative, Indie rock group The May Fire have musical spirit and imagination to spare. Working within their chosen musical genre, they have woven a wide range of influences into something that is uniquely their own. Their new CD, “Right and Wrong”, starts off sounding like Sam Phillips before she went all minimal, then suddenly shifts gears and rocks like the Pretenders when they really rocked. Then it’s (an arthritic?) Dick Dale fronting the Go-Go’s. The lead vocals are mostly handled by Catty Tasso, who also plays guitar and maybe keyboards (it doesn’t list who plays what on the CD or their website – I looked at the pictures) while drummer El Pipe (it does list what brand of drums and sticks he favors, so I assumed...) sings backup (he gets to cut loose on the thumping “On A Wire” and that may be him doing the Jim White-ish spoken word part on the enigmatic rocker “You Get Me High”). The May Fire’s songs are full of hooks and melodies that sound strangely familiar but at the same time are completely original. The cheesey organ that surfaces on several songs lends an old-time garage-y feel to the proceedings, but they’re smart (and talented) enough to make their influences work for them without sacrificing their own musical identity. (They’re also smart enough to put the more accessible stuff up front and save the experimental songs for last – for a few seconds towards the end I thought I heard The Residents!). Full of pleasant surprises and interesting, intelligent music, this is a record that you’ll find yourself going back to again and again (and notice, dear reader, that even though this is an indie rock gal/guy duo, I’ve made it through this entire review without once mentioning the White Stri....doggone it!). Highly recommended. - Norman Famous - Herbert Sherbert Reviews

"Is that a cowbell we hear?"

Is that a cowbell we hear? The leadoff track on the May Fire's debut disc is loaded with it -- bangin' out the quarter notes a la "Don't Fear the Reaper" through every verse. Many purport to love the cowbell, but few have the guts to feature it in their official "Hello" to the world. Fans of Elastica may appreciate the verse bassline and rhythm in the next track, "Nothing Today." The song wraps up with a guitar solo that screams White Stripes. This is good, mind you -- as they say, sometimes innovation is overrated. And if you're looking for something unique, try their backstory.
Singer/guitarist Catty Tasso hails from Chile, while drummer El Pipe is from Colombia. The two met in Los Angeles in 2004, then moved to San Francisco. Needless to say, they have a strong Latino following. Cat's lead guitar work throughout the record is stellar -- front and center, technically sharp and on the mark, and always bathed in some degree of distortion. Very immediate and raw; definitely got a fire under its ass. And her vocals follow suit. The comparison to Elastica holds true, as her voice carries a similarly punk timbre. The May Fire's heady mix of blues, garage rock, and punk is held together by El Pipe's drumming. He sounds like he was trained in a bar band with a great repertoire, jamming for hours on everything from Hendrix to Skynyrd. His strength is not in complexity, but suitability; expert drumming is about more than fills and solos. Pipe and his partner Cat know how to make rock that sounds good and feels nice. FIRESTARTERS: -The May Fire recently played the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, either wearing leather chaps or simply rocking them off audience members. We've received conflicting reports.... -Right and Wrong was recorded primarily in Alhambra (Pipe's garage, aka Rock Whores Studios), plus a little more in Los Angeles (Le Boot), and -- following the move up north -- our very own Berkeley (Chabola Studios). Mixing and mastering remained a Bay Area affair. - Nascent Mag

"A Higher Plane of Coordination"

Listening to The May Fire’s album Right and Wrong, I feel a little bit cooler than I actually am. In real life I am not very cool, so this is a new experience for me and I think I like it. Why so cool, The May Fire? Is it your slightly distorted vocals? Your deliberately vague, kinky lyrics? (“Oh please untie me,” begs a song called “Loveletter.”) Is it the angry tempo of your elaborate drums? Whatever it is, I am nodding my head to the infectious noise shooting rapid-fire out of my speakers – and not in a lame, inhibited, white-girl way. No, I am nodding with precision and skill. If I were at a show and nodding this way, the people around me would nod back in approval of my cool nodding. Something about this well-crafted, high-energy noise is carrying me to a higher plane of coordination, and I have added +10 to my street cred stats. The band members, the extremely cool-named Catty Tasso and El Pipe, won’t be able to escape White Stripes comparisons. That’s what you get when your band is composed of one girl and one guy. And also what you get when you sound a little like the White Stripes, which they do. But while the sound is reminiscent of other bands, it is never derivative. This is an original album which can cool you up in a hurry, and I recommend picking it up soon. Favorite Track: Track 2, “Nothing Today” -

"More crunch than Captain Crunch"

The May Fire official site by Paul Zimmerman First Coast News Straight out of San Fran via South America, comes the latest two piece band to hurl itself into the fray, The May Fire. Yes, they are a two piece band but no they do not sound like The White Stripes. The May Fire is closer to the Kills or even PJ Harvey than their Detroit based peers. On thier debut album, Right and Wrong The May Fire have a sound more developed and mature than most standard two pieces could ever hope for. This is an album with a lot going on and a whole lot of musical ideas. Sure there are fuzzy guitars and chunky drum beats, but there are also piano's, synths, cowbells, and probably even the kitchen sink on this record. The songs on Right and Wrong occasionally dip into bluesy territory ala the Kills, but they also have a nice pop sensibility to them which makes them gratifyingly groovy. This is a band that has more crunch than Captain Crunch, more fuzz than a lint ball, and more feeling than twenty emo kids. Their songs are all over the place, like a whirlwind tour of the last 40 years of rock n' roll history. Check out the bluesy ballad of "Sweet Love," or the dark dance floor filler "Right and Wrong," for a sample of how sinfully good Right and Wrong is. The May Fire are another band in an increasingly long line of bands that prove you don't need 18 band members to have a great band. With only two members, The May Fire manage to create complex, multi-layered rock n' roll that is addictively good and with out a doubt all right and no wrong. Here's to rock and roll to the power of two! First Coast News -

"DIY Lives"

The May Fire have plenty of things going for them, but the most obvious thing is their music. Browse unknowingly at their Web site or MySpace page, and you're instantly socked in the brain with crunchy guitars, thick hooks and lyrics delivered with a perfect pop-punk snarl.
It's almost alarming: Out of the din of the independent music world, replete with mediocrity and preciousness, arises a Bay Area band that taps into '90s-era California pop-punk (think Tilt, Screeching Weasel, Bracket, Jawbreaker, etc.) and makes it cosmopolitan and fresh. The May Fire's blend of Latin, punk and rock rhythms, and Spanish and English lyrics (two of the band members are Colombian; one is Chilean, and one is from Connecticut) infuse their songs with vivaciousness. It may be easier for a band to adhere to true DIY principles through the Internet and better availability of home-recording equipment, but that doesn't mean that every band who records some songs in their living room deserves a second listen. Luckily, though, it seems that even with so many, many, many bands competing for one's attention, the best ones will still prevail, and, perhaps, be even better than ever.

The May Fire's drummer and vocalist, El Pipe, agrees.

"I think that what is happening is that it's generating a lot of stuff out there, and there's a lot of bad stuff, but there's also a lot of good stuff, and it gets out there a lot better," he said. "And I think the good stuff tends to surface a lot more."

Perhaps it surfaces more because of the contrast, or because--despite the better availability of resources--a band has to work even harder to promote themselves and get attention in such a saturated market.

The May Fire's plan of attack is to wholeheartedly embrace their DIY aesthetic. They firmly believe that it's their way of approaching music that helps make it consistently energetic and relentlessly catchy. And they're right: Their dedication and investment is audible on their most recent EP, 2007's La Victoria. "Make It Right" erupts into the kind of infectious chorus Weezer can only wish for these days. Vocalist Catty Tasso goes from snark to sweet and back in "Animal Crackers," and the driving riff, Spanish lyrics and sparkling chorus of "Marcha" are a perfect definition of what is meant by a term like "pop-punk."

"Since we do everything on our own, and we don't have a set schedule, because the studio is in my house, a lot of the songs get written during the time we're recording," explained El Pipe. "A lot of the songs were written before, but a lot of them get written in the moment, and sometimes, one song leads to another. It's a weird chemistry."

But it's one that allows the band to transmit what El Pipe calls the band's "spontaneous raw energy" directly to tape. They're able to keep it going even beyond the recording of a song. Said El Pipe, "I think the raw energy happens so quickly that by the time we get to play the song live, it sometimes even morphs into something different than what we had on the record."

The May Fire are in a constant state of creation and production: La Victoria is the second in a trilogy of EPs that began with 2007's Plastic Army and will end with the final EP this summer.

"We wanted to do something that would get the music out there quicker," said El Pipe. "We're all passionate about albums and concepts and stuff, and we didn't want to lose that by just releasing singles or just songs all the time. That's why we decided to do the trilogy--so we could do three releases in one year, giving people music as fast as we could possibly operate, while we still maintain doing shows and everything that goes behind the band promotion."

Even more importantly, the three EPs make their process and their raw energy evident to their fans.

"The way I see it is that we're doing one book that has three chapters," said El Pipe.

Each EP can stand on its own thematically, but they make sense as a whole as well, even as they document the growth and development of the band in the last year, he explained.

And that's all a part of the appeal of The May Fire: Their songs wholeheartedly embrace all of their influences--rock in English, rock in Spanish, cumbia, bolero, punk, etc.--and turn them into pure musical energy. - Tucson Weekly

"Rocker Girl"

The May Fire is a relentlessly D.I.Y. act that can shift from grunge to indie to calculated and quirky, and then toss in a tune sung in Spanish just to keep listeners even more off balance.

Full article here: - Guitar Player

"A drunk and surly Kim Deal, in a good way"

The May Fire's "You Make It Right" starts off with some fuzzy guitar and singer-guitarist-keyboardist Cat Tasso singing a simple melody through a distorted microphone. She sounds like a drunk and surly Kim Deal, in a good way. Drums, bass, and new-wave keyboards kick in, and a second fuzzy guitar starts lurching around like a menacing shadow in an alley. At the chorus, Tasso's voice sobers up and hits the high notes without ever losing the badass edge that she had at the beginning of the song.

View full article here:
- San Diego Reader

"Lively, Imaginative.."

San Francisco-based indie rock band The May Fire is just like its Bay Area stomping grounds — lively, imaginative, and capable of creating a harmonic convergence of seemingly contrary styles and ideas. The band features former Miami resident Catty Tasso as lead singer and guitarist; musically it incorporates surf rock and cowboy guitar riffs with Sixties wipe-out-style keyboards. The overall sound on the group's short but irreverently sweet 2007 EPs Plastic Army and La Victoria (featuring five and six songs, respectively) is grungy, with a punk-pop appeal reminiscent of the Pixies and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Take for example Plastic Army's title track, in which Tasso's mysterious, edgy voice begs to be released of boredom in a most adrenaline-pumping manner. The bandmates run up and down frenzied guitar scales and then pounce on the keyboard as if it were a pogo stick. But on "Break Away," they skid into a steady cadence as Tasso contemplates a lover who brought her flowers "red like your lips and cold as your heart."

The parade continues on La Victoria's "Marcha," where The May Fire reveals its Latin roots with some rock en español. There's a moody transition from distorted guitars and pounding bass line to a happy-go-lucky Sixties chorus. Ever-present on both albums are Tasso's catchy, angst-ridden lyrics. "I felt so blue when I woke up today/I wanted to be happy but the thought got in the way," she rants on "They Make Me Mad." Next thing you know you're chanting along in a mass release of endorphins.

by Julienne Gage - Miami New Times


"Right and Wrong" LP (2006)
"Plastic Army" EP (2007)
"La Victoria" EP (2007)
"The List" EP (2008)



There's something about The May Fire that grabs you by the scruff of the neck. Perhaps it's the cowbell chug or the brilliantly fuzzy guitars that demand your attention. Or maybe you're lured in by a voice that slithers like a lustier Patti Smith or Kim Deal. Whatever it is, it doesn't take more than a few notes to realize you're in the presence of a band that knows how to meld indie rock, simmering ache and indestructible pop chops into just the kind of ear candy we all have been secretly craving.

San Francisco based garage rock band The May Fire founders El Pipe (pronounced "peepay") and Catty Tasso met in LA's alternative rock scene in 2004 and shortly after moved to San Francisco where they joined forces with Nachito on guitar and Rob Gwin on bass. Bay Area guitarist Johnny Beane replaced Nachito in 2008. Their sound, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "brimming with charisma, punky attitude, and sirloin-thick hooks," carries happy echos of modern practitioners like Stereo Total, Jack White and Queens of the Stone Age and channels older voices like David Bowie, The Stooges and The Pixies. This can be seen on their raucous 2006 debut full length Right and Wrong which is immediate, sassy and full of twists and breathless adrenaline pumped gems. With origins from Chile (Cat), Colombia (El Pipe) and the U.S. (Rob and Johnny), The May Fire bring a unique interpretation to edgy, pop laden rock.

In 2007, The May Fire took it upon themselves to record and independently release a trilogy of EPs within one year, starting with Plastic Army. Within months they followed up with La Victoria, and in mid-2008 just barely made their goal with the completion of The List. In between each, the band has been touring up and down the West Coast to steadily growing audiences and has gained national attention with a recent stint with Latin super group Zoe, an appearance and videos in rotation on the MTV3 show "Indie 101" as well as the Spanish show "Pepsi Promueve."