The Numbskulls
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The Numbskulls

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Alright now, let me break it down for you. Chock full of raw energy, The Numbskulls’ first full-length disc truly does deliver. From the upbeat anthem of “I’m not special”, to the closing distortion of “1984”, this disc is a great example of all that is chaotic, momentous, and fun. But wait, that’s not all! The hidden tracks at the end of this CD will definitely bring a slight smile of amusement to your face as the band delivers not only another song, but also over 10 minutes of random clips and outtakes of interviews and concerts for your listening pleasure. This band definitely knows how to rock out and play some great tunes. Hell, it even made me want to get up and mosh in my own bedroom, which really just goes to show that this band is a force to be reckoned with.
- Askew Reviews


The Numbskulls, from Massachusetts, play straight ahead melodic punk rock in the vein of several independent bands from around my own area. The Numbskulls often remind me of the Narcoleptics x5 and even Downtrodn, both punk/skate punk bands, and all with incredible talent to create and write danceable punk rock music. The Numbskulls fall well into a genre of not-quite pop punk, but certainly not hardcore. I'd say something along the lines of good-time skate punk! The Numbskulls have a great lineup that showcases a very able bassist, listen to the thick bass lines on "How You Can Win," which incidentally shows off the bands ska-punk meets skate punk flavor. The disc is full of all kinds of topics from relationships (see pop punk attitude), attitudes (the track "Defeatist"), and even tributes (found in "Dead People"). Through all thirteen tracks and even through the hidden ones, the Numbskulls keep the beat fast and furious...the way punk rock should be! Occasionally the Numbskulls throw in a audience friendly chorus that again brings to mind some pop influences, but nonetheless this is one helluva disc that is total enjoyment.
- Hussieskunk


To many, Worcester’s music scene is its only redeeming quality, and The Numbskulls are a big part of that. The Numbskulls are Kings Of The Wormtown Punk Scene - really, there was even a vote on it - and with good reason. Lead snarler Alex Nagorski, breaks off songs like “I’m Not Special,” “I Give Up,” and “How Can you Win,” with a choppy vocal style reminiscent of Tim Armstrong (he actually looks like him a little, too), but with a nuance of, well, dumbness, that steers them more toward Screeching Weasel territory in all the right ways. By way of another rockstar comparison, the now blue-haired Lysie Rossi looks like Courtney Love at her most indifferent, but fortunately has no similarity to the super-douche in the personality department. She’s got a real talent for the bass, and a great punk sensibility for tastefully placed melodic fills. Lead guitarist James Keyes (see also: the band Paid To Fake It for more James) has a sound that is way richer than the recording (which I consider to be perfectly under-produced). He’s turned down too low on this night though anyway, so the only time it can be heard is during guitar breaks. Good energy though, despite his lack of volume. Speaking of energy, I’ve gotta say I felt sorry for drummer Chris “Sonic” Lewis’s drum kit. Have you ever seen a guy and just had a sense that he’s one of those people who doesn’t know his own strength? Well Chris’s snare drum has to look him in the face at least once a day with that in mind and accept a beating…and with no arms to fight back. Poor thing.

The Numbskulls are really a very tight band with great songs and a good future ahead of them if they learn to loosen up a little. I had the thought while watching them that they are so loyal to roots punk that it has made them self-conscious. Once they become more comfortable with their image as individuals, and find a way to open up a little more, they’ll connect with their crowd. Only then will their great aesthetic and the great songs with the perfect hooks meet in the middle. But when they do - BOOM! The Numbskulls will be more than just a band; they’ll be an ideal.

- Groovie Stylie


Worcester Magazine, November 2003
Ready for their close-up: The Numbskulls aim for a wider audience By Brian Goslow

According to The Numbskulls, who’ve been voted Best Local Punk Act twice in the Wormtown Sound Awards and who release their Manifest Destiny CD on Nov. 8, if they followed common sense, they’d probably still be in their Greendale basement. Instead, when it was time for their first show, they booked the 12-hour Labor Day Weekend Punk Rock Assault at Ralph’s.
“We didn’t realize you should book 11 bands to play with you,” says bassist Lysie (all of The Numbskulls go by their first names) of the 2001 show. “I just e-mailed and asked them to play. We made a few mistakes, but it was where we met SBGB and the Brainless Wonders.” The camaraderie built at that show led to a series of punk rock nights presented by Chris Lillyman of Musclecah at the Clinton VFW. For one of the shows, he invited Paid to Fake It, whose guitarist James had panned Musclecah’s demo CD in The Noise, a well-read Boston fanzine.

“Chris got a hold of it [the negative review] and we exchanged e-mails,” James says. He said, ‘You should come out to Clinton so we can see how good you guys are.’ I thought we’d get lynched, but it was pretty cool.”

At that show, James gave The Numbskulls a copy of Paid to Fake It’s debut recording, which Lysie immediately used as a beer coaster. She gave James a copy of The Numbskulls’ early demo at the first Wormtown Wednesday show at the Lucky Dog in early 2002. Soon afterward, he’d become the fourth ‘Skull. “I gave him one of our shitty CDs and he said he wanted to produce us,” Lysie says.

“Somehow I ended up playing guitar,” James says. “I knew their songs, so I said I should get up and play with them.” Since then, they’ve played numerous gigs at off-the-wall locations throughout New England. “We’ve played so many different places we’ve cut our teeth as outsiders,” Lysie says.

“It makes the band better when you’ve got to win people over,” frontman Alex adds. “You get jaded if you always play to friends who know the words to your songs.”

Originally, The Numbskulls were compared to Operation Ivy and Rancid, and while that description still fits, they’re in the process of evolving into a heavier sound, thanks to drummer Chris, who’s more likely to be found listening to the likes of Pantera. “I’ve played in a lot of different bands — country, symphony orchestra, jazz, death metal — but never a punk band before,” he says.

While Manifest Destiny contains plenty of the ska-based early songs featured on last year’s G-String EP, it also shows the group’s future direction on the track “1984.” The disc opens with “I’m Not Special,” which has already received major local rock show airplay, made for a great T-shirt slogan, and serves as a bonding anthem for people at their shows. “Party Crasher,” on which Alex sings, “Costume party mentality is killing me,” takes on people who dress up to be seen at clubs, rather than going to hear the music. The name-dropping “Dead People” could be an updated “People Who Died” for the 21st century. “Frankie was the bass player for Anthrax,” Lysie says. “His brother got shot. Vincent was my grandfather. Steve [Neale of Ink Cartridge Funeral] was the only kid I knew from grade school who never made fun of me.”

The CD was recorded at Snakes & Ladders’ frontman Steve Blake’s Toad Hall Studio. “At Steve’s you had to fight spiders and bugs for space,” James says. “We had a good idea of what we were going for but he gave us a fifth opinion if it wasn’t working,” Alex says.

It’ll be distributed by Average Day Productions and promoted via an East Coast tour in early 2004.
- Worcester Publishing


Discography

G-String - self released demo CD w/ 6 songs
Manifest Destiny - full CD w/ 13 songs on ADP 2003

song 'Party Crasher' on Scene of the Crime Vol II on Good Cop/Bad Cop Records 2003

song 'Auld Lang Syne' on Its A Very Local Christmas comp CD 2003

we have MP3s at www.averageday.org
1984
Disaster
Dead People

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Numbskulls are a four piece punk rock band from Worcester, Ma. who have been playing in the New England area since their start in 2000.
The Numbskulls have been called "pop-punk", "skater-punk", "sloppy-punk", "fun", " liars", "mean", "annoying" and "overrated" by a few people, none of whom are qualified to go pointing fingers and who are probably just projecting their own sexual insecurities.
Semantics aside, we'll just call these people "critics".
"Critics", in general, like to brag about their punk rock "knowledge" and liken all punk bands to either the Sex Pistols, the Ramones or the Clash.
The Numbskulls are very unlike those bands
If that's what you're looking for, if you say things like "Dude! '77 punk rock is BRILLIANT" then The Numbskulls will only make you sad. Very sad. In fact, go kill yourself right now and quit taking up broadband.
Go ahead.
We'll wait.
Thank you.
To those of you who cant read and are still alive right now because you're too fucking stupid to die or you're smart enough to get the joke, we offer you this conclusion:
It could be said and probably has been said that most people generally dislike what The Numbskulls have to offer.
There are the few, the brave, the "fans" who actually like good music, who dont mind a little double bass pedal in their punk, who are extremely sexually virile and who, most importantly, arent trying to compare oranges.
It's because of you people that The Numbskulls were voted "Best Punk Band" in the Wormtown.org Sound Awards for three years in a row.
It was all for you that they recorded their 6 song debut ep "G string" in June 2002 and it was also because of you that they went on to record their full length "Manifest Destiny" in 2003.
You stand in front when The Numbskulls play, you are unafraid to look like a jackass by spilling your beer on the floor because you're so excited and you just cant hide it. You arent pissing in the punk rock contest.
The Numbskulls play their unique and unabashedly honest brand of punk rock for you.
Please enjoy it as much as they do.