The Plaintiffs
Gig Seeker Pro

The Plaintiffs

Band Rock


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



"The Montana breaks - Joey Kline writes, records his strongest music yet"

With upwards of two decades and some 10-plus albums under his
belt, Joey Kline could be considered one of the elder statesmen of
the Seattle music scene. He's certainly one of this city's most
talented and prolific songwriters, an artist who moves easily
between pop balladry, driving rock and the country-tinged swing
of his Montana upbringing.

Kline and his latest band, the Plaintiffs, have followed up their
2003 debut "To Helen, a Handbasket" with a rock opera of sorts, a
cycle of songs that flows like a short-story cycle in the American
hard-boiled tradition. "La Familia," with its narrative meditations
on crime and life's hard knocks, contains some of Kline's strongest
and most sophisticated songwriting to date, and the musicianship
backing the effort is topnotch. The album is a gem.

"It's almost
like I wrote a book," Kline says of the songs comprising "La Familia,"
which range from the straightforward rock of "Damned," to the
BTO-inflected "Mirror Demons," to the confessional waltz of "Can I
Ever Get Away with Anything." Each number tells a story of life on
the skids, and if the subject matter is hardscrabble, the songs
themselves burst with life and creativity.

Kline says the thematic unity of the album was a mostly intentional
move. "It fell into place that way," he says, adding that he started
with a trio of songs that were more or less "direct crime dramas."

Once he realized the connection, he went to work filling in the gaps.
"I started pulling together other things that would complement
those," Kline explains. "I started writing in that vein."

This effort included an archaeological dig into older material, such
as the hilarious "Happy New Year," a scathing greeting card from a
jilted lover that contains the chorus "Merry Christmas, Happy New
Year, bitch."

Once he had a full complement of songs, Kline traveled to GLEA
studios in Bozeman, Mont., to record with the rest of the band. That would be bassist Frank Trevino, drummer James Cookman,
lead and lap steel guitarist Rupert Kettle, guitarist Patrick Gray and "texture man" Richard Mockler, a high-school friend of
Kline's, on keyboards.
Yes, that's right - three guitars, plugged in for maximum effect. Such a high-octane collection of veteran musicians provides just
the right oomph to Kline's material. The Plaintiffs build rich walls of sound without recourse to tricks. In such legendary Seattle
bands as Prudence Dredge and the Squirrels, Kline often opted for an experimental approach, incorporating horns and corny
humor; with the Plaintiffs he's going straight for the jugular. The music on "La Familia" is economical in the best sense.

"The real musicians are the ones that can make great music on the cheapest guitars," Kline, who just turned 43, says. "I've never
been that impressed by gear."
He believes his own songwriting has improved with age. "I've gotten better at not putting in the groaner line, to sabotage
myself," Kline says, laughing. "I had a habit of writing a mostly serious song and then screwing it up." Certainly the humor is
still there in his songwriting, only now it's tempered or deepened by wisdom and irony. There is even something a bit elegiac
about the songs on "La Familia," a kind of hard-won acceptance that embraces a full spectrum of emotions from melancholy and
anger to the circumscribed elation of life's small joys.

Kline says he and the band are enjoying themselves now more than ever, having found a good groove and record label, Career
Records in Montana, that supports them 100 percent. "I'm well aware that I'm doing it because I love it," he says of playing
music, adding that as an artist he's "still trying to reach the audience, but it's not my job to convince anyone to love it."

Still, he adds: "When people hear us, they generally think its pretty kick-ass." - Magnolia News

"Indie rock with its own personalityq" - Fishcomcollective

"Wiggling the night away ..."

It’ll take more than a couple of tequila shooters and a case of longnecks to replenish the bodily fluids lost on the dancefloor ass wiggling the night away to “Swell,” while Klein’s vitriolic “Happy New Year” tears a page out of Mike Ness’ Social Destortion songbook and presents a new holiday classic for losers in love everywhere.

- Foxy Digitalis

"Travels through country, rock, pop, ska and blues."
This five-piece mob embodies a pure, roots rock sound that travels through country, rock, pop, ska and blues.

- Concrete Web

"More fun than you can usually pack into 33 minutes ..."

I have a treasured 45 Northwestern by songwriter Joey Kline from the early 90s; I always wondered what happened to him. Besides playing with legends like the Squirrels and Roy Loney, the guitar-slinger leads the Plaintiffs, a hard-driving roots rock/power pop quintet that's like Nick Lowe fronting the Skeletons. Kline nimbly harmonizes a smart-ass outlook with effortless melodicism and a bit of (well-concealed) heart. His flexible voice and energy-spewing band give visions like "Final Chance," "Can I Ever Get Away With Anything" and "One Eye Open" (the first ska-flavored song in two decades that hasn't made me retch) definitive treatment. Catchy, dynamic and more fun than you can usually pack into 33 minutes


"The Plaintiffs have a timeless sound"

... This brought to mind the old Paul Simonon-Gary Myrick band Havana 3 A.M., if Havana 3 A.M. had 10 good songs instead of only two.... -


Easy to Swing (release: Late 2007)
Produced by Jack Endino

La Familia
Career Records, 2005 (
Airplay and reviews world-wide.

To Helen, a Handbasket
Self-released, 2003



From pulse-pounding rock to sing-along dementia, Your Friends The Plaintiffs™ bring the goods. Songs full of stories to write home about. Guitars that’ll peel your paint. A little bit of heartbreak when you need it. And a wound-up, locked-down performance style you’ll be sure to stand up for.

Think about it: this is a band that just finished an album with Jack Endino, but sometimes hosts Vicious Haiku contests with Japanese sex-toy prizes. The Flawed Five that brought you La Familia, 2006’s Career Records violence-across-America release. And the ONLY people you can count on to deliver the three-guitar onslaught of “Idiot Ride”, a heartbreaking ballad, and a trombone and calliope-driven ode to sheer survival – all in the same set.

You got your guitars, some keyboards, and the legendary vocals and songwriting of Joey Kline. Steve Earle meets Roy Loney on an elevator and they have a love child while toasting Andy Kaufman. Something like that. It’ll keep you awake, for sure, no matter what you’ve taken, and 98.7% come back for more.