The Specs
Gig Seeker Pro

The Specs

Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Band Rock Alternative


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



"The Specs: Local music heroes to perform at Tin Roof, prepare for full-length album"

Guitarist Steve Tirozzi and the Specs will perform at the Tin Roof Friday night.
If you go

Who: The Specs and Noises 10

When: Friday, 9 p.m.

Where: The Tin Roof, 1117 Magnolia Road

Cost: TBA, call 571-0775

Hear the Band's Music:

Info: westashleytinroof

Since 2002, the Specs' melodic, indie pop rock has been an active component to the Charleston music scene.

Now that drummer and beer-slinger Shawn Krauss has repositioned himself behind the bar at the Tin Roof, the Specs often is found reverberating the walls of West Ashley's little red domicile of gourmet hot dogs.

Guitarist Steve Tirozzi, lead vocalist Eric Galloway and Krauss met in Columbia in 1997 and have been linked ever since. "We played in a few groups together in Columbia, and when Steve got accepted to Berklee School of Music in 2001, we decided to head up to Boston for a while," says Krauss. "It was a lot of fun up there, but is was rather expensive, and we couldn't find a practice place, so it started to dawn on us how much we missed the South and our rehearsal space: aka, a storage shed."

After moving from Boston to Charleston in 2002, the three Columbians, along with bassist Scott Padgett, formed the Specs.

"Steve is our melodymaker and co-writes the lyrics with Eric, although we all contribute in the writing process. Steve births a song, the rest of us put it in its Sunday's best," Krauss said.

Since 2002, the Specs have administered a few changes, specifically on the low end. Kevin Hanley (The Green and Bold, Mount St. Stereo) replaced Padgett on bass, and a longtime friend from Columbia, Tripp Wrenn, ultimately replaced Hanley.

"I'd describe our sound as sonic or melodic ... like the music on a spaceship ride. Each member, past and present, has helped shape our sound. I think we've been blessed to play with some very creative and talented people," says Krauss.

Though being a melody-driven rock band has remained a constant, the Specs' music has matured with time. Currently, the band's primary focus is less on touring and more on crafting and releasing its next full-length album.

"We have some shows lined up in the Southeast, but mainly we are focusing on getting the next album ready. Our goal has always been to write the best music we can, and not get stagnant. The rest hopefully will fall into place," says Krauss.
- By Jamie Resch Special to The Post and Courier Thursday, April 23, 2009

"The Specs Cd Review"

The Specs, one of Charleston's more respected rock outfits, has released a new collection of music that only goes to prove that Charleston continues to be a hotbed of musical creativity.

Full of songs whose guitar riffs alternate between drowsy and full-on rocking, The Specs' self-titled CD features songs whose makeup reminds you of other band's work, but not any particular band that you can actually name. This is a good thing though, because that inability to pinpoint the origins of the sounds you are hearing means that all signs probably point to complete originality.

Standout tunes include "Eleanor Best," "Happiness," and "You Don't Know Who You Are." Particularly good are "Killing a Bird," with its distorted vocals, as well as the lovely "Daydreamer." Fans of melodic alternative rock would do well to check this one out. (A)

Download These: "Killing a Bird," "Daydreamer," "You Don't Know Who You Are"

Lesley Roy - Post and Courier Preview section

"JANUARY 7, 2009 LOCAL ACT | The Specs Long Sessions, Late Nights: The Specs were scattered, but landed on the same page"

JANUARY 7, 2009
LOCAL ACT | The Specs
Long Sessions, Late Nights: The Specs were scattered, but landed on the same page


An elegant blend of gorgeous pop and cleverly orchestrated guitar-rock, The Specs' newly-released, self-titled album has already foxed many listeners in town. In some spots, the local quartet resemble a gang of pastoral alchemists, conversant with the sounds of Brian Eno, U2, Elliot Smith, and Echo & the Bunnymen. In other moments, they bounce off the bombast of the loudest songs Queen, Sonic Youth, Guided by Voices, and Mission of Burma ever attempted.

The core three Specs guys have been fine-tuning this mix of styles for quite a while. Shawn Krauss, the band's lanky drummer, can usually be spotted slingin' suds and recommending high-gravity beers at the Tin Roof (a gig he landed after several years of working at the Village Tavern). Guitarist and main songwriter Steve Tirozzi spends most of his time giving private guitar lessons and teaching music classes at an elementary school in Mt. Pleasant. Mop-topped lead singer Eric Galloway switches between guitar and keys while handling lead vocals for the band. He waits tables on the side.

In the studio sessions, the band worked mostly with acclaimed studio producer and guitarist Les Hall (of Trey Anastasio's touring band), laying down most of the basic tracks and overdubs at Tree Studios and producer Rick Beato's facility (both in Atlanta). The band wrote and arranged most music for the album over two years ago, making only a few adjustments during the studio sessions.

"The initial idea for a song usually comes from me at home — one little melody or chord progression — but everyone collaborates on everything," says Tirozzi. "Everybody plays a huge role in finishing the songs."

"All of the songs are totally different," he adds. "We like to say it's a concept album, but it wasn't written intentionally to be a concept album. We wrote it when we were drinking hard late at night. 'I Can't Sleep' sums up the theme of most of the album."

The Specs is a winding and elusive collection with two distinct personalities: aggravation and dreaminess. Half of the songs are bright and shiny, while the rest seem almost dark and creepy.

At their most agitated — as with opening track "Eleanor Best" and "Happiness" — the band thumps effortlessly from a foundation of distorted guitars, simulated strings, massive drums, and Galloway's howling vocals. At their most delicate and slow-moving, as with the hazy "Nothing's Real," it's a harrowing symphony of echo-laden piano, synth, and plenty of sonic space.

The standout track "Killing a Bird," a dynamic anthem that bridges the two personalities, is based on a painful childhood memory where Tirozzi witnessed a friend literally killing a bird — a memory that triggered deeper notions and emotions about the heaviest of life experiences.

"I remember a show we did at the Map Room about two years ago, right when we started playing the new stuff on this album," says Krauss. "There definitely were some people who were kind of like, 'Hey, we like this ... but it's not you guys.' We went, 'Well, we are what we are. This is us.' With every step we've taken, we've always challenged ourselves to do something new."

Like any favorite classic rock band, the Specs seem determined to move toward new musical ground. "I like how Pink Floyd did it," says Tirozzi. "They went from that early Syd Barrett era, where they sounded kind of like the Who, and then made their way up to Dark Side of the Moon, where you couldn't even tell it was the same band."

The Specs first started playing together in Columbia before relocating to Boston in the mid 2000s. Krauss, Tirozzi, and Galloway played with rotation of bassists before moving back to S.C. and settling into Charleston's indie-rock scene in 2004. Scott Padgett came onboard as the new bassist and backup singer. By the end of 2005, local musician and artist Kevin Hanley signed on as bassist. Tripp Wrenn, a friend and bandmate from their early days in Columbia, recently replaced Hanley on low-end duty.

"We played that kind of indie-rock for four or five years — the really rockin', high-energy kind of thing," remembers Krauss. "We all got depressed and it was kind of a dark time [around 2006], around when we put the songs together for this album."

Nick Brewer performed as the Specs' keyboardist through most of 2006, adding musical ideas to many of the songs that ended up on the latest collection. Unfortunately, according to Krauss, he and the band underwent an abrupt, not-so-amicable split just before the studio sessions.

"He was a really good musician, but things did not work out," says Krauss.

Tirozzi sounds a little less bothered by the disconnection. "I think most of us are still friends with Nick," he says, "Plus, I think it turned out to be a good thing for the band. Eric now plays all the keyboard parts. He's not a virtuoso like Nick, but he's totally capable of playing all the parts."

A keyboard-playing, stand-up frontman? Both Krauss and Tirozzi claim they've not yet heard any comparisons to The Killers. Inspired more by of the musical experiments by the likes of the Hold Steady, Spoon, and R.E.M., the band will likely continue to detour and meander away from the norm. - City Paper Charleston S.C.

"Rock Stars Fatten Up The Music Farm"

Rock Stars Fatten Up At The Music Farm

Fri 18 Aug - The Walkmen, Bobby Bare Jr., The Specs

CHARLESTON–In downtown Charleston, right around the corner from King Street and its array of antique shops, Thai restaurants and stylish bars, people form a line outside the Music Farm, the city’s premier venue for live music.

photo by Derek Slaton

Richard, from Charleston, says he’s here to see The Specs, a local band he’s seen once before. Others in line say they don’t know the bands they’re waiting to see, but the lure of tickets offered by Camel is more than they can pass up.

The Specs formed in Charleston nearly three years ago, after some of the members moved to town from Columbia, after graduating from the state university. Proof of the cerebral nature of this band’s journey can be easily spotted in their song, “Annabelle Lee.” Eric Galloway, the lead singer, says he and guitarist Steve Tirozzi took a poetry class together at USC and say the Poe reference came naturally out of that experience.

Kevin Hanley, the band’s bass player and a local promoter, describes the band’s sound as “psychedelic pop.” During their short set, a sea of influences come in like the tide–Radiohead, Theivery Corporation, Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, The Shins, The Clash and Tears for Fears. It’s all the mix. Add to that the two-handed grip Galloway has on the mic, his jerky dancing during jams and images of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder come to mind.

Columbia-based producer Les Hall–a former member of Howie Day’s band and Trey Anastasio’s band–heard promising things from The Specs when they delivered him a six-track demo. He’s producing the band’s initial full-length studio effort.

After the show, local scenester, Chazz, says, “The Walkmen are awesome. They sound like The Strokes. And I heard some Velvet Underground in there somewhere.” Chazz also has love for local act, The Specs. “They’re just as good as The Walkmen, in my opinion,” he states.

- Leftover Cheese


Album : The Specs ( 2008 )

This album is our first full length which has garnered some great reviews.! It is available for download on Itunes, Rhapsody, Emusic, Amazon, and Napster. It is also available at select music stores in Charleston S.C. as well as at live performances.



Hello! We’re The Specs from Charleston S.C.. We got the ball rolling in 2002, and are still going strong. Our first full length album was recorded in 2006 and released in 2008. Produced by multi-instumentalist Les Hall ( Crossfade, Trey Anastasio, Howie Day), the album deals with the restlessness in the world today. We'd like to think of our sound as melodic rock with a psychedelic twist. We’ve played some great shows with some of our favorite bands such as Spoon, The Walkmen, The Hold Steady, and Band of Horses, to name a few.