The Danbees recently dropped a new music video, entitled “Down at the Bar.” The song is from the band’s forthcoming EP, The Veggie Tapes: Sessions From Sound On Sound Studios, the band’s follow-up to their 2016 debut LP, Fishnets Anonymous.
From Ithaca, New York, The Danbees took shape in 2014, on Danby Road, when Mark Slotoroff and Wade McManus were students at Ithaca College. They began as a duo and later added Shane Matthews (guitar), and Sam Enright (bass). After playing the instrumental version of musical chairs, the band finally settled on who would play which instrument.
As Slotoroff says, “The funny thing is we’ve had three bassists in The Danbees, and all three are still in the band.”
The title of the EP – The Veggie Tapes – comes from Slotoroff’s time as a bartender.
“You’re always dealing with people’s dietary restrictions – it’s like, ‘are you actually celiac? Vegetarian? Or just an asshole?’ With music, we are often force-fed crap en masse, so we’re here – we’re your veggies, why don’t you eat us?”
The Danbees’ sound is rock. Not indie rock or alt rock, just pure rock and roll. Slotoroff describes is as “simple, done well. It’s similar to the ‘good songs; good musicians’ strategy of Motown.” And then adds, “But we do it our way.”
“Down at the Bar” starts off with a taut guitar riff and rolling snare. When the bass and rhythm guitar kick-in, the tune ramps-up with almost punk-like energy and beau coup momentum. McManus’ drumming thrusts home with tasty fills and great cymbal work, as Enright’s slapping bass enhances the sonic punch. The knotted-tight, dirty guitar solo is hot enough to raise blisters.
Slotoroff’s voice is tailor-made for rock and roll. It’s rife with sensuous low timbres, raucous, rasping growls, and delicious high notes, as well as a dazzling warbling quasi-vibrato sending chills up and down your spine.
The video, directed by Zach Eisen, opens with the band walking into the studio, striding past gold records and photos on the wall. They set up and cut loose with pure, unadulterated, rough-and-ready rock and roll. When Matthews kneels in front of his amp, the feedback effect is wickedly nasty and oh, so effective.
Yowza! “Down at the Bar” is terrific rock and roll, muscular, raw, and prickly. The Danbees know how to rev it up and turn it loose.
Stream on Spotify.