The start of 2014 brings the sixth release from indie-rock band The Jellybricks (Pop Detective/Primitive Records). Powered by the infectiously catchy “Hate Speaker,” the band’s latest album, Youngstown Tune-Up is the widely anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Suckers.
Committed to tape at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, OH, Youngstown Tune-Up takes its name from the term for the car bombs that local mobsters famously used on each other during the crime wars of the 1960s. It’s a good fit. The song, “About the Weekend,” is the second of the band’s songs to be tapped by Van Zandt on his nationally syndicated Underground Garage radio show as a “Coolest Song in the World” pick, and is a propulsive piece of pop that hearkens back to the chiming guitar pop of Marshall Crenshaw, Elvis Costello, and The Smithereens, but with a distinctly modern twist.
“Hate Speaker,” meanwhile, takes its inspiration and title from the nightly news (as the expression "hate speech" has become an increasingly common phrase in modern culture), and merely sets a tune to the truth that negative people are, as the band says, patently lame.
Initially, The Jellybricks only set out to record an EP when they traveled from their home town of Harrisburg, PA to Youngstown, OH, but ended up recording a 14 song album in just eleven days. Youngstown Tune-Up, the first Jellybricks album to feature lead vocals from all four band members, was produced and recorded by Frank Silver, and mastered by Michael Roberts of the band Hurt.
The Jellybricks burst onto the scene in 1997 with the release of their debut album Kinky Boot Beast. Their first single, “Who is God” immediately became a hit on local radio stations and soon found its way onto the national airwaves. Within weeks, they found themselves sharing the stage with notable acts including Live, Goo Goo Dolls, and Fuel, and over the years have appeared with the likes of Barenaked Ladies and Fountains of Wayne.
Through four subsequent albums and a furious touring schedule, the band won the hearts and minds of pop aficionados from coast to coast. They’ve made several buzzed-about appearances at the annual International Pop Overthrow festivals in Los Angeles and New York. They’ve also released three Christmas songs (one co-written with Jeffrey Gaines) and have recorded material appearing on numerous compilation and tribute CDs, including the widely-publicized “Coming Up!” tribute to the music of Paul McCartney.
In March of 2012, the first single from Suckers, "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" was named "Coolest Song in the World" by Little Steven's Underground Garage, and the song subsequently won the year-end voting poll for "Coolest Song in the World" for 2012.
Larry Kennedy — guitar, vocals
Garrick Chow — bass guitar, vocals
Bryce Connor — guitar, vocals
Tom Kristich — drums, vocals