Drexel Hill good ol’ boys The Tressels are gearing up to release the second installment in their “American” trilogy later on this month, and yesterday premiered a new song on their Soundcloud page. “Nothin’ But Your Love” is unapologetically, righteously 80s power-pop, with a thwacky beat up front guiding you into a refrain worthy of The Replacements, Tom Petty or even Bon Jovi (which we absolutely mean as a compliment). Give a listen below, and mark your calendars – the American Midnight release party happens Saturday, November 17 at The Grape Room in Manayunk.
An experiment in placing emerging local musicians in a historic local landmark, the inaugural One Song Rock Festival kicked off on August 9. Over the course of the month, it will put some 27 regional bands onstage in the 600-seat Media Theater for the Performing Arts (pictured). You can check out the full lineup at the festival’s Facebook Page; one night not to miss is Friday Aug. 24, when The Sparklers, The Tressels and The Quelle Source bring the indie-Americana ruckus to town. Get an overview of the festival lineup in the Soundcloud playlist below.
The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume 3—which you can download for free here—features one exclusive track recorded at the WXPN studios by 18 local acts, including DRGN King, Blayer Point Du Jour, Plow United, Weston, Surgeon, Break It Up, Black Landlord, Crills Wilson, Psychic Teens, The Bad Doctors, Ben Smith, The Tressels, Saturn Never Sleeps, White Birds, Andrew Lipke, Ports Of Call, mewithoutYou, and Young Statues.
Special thanks to all of the bands for coming to our studio, and to John Vettese for recording them. We’d also like to thank volunteer production assistants Zachary Deveraux Fairbrother, Jake “Rabid” Nisenfeld
Jeremy Quattlebaum, Joshua Pannepacker, and Maureen Walsh, as well as photographers Eric Ashleigh, Michael “Kraus Phade” Béon, Kate Bracaglia, Michelle Holshue, Mattias Nilsson, Eric Schuman, and Rachelle Lee Smith for sharing their work.
Click here the download the 18-track compilation in its entirety as a .zip file. Want to hear more? Click here to listen to the full sessions by all 18 local acts; you can also download The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume I and Volume 2.
DRGN King, “Holy Ghost”
Blayer Point Du Jour, “Mansion Party”
Plow United, “Martin”
Weston, “Love And Rockets”
Break It Up, “Subterranian”
Black Landlord, “Last Night”
Crills Wilson, “Grifter”
Psychic Teens, “Red”
The Bad Doctors, “Sisyphus And The Gate”
Ben Smith, “Love Potion No. 10″
The Tressels, “Cold Blue Eyes”
Saturn Never Sleeps, “Hearts On Fire”
White Birds, “Floating Hands”
Andrew Lipke, “Sleep Like A Child”
Ports Of Call, Ballinora
mewithoutYou, “Tie Me Up! Untie Me!”
Young Statues , “Athens”
One one hand, Drexel Hill’s The Tressels are—loud and proud—the best bar band in Delaware County. On the other, their studied rock hooks and lyrical smarts will make you question why “bar band” is such an unfavorable distinction. Earlier this fall, I pondered that tension here on The Key when The Tressels announced their latest release, American Sunset; today, I’ll stick to the facts of the matter. The EP is the first in a planned three-part trilogy (continuing over the next year and some with American Midnight , then American Sunrise). Each installment is going to have its own sonic palette, from big bang roots-rock production to kitchen table tape-recorded lo-fi. Given the massive arrangements and shout-along choruses we heard when the band recorded its Key Studio Session this fall, the songs on Sunset were clearly designed with big-bang approach in mind, from the insanely catchy “Cold Blue Eyes” to the driving “Tell Me a Secret” and the simmering epic “Wolves.” Dig what you hear? Take in more of The Tressels’ survey of Americana at its release party this Friday, November 18, at The Grape Room.
Music writers are a funny breed of folk. When we talk about “pub rock,” it’s done in hushed, reverent tones reserved for the Nick Lowes and Joe Jacksons of the world; the ones critics adore, but the civilians, maybe not so much. However, say “bar rock” – which, on the level of pure word choice, means the same exact thing – and somehow, it’s a slag. Music for the rabble, lowbrow, unintelligent. I couldn’t disagree more, and present Drexel Hill four-piece The Tressels as Exhibit A for reclaiming the term “bar rock” from the elites. The four-piece does play rock, of the roots-Americana variety; it plays bars as well, and proudly, routinely storming the Trophy Tavern in its hometown. The band’s loud riffs and shouted refrains sound custom-designed to be heard over the din of clanging bottles and rumbling conversation. But also there’s depth, sincerity and serious storytelling skill to this group that shouldn’t be readily dismissed. Their latest EP, American Sunset, was born of what frontman Butch calls an extremely difficult year for he and his fellow Tressels, and it sees the group reflecting on those personal struggles in song. The kicker is the heartbreaking “Priscilla” (which we heard an early version of on The Key Studio Sessions summer mixtape). It looks back on a difficult childhood through an adult’s eyes: “Everything I’d seen through cracks in the door / changed me, I think that’s what they left them open for.” Yes, one could pound pints to its rustic guitar leads if they were so inclined, or maybe bang heads to the riffy “Cold Blue Eyes.” But that doesn’t mean this is stuff of no substance. Check out those two songs below, and if you feel like hearing more, head over to the band’s Soundcloud page, where you’ll find American Sunset available as a free download, beginning today and lasting until its CD release party at The Grape Room on Friday, Nov. 18. Check back here in a few weeks as well, when we’ll be releasing The Tressels’ recent Key Studio Session.