Oakland's SMOKERS Release Debut LP THE RAT THAT GNAWED THE ROPE

The band's sound is inspired by classics such as The Stranglers, Minutemen, and early Replacements.

By: Jun. 18, 2024
Oakland's SMOKERS Release Debut LP THE RAT THAT GNAWED THE ROPE
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SMOKERS, Oakland California's premiere punk rock 'n' rollers, have just released their debut LP, The Rat That Gnawed the Rope. The new album appears worldwide on digital and vinyl formats via Oakland-based Mouth Magazine Records on June 14th, 2024. After several years of relentless travel up and down the West Coast circuit, Oakland's SMOKERS have finally completed their blistering 15-song album. The band's sound is inspired by classics such as The Stranglers, Minutemen, and early Replacements, and brought to life by the collective talents of Andy Asp (Nuisance, The Pattern), Cyrus Comiskey (Black Fork, Drunk Horse), Jim Nastic (Talk is Poison, Year Future), and Omen Starr (St. James Infirmary).

Meeting up with lead engineer Phil Becker (Pins of Light, Big Business) at San Francisco's historic El Studio, the group swiftly recorded the tracks that define 'The Rat'. The studio, though located in a rather dubious neighborhood, turned out to be a perfect fit for their creative needs. "It's in a pretty dodgy neighborhood in San Francisco," recalls vocalist and guitarist Andy Asp. "I was stoked to see a deli right across the way, but it turned out to be a custom dog food butcher, so no sandwiches. We found a BevMo a couple blocks away, so that worked out pretty well." Despite the unusual setting, the band felt right at home in the nondescript industrial building, rumored to be the recording site of The Melvins' legendary 1989 album 'Ozma'.

After a COVID-19 scare forced the cancellation of an earlier session, SMOKERS found themselves scrambling for a new location. El Studio fit the bill perfectly, with Becker playing a crucial role in shepherding The Rat That Gnawed the Rope to completion. "He kept things moving, and I think we were able to finish all the basic tracks in a single day," says bassist Cyrus Comiskey. A vintage Hammond organ, supposedly once owned by The Allman Brothers, added a unique touch to the opening track, 'The Irish Tenor'.

Order New Album The Rat That Gnawed the Rope

https://smokers.bandcamp.com/

Once the basic tracks and lead vocals were laid down at El Studio, SMOKERS retreated to their hometown Oakland studio, Tuff Bunker, to complete the remaining overdubs. The tapes then returned to Becker for mixing and finally to Skot Brown (Phantom Limbs) for mastering. "It all went very quickly," says guitarist Omen Starr. Former Lookout! Records chief Chris Appelgren contributed to the album's jacket layout, adding a final touch of finesse.

The album's highlight tracks include the driving 'The Irish Tenor', 'East of Oakland', and the reflective Covid-era song 'The Strand'. Fans of garage rock, East Bay punk, pub rock, and vintage street rock will find plenty to love in this succinct, powerful collection. SMOKERS have shared stages with The Avengers, Jawbreaker, Samiam, Subhumans, Murder City Devils, and countless others. Now, they are back in the clubs, ready to promote their debut album.

D I S C O V E R

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/smokers_music

Bandcamp: https://smokers.bandcamp.com/



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