SAN FRANCISCO GARAGE ROCKERS THE BAND ICE CREAM
SHARE NEW VIDEO “JERK IT OFF” AT IMPOSE
NEW BRUCE BOTNICK-PRODUCED LP, CLASSICALLY TRAINED,
OUT NOW VIA URBAN SCANDAL RECORDS
Check out The Band Ice Cream’s new video “Jerk It Off” at Impose
Stream tracks from Classically Trained
RIYL: FIDLAR, Jacuzzi Boys, JEFF The Brotherhood, Jay Reatard, The Orwells
Ice Cream has previously been covered at Consequence of Sound, Paste, Popdust, PunkNews, New Noise,
SF Weekly, CMJ, The Wild Honey Pie, The Bay Bridged, Side One Track One, and more.
*Digital downloads & review copies of Classically Trained available upon request.
April 5, 2017 — San Francisco garage rockers The Band Ice Cream have shared their new video “Jerk It Off” at Impose Magazine who called it, “Ridiculously entertaining.” “Jerk It Off” comes off the group’s new Bruce Botnick-produced LP, Classically Trained, out now via Urban Scandal Records.
You can hear it echoing up into the Pacific night in “Surfer Girl.” No, not that one—though the Beach Boys classic of the same name shares a thing or two with the shimmering new single from The Band Ice Cream. The centerpiece of the San Francisco group’s forthcoming debut LP, Classically Trained, it oohs and ahhs its way through teenage cars-and-girls-style beach-party rock & roll shot through with a heavy dose of wild & reckless modern garage surf, the ocean emerging in the lyrics as a metaphor for both the tumultuous nature of relationships and the vastness of love. It’s a potent reminder of how beautiful and pure and naive-innocent rock & roll is at its archetypal best.
“Surfer Girl” was a turning point for the band—the song that made the legendary Bruce Botnick take notice. Best known for producing The Door’s L.A. Woman and Love’s Forever Changes (not to mention his credits as an engineer on The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds), Botnick was at the helm for Classically Trained, bringing a fresh perspective that helped push Ice Cream beyond its comfort zone.
But despite Botnick’s resume and the band’s deep respect for him, it took actually hearing his approach to their music before they were ready to pull the trigger. “Even though Bruce is amazing and we grew up listening to our parents’ Doors and Beach Boys albums, at first, we weren’t sure he was gonna work,” says singer/guitarist Kevin Fielding. “We had our own sound we were going for. So just to try things out, we had him mix the song ‘Evelyn,’ and it came out totally different than how we would have done it. Super bare-bones. The double in the vocal was just barely audible and creepy—it was very ‘Riders on the Storm.’ So we were like, alright, we gotta do this.”
Initial tracking for Ice Cream’s Classically Trained was done by friend and engineer Mike Carnahan, with Botnick bringing it home on overdubs and mixing. The band—Fielding, singer/guitarist Joe Sample, bassist Bryce Fernandez and drummer Louie Rappoport—sounds at once comfortable and urgent. You can almost hear them looking into each other’s eyes as they blast through the songs with their guitar amps bleeding into the drum mics and the drums bleeding into the vocal mics and everything blending together in a glorious cacophony. There’s a power to the unvarnished simplicity of the approach.
“When we’re left alone to mix things on our own, in the past we’ve had a tendency to overthink and overanalyze,” Sample says. “Bruce was the voice of reason. He kept things pure. He’d remind us, ‘It sounds good the way it was tracked. The more we get away from that, the more of the magic we’re gonna lose.’”
“Yeah, we had to present a strong case to him if we wanted to double something, or use reverb or add gain,” Fielding says. “He’d be like, ‘Well, go ahead—it’s your album to f*** up.’ In almost all cases, he’d push back against our initial impulses, so we had to rethink two or three times exactly what we wanted. He’s passionate about how music sounds raw. Now we are, too.”
And raw it is, anchored ever so loosely by Fernandez’s inventive, ebullient basslines and Rappoport’s ecstatic drumming, brimming with Sample & Fielding’s alternately snarky and impassioned screams, their sun-dappled West Coast vocals and howling yet melodic guitar lines. It’s all subtly, wonderfully askew—never too perfect or polished, the sound of humans making music together. And it plays like the soundtrack to an imaginary film—let’s call it Beach Blanket Bongout. This is garage-pop, stoned & surfy with a smug, lazy-eyed grin and a delicious half-eaten burrito in hand.
The sophomoric, wise-assed fun of album opener “Jerk It Off” belches and hurls its way seamlessly into this narrative, the latest entry in a long tradition of playful, not-so-thinly-veiled rock & roll songs about masturbation—from Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-Al-Ling” and The Who’s “Pictures of Lily” to Faith No More’s “Epic.” The mood continues with the gorgeously lazy, epically catchy grunge-era slackerdom of “Sick Over You,” the rollicking surf rock of “Wild” and “Sand Dunes,” and the spiraling “Seventeen,” a bittersweet garage opus that yearns to relive certain crucial high-school moments armed with just a few more years of hard-won experience… something The Band Ice Cream has been racking up lately with all its time on the road.
“With how the four of us have been locking in lately—there’s no ego getting in the way,” Fielding says. “It’s all about being a band.”
“It’s true,” Fernandez concurs. “I’ve been sneaking into shows since I was 12, and it’s always cool to experience that kind of passion and improvisation that can only happen when you’re a band, when you’re part of something bigger than just yourself. With Ice Cream, we’re all just losers, but we’re losers together—and that’s a powerful thing.”
The Band Ice Cream
“Garage pop for the stoned surfer.” – Consequence of Sound
“Garage-pop, stoned & surfy with a smug, lazy-eyed grin and a delicious half-eaten burrito in hand.” – Paste
“[The Band Ice Cream] are uniquely and unapologetically carrying the torch of a new generation of noise makers, clawing their way to the international stage with nothing but fervor and irrefutable talent.” – Popdust
“Ridiculously entertaining.” – Impose
“The Band Ice Cream takes the fuzzy feedback from the 90s grungers, the blown-out melodies from the 80s neo-garage rockers, and the mighty riffs from the 70s rockers.” – PunkNews
“An indie rock outfit of the highest form.” – New Noise
“Charming lollipop rock.” – SF Weekly
“Perfect garage vibes, peppy lyrics and a generally snarky presence.” – The Wild Honey Pie
“Dirty, honest guitar riffs, quick, aggressive drum patterns, weaved into gritty barely-there vocals,Ice Cream is the perfect combination of garage sound and punk attitude that will pour gasoline on that flickering fire inside.” – The Deli Magazine
“The music of Ice Cream may not be as innocently sweet as the treat they’re named after, but they’ll certainly delight anyone with even a passing interest in garage rock.” – The Bay Bridged
“Ice Cream manages to ride the wave of fuzzed out guitar and dark sunglasses and still inject it with enough good times to make it entirely approachable. This is the best kind of fun music, that kind that’ll make you shuffle your feet without the fear of looking like a moron.” – Side One Track One