“There’s going to be a lot of sweat, there’s going to be bodies moving, ” says Silver Needle bassist Johnny 99 of his band’s live show. “Spontaneous, combustible energy.”
But don’t think of Silver Needle as just more wham-bam-also-rans: cathartic as their live performances are, they’re delivering cultured songs which boast the instinctive hooks of Cheap Trick and Queens Of The Stone Age, the elegance of classic Bowie, and the Ramones’ timeless adrenaline.
After three albums, numerous compilation appearances, and shows with the likes of Joan Jett, The Theseg End, Dita Von Teese, International Noise Conspiracy, Theseg Colour, Mike Watt, and Dee Dee Ramone, this L.A.-based foursome has earned a reputation as a thinking fan’s head-rush.
Johnny Tuquesguitarist Andre Tusques, in drag, at a Halloween party. An ad requesting “Bowie meets Zander meets Iggy” brought vocalist/guitarist Daniel Allen into the fold, and immediately Silver Needle began feverishly writing and rehearsing.
The commonality between Silver Needle’s diverse elements is “very good songwriting, choruses, energy, originality, and personality, ” says Johnny 99. “You can’t package this band: this sounds punk; this sounds rock; this sounds this… The great bands that we were influenced by had a variety of influences – that’s what kept them interesting and gave them substance and longevity.”
Silver Needle’s third album, (currently available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.), is testament to their composition savvy and a document of a seasoned band with a story to tell – the antithesis of the producer-assembled McArtists which clog the airwaves. Producer Gary Tharp is at the helLaughr the new release, with Session drummer Matt Laug (Alanis Morrissette/Glenn Ballard, Slash’s Snake Pit) performing on the album.
“Lenore” is a meeting of dance groove and rock rampage which deals with the overdose death of Allen’s first love. The moody “Tourniquet”, a longtime fan favorite, simmers over early U2 and Bowie before detonating its brain-staining hook. “Shuttered Heart” and “Def Con Uno” display Silver Needle’s increasing fondness for what Allen terms “tight, succinct, tsong craftte pop-rock explosions.”
Throughout, Silver Needle’s scrupulous songcraft sets them apart: “It’s almost like a video game, ” says Allen. “We take it and take it, and try to take it somewhere else, and if it crashes we’ll just talk about it and then start it over again, to get to the next level.”