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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hymn For Her + Go Man = The Mix Tapes; album out June 30

Band’s debut album, #1, will be released independently on June 30

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — “Sometimes out of necessity, you quickly throw something together and it turns out to blow your mind.”
So says Kitty Pause, one-third of the scrappy Florida threesome the Mix Tapes. The band’s unpretentiously infectious debut album, #1, is an unexpected gem that combines playful humor and raucous power-trio energy with rousing, arena-ready tunes that reflect the members’ deep-rooted affinity for vintage pop-rock songcraft. According to Kitty, “This record is a celebration of the music we loved as teenagers.”
In a parallel musical life, drummer-vocalist Kitty Pause and the Mix Tapes’ guitarist-vocalist Skool-Ejekt have already won considerable international acclaim and built a substantial fan base as the rootsy duo Hymn for Her. Completing the Mix Tapes is bassist-singer Reverend Rewind, who Skool-Ejekt describes as, “A sexy beast/man-of-the-cloth exorcised from the popular Gulf Coast rock band Go Man.”
#1, recorded in lean, mean D.I.Y. style by the band and mixed by Detroit garage-punk guru Jim Diamond, offers a dozen instantly memorable originals that make it clear why the Mix Tapes feel no need to delve to deep into its members’ prior musical achievements. Such winsome, melodically adventurous tracks as the deviant, surging “Cocoanut,” the anthemically catchy “Don’t Give In,” the pointedly poppy “Out of the Black” and the psychedelic rocker “In & Out” embody the trio’s irreverent inventiveness.
Considering the Mix Tapes’ distinctive style of songwriting, it’s ironic that the band’s formation in late 2013 was initially inspired by the scarcity of original music in and around their meeting ground of Sarasota. 
“The three of us were in our two bands, equally frustrated, playing original music in bars for people busy watching TV or demanding lame cover tunes,” Kitty recalls. “So we decided to join forces and create a ‘British invasion’ cover band, playing only songs that would let us sleep at night with a clear conscience and not make us feel as if we sold our souls to the great and powerful bar mitvah/wedding devil. Soon our American roots started creeping in: Lou Reed, Fats Domino, Harry Nilsson ... It began very casually, but there was an instant chemistry that came from three hearts marinating in the same musical melting pot.”
“Since day one, it’s had its own engine.” Skool-Ejekt says of the trio. “We had funny times stamping our own style on requests like ‘Margaritaville’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ pissing some folks off. But soon people were coming out to hear our skewed versions.”
The Mix Tapes’ musical and personal rapport quickly won them an enthusiastic local following, and even earned raves from no less an authority than AC/DC frontman and fellow Florida resident Brian Johnson.
“He caught a show and told us that it was the most entertained he’d been since the Beatles died,” says Reverend Rewind, “You do the math.”
It didn’t take long for the band to begin slipping in their own ’60s/’70s tinged compositions, calling them ‘rare B-sides’ of their fans classic rock faves. Soon there was a demand for recordings.
The Mix Tapes made their recording debut with an EP of raunchy, original Christmas-themed tunes that they called “Ho, Ho, Ho Merry XXX-Mas.” The holiday disc won a good deal of local attention, setting the stage for the birth of #1.
“We recorded #1 in a week,” Reverend Rewind says of the album. “I think this record has the same don’t-give-a-f… attitude that we started the band with, which is the way we recorded it. My roommate recorded us in the living room. We were pretty much goofing off the whole time, but somehow we came up with a shiny, golden nugget.”
“We were surprised at how easy it came,” Skool-Ejekt agrees. “We didn’t want to put a ton of time and money into it, so we approached the whole thing very casually. With the help of a good friend and some false promises, the recording was a breeze. Some of the songs we chose were ones that weren’t working in our other bands or personal songs from the closet. They all came seamlessly together after the three of us reworked them. A bit like the Rolling Stones’ Tattoo You: a bunch of leftovers that made up a great album.”   
“I think that we all naturally write pretty catchy tunes, even when the subject matter is dark, which in a lot of cases it is,” says Reverend Rewind. “We have a lot in common musically, but our individual approaches are slightly different.  So if I write a song and think I know what it’s going to sound like, it usually comes out stronger by the time everyone adds their own little mojo to it.” 
#1 has already won a good deal of positive attention on the Mix Tapes’ home turf, with “Cocoanut” gaining substantial airplay on Tampa radio station WMNF-FM, which recently featured #1 as its Album of the Week. Having launched the release with a Tampa show in front of several hundred fans, the band is now looking forward to bringing its tuneful transcendence to a national audience.
“People have been getting really hot and sweaty about it down here in the Sunshine State,” says Reverend Rewind. “It’s an interesting experiment that got out of hand and took on a life of its own. We’re looking forward to seeing where it takes us.”

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