From the mid-70s to the early 80s, mainstream rock music went through a very interesting phase. Bands like Boston, Kansas, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Cheap Trick, Journey and many others took …
From the mid-70s to the early 80s, mainstream rock music went through a very interesting phase. Bands like Boston, Kansas, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Cheap Trick, Journey and many others took the genre down a theatrical route. This artistic shift included extravagant stage set ups, flashy outfits, catchy songs and dynamic sounds. You can call this the era of classic rock, progressive rock, arena rock, power pop or whatever else, but it was a time in music history that a lot of folks hold dear. Bringing this aesthetic into modern times are the David Tessier All-Star Stars based in Providence. They’ve garnered a legit local fan base over the past few years, and their new single came out on April 1 called “Tough Face Girl” via the local label 75orLess Records.
The track definitely has that vintage vibe while incorporating upbeat rhythms from drummer Nate Goncalo and a sheen of synth via Jon Brennan on the keyboards. There’s also a ton of harmony in the chorus that is bound to get stuck in the senses after pressing play.
“‘Tough Face Girl’ is a power pop song which I had written to be part of a short rock opera based on the Native American folk story ‘The Rough-Face Girl’,” Tessier tells the story behind the single. “The song’s chorus was stuck in my head for years, so I decided to rearrange the music and rewrite the lyrics. It’s about that certain someone you can’t help but love, even if they are, shall we say, a bit curmudgeonly. You can still see the sweetness deep beneath the exterior. I had originally recorded a demo where I sang all the parts and played all the instruments except for the drums, but I wanted to capture the chemistry of The All-Star Stars playing the tune.”
“We recorded all of the guitars, bass, percussion and vocals, except for Jon’s, in my home studio,” Tessier adds. “Nate recorded his own drums, and Jon recorded all of his own parts at home. We then had it mixed by The Animal Farm in London and are happy with how it came out. We’ve enjoyed this collaboration with The Animal Farm, it’s definitely different sonically from the work we’ve been doing as it has more of a pop sensibility in the way it’s mixed and mastered. The vocals are more prominent and there’s a soft lush reverb to the whole song, whereas the work that’s coming up next will be a little more rock oriented and will use a different sonic palette.”
Along with Tessier, Brennan and Goncalo, Justin Grankewicz added his skills on percussion for the single while Paulo “Zeus” Sousa held down the low end on bass. To officially ring in the release of “Tough Face Girl,” the band will be headlining a banger of a show on April 9 at The Parlour on 1119 North Main Street in Providence. Joining them will be Boston rockers Death Pesos and New Haven psychedelic new wave act Haunting Titans. On top of the music, the evening promises to have games, prizes and surprises so you don’t want to miss out on what’ll be the highlight of the weekend. Also, don’t forget to log on to davidjtessier.com to stream and purchase the new single.
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