Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Not the Only Person

Song: Not the Only Person
Artist: The Rumble Strips
Album: Welcome to the Walk Alone

This band didn't grab me with their debut, but I've really liked their new album, "Welcome to the Walk Alone" which is due for release early next week. It's produced by Mark Ronson... this might be one to watch.

The Rumble Strips are an English band from Tavistock, Devon. The band take their name from Rumble Strips, which are small, continuous lines of bumps along the edge of a road. Having known each other since childhood, a precise conception date for the band doesn't really exist. The current line-up has been together since 2004 and are now based in London. The band are currently signed to Fallout Records, a subsidiary of Universal Island Records. Their most recent single, a re-release of "Motorcycle", reached #46 in the UK Singles Chart on June 4, 2007. Their debut album, Girls And Weather, was released on the 17th of September, when it reached #70 in the UK album charts, their latest single "Girls and Boys in Love", came out two weeks previously, reaching #64 in the UK.

First Releases

Fortunes for the band would take a turn for the better when out of the blue, independent record label Transgressive Records - who have produced singles for The Young Knives and Regina Spektor - would offer to produce the band's first single. This would reunite Waller with the band, and together they released "Motorcycle" on December 12, 2005. Waller said at this time "It was like, I have nothing to lose - I'm working for my uncle on a building site. What's to lose?".

The band moved further into the public eye with a number of key support dates for Dirty Pretty Things and fellow Transgressive artists The Young Knives in early 2006, and then the release of their second single, "Hate Me (You Do)" on June 5. A further tour supporting The Zutons, and the release of the band's first EP, "Cardboard Coloured Dreams", followed this in November 2006.

Current Work

The new year brought the Rumble Strips their first move into the charts, with their release of "Alarm Clock" on March 19, 2007 reaching #41 in the UK Singles Chart. The band were asked by NME to play their biggest headline tour to date, as headliners of the 2007 Topman NME New Music Tour throughout May 2007. The tour saw them play a number of venues around the country with other new bands Pull Tiger Tail, Blood Red Shoes and The Little Ones. The band released a live EP recorded whilst on the tour containing the tracks "Oh Creole", "Alarm Clock", "My Oh My" and previously unreleased track, "London".

The band re-released "Motorcycle" on June 4, 2007. The single failed to reach the previous heights of "Alarm Clock", charting slightly lower at #46. Two 7-inch vinyls were also released of the track, containing b-side "My Oh My". A misprint was made on some of these vinyls where 1000 copies were distributed labelling the b-side on the opposite side to the one listed. These are already being considered collector's items, even by the band themselves.

Following the release of "Motorcycle", the band stated that they had already decided on their next single, "Girls and Boys in Love", which was released on the 3 September 2007 and was the official song of the film "Run Fat Boy Run", starring Simon Pegg and directed by David Schwimmer, and itself released on 10 September 2007.

Band History

Lead singer Charlie Waller was involved in music from an early age, initial inspirations included Lou Reed's Transformer and bands such as Adam & the Ants. He moved to London for art college and played with his band from Devon, the Action Heroes. After the Action Heroes realised they had been playing together for 9 years, they felt the need for change. With the former keyboardist - Harry Dwyer (who would later go on to direct most of the Rumble Strips' videos) spending too much time on his Morris Minor, Waller began writing and playing again with former Tavistock friend Tom Gorbutt, and also recruited Henry Clark, (coming as standard) the drummer from the Action Heroes Matthew Wheeler, The Rumble Strips were formed, the year was 2004.

Also during this time, Charlie was one of two frontmen in Vincent Vincent and the Villains with flatmate and fellow singer/songwriter Vincent Vincent. The strain of playing in two bands eventually led to Waller quitting both groups before being coaxed back to the Rumble Strips. Vincent Vincent wrote the song "Johnny Two Bands" about Waller's departure.

Old schoolfriend and former bandmate of all the Rumbles (from the Mother Eating Blackberries and Action Heroes) Sam Mansbridge was brought in to the lineup at the end of 2006 to beef up the live sound, playing bass and the big Rumble Drum that is such a feature of the band's live act.

After Charlie sang lead vocals on 'Back to Black' for producer Mark Ronson at The Electric Proms in 2007, in late 2008 the band began working with him on their second record at London rehearsal space The Joint. Recorded off the back of their first US tour the band lay down the bulk of the tracks at Avatar Studios, New York, leaving vocals to be completed in London, England whilst orchestration was composed and over seen by Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire) and completed in Prague. The new album is cited for release in July 2009 and goes under the working name Welcome to the Walk Alone. The first single, due for release in June 2009 is "Not the Only Person".

As part of their First Listen series of features, The-Fly.co.uk ran a track-by-track synopsis of 'Welcome To The Walk Alone' on their site on May 26th. Whilst stating that "Ronson's kitchen sink production is evident after little more than a minute," they said that the sound of the record is "lush", highlighting 'Dem Girls', 'Sweet Heart Hooligan' and 'Daniel' as the album's highlights.

Welcome to the Walk Alone is the second album from the Devon-based band The Rumble Strips. It will be released in Summer 2009 by the Universal Music Group sub-label Island Records, preceded by a single release in June.

Following The Rumble Strips reinterpretation of Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, Mark Ronson offered his services in producing the album in New York.

On working with Ronson, the band commented: "He definitely had an idea about how he wanted it to sound. Certainly for the drums, he kind of built the sound around this particular technique of drums. And obviously coming in fresh, he sort of sat down and listened to the songs, and trimmed off bits. But he’s no megalomaniac, he doesn’t come in and insist it has to be ‘this way’, but he’s got ideas."

As part of their First Listen series of features, The-Fly.co.uk put up a track-by-track synopsis of 'Welcome To The Walk Alone' on May 26th. Whilst stating that "Ronson's kitchen sink production is evident after little more than a minute," they said that the sound of the record is "lush", highlighting 'Dem Girls', 'Sweet Heart Hooligan' and 'Daniel' as the album's highlights.

Track listing

  1. 'Welcome To The Walk Alone'
  2. 'London'
  3. 'Not The Only Person'
  4. 'Daniel'
  5. 'Douglas'
  6. 'Blackbone'
  7. 'Sweetheart Hooligan'
  8. 'Running On Empty'
  9. 'Dem Girls'
  10. 'Raindrops'
  11. 'Happy Hell'


Not the Only Person

Alarm Clock

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