For these five dudes in Cleveland their philosophy is really quite simple: make a bunch awesome-sounding tunes. And last week those very same dudes who make up the musical group 123wOw released Handsome Men’s Club, what will be the second EP the band has put out since their debut back in October of last year.
I love 123wOw and have had the chance to hear them live on multiple occasions, so I knew their new stuff would bring a lot of the same musicality from older tracks (“Foxes” being a longstanding personal favorite of mine). But Handsome Men’s Club has a totally different feel from the stylings used in earlier songs; the new EP, while still holding onto some previous surf rock qualities, has a much more contemporary approach, experimenting with new rhythmic techniques like I’ve never heard before. Two of the songs, “Socrates” and “Arts & Entertainment,” are accompanied by the perfect touch of orchestrated horns (which are spectacular) performed by Brian Peters, giving the album a definite edge.
When listening to the lyrics carefully, “do you love who you are when you do what you do?” (from “Jersey”), you’d hear a thread of the undeniable questioning of one’s self. 123wOw’s singer and guitar player Kyle Singleton said, “the vision or message in the music and lyrics [from the album] is that people ought to be confident in what they are and what they’re good at, and they should pursuit or enable their strengths and talents in a way that is reflective of that ideology. Whatever that may be…but to look away from norms and societal pressures and feel joy from doing what you love because you (yourself) find it enjoyable, not because other people appreciate it or you.”
Along with Singleton, 123wOw is Jon Chips (guitars), Jason Libal (drums and percussion), Zach Panek (bass), and Brett Lindemann (keys). Handsome Men’s Club was recorded by Brad Puette at Lava Room Recordings in Cleveland, and in case you were wondering who those “handsome” gentlemen are on the cover, they happen to be Gary, John, Danny, Al, and Dave—all the guys’ dads, whom the album’s dedicated to.
If you’re in the Cleveland area this coming Saturday the guys will be performing at the Grog Shop for their CD release show with Volcano Fortress, Joshua Jesty, Nicky English, and Bafflegab on September 1. Expect a full-length album from these guys sometime next year.
(photo via 123wOw)