gimme inkie rock.

Once again, the first review came from the “Makin’ Waves” column in The Aquarian, and, although the review did actually describe the music, it also included the predictable stab at lyric interpretation:

Footstone, who used to be Stickman, have followed their self-produce Moss EP with this respectable single.  They still lace their noisy pop with traces of metal crunch.  “Mountain Man” is about beer and billboards.  “Belly,” which is much more interesting albeit whiny, condemns someone who has fallen from the top.  Perhaps a once beloved musician or trusted politician?

Perhaps me?  Perhaps Ralph’s beer gut?  Tough to jab at Bob when I didn’t even know what the song was written about.

The New Jersey zine Shoelace wasted my $4 by giving us a bad review, calling the record “Above average college bar pop.”  Then, in the place where most zines would write our label address – you know, in the event that someone might be interested in buying some above average college bar pop, they wrote “can’t figure out the address.  Sorry.”

Look, take a fucking minute and turn the record sleeve over.  You’ll find the address printed right there, on the back of the record.  It’s also on the record itself.  It’s on the insert inside the record, too.

That pissed me off.  Zines, I thought, don’t get it.  They want you to send them free shit, and you do, and then they give you a one-sentence review, and can’t even find the fucking decency to take the extra ten seconds to find your address.  Then they ask you for $50 to run a half-page ad, and bitch at you when you don’t.

I didn’t mind a bad review – really.  It was the opinion of the reviewer, and sometimes it would be good, sometimes bad.  But take the time to describe the music.  Review the actual record.  Publish the label’s address so that someone could find the record if they were interested.  The label was fulfilling its end of the bargain by sending the zine a review copy, knowing that it would ultimately wind up getting sold to the used record store with no royalty to the label or band.  Just review the record.

I had just about lost my faith in zines altogether when I got the latest copy of John Livingstone’s Insight, which he sent me along with a nice letter.  Insight had become one of my favorite zines, filled with sarcasm and a biting sense of humor.  Plus, great punk reviews and interviews.  John liked – really liked – the “Paid” sticker that we put in the zine.  He liked it so much, in fact, that he wanted my permission to put his own “Paid” sticker in the next issue of Insight.

They gave us a nice review, too:

Kick-ass packaging.  Free stickers so clever that I won’t even spoil the secret.  Crisp and clean guitar rock that would fit into any social event.  Your head will wobble to the catchy beats that don’t fall down.  The song writing reminded me of early Green Day.  Evidence that the underground music scene still has much to offer.

Now that, I thought, was a nice review.  Even if the joke about weebles wobbling was poorly executed.

In fact, Wobbles From Side To Side got the best press of any record we had released until that point.  That’s right – the record we didn’t want to put out at first got the best reviews.  Shows what I know.

The New Brunswick-based zine Powerbunny 4×4 had this to say:

“Belly” is straight up power pop in the vein of Gin Blossoms or New Brunswick’s own Loose.  “Mountain Man” is very hooky, with double tracked vocal harmonies and an apple bite sound for that special treat.  This 7 inch comes with a “Paid” sticker inside that the band invites you to go out and get something nice with.  I slapped it on a new ’95 Jeep Cherokee and drove right off the lot, leaving the dealer lost and confused…seriously, a good record…Dromedary is also building up a nice catalogue with this release.

No shit!  Someone mentioned the label!

Buzz magazine spake thusly:

Someone’s been studying this column, ’cause they know what I like, and Footstone – Wobbles From Side To Side, has it.  Two cranking pop songs with crunchy guitars and melody up the wazhoo that also blend harmonies that don’t induce adult contemporary vomiting.  They’ve made a friend for life.

The San Diego punk zine Genetic Disorder, which was given to me by Keith of Silver Girl and quickly became one of my favorites, said this:

A nifty bit of melodic music falling somewhere between pop-core and something close to more traditional punk but falling just a bit shy.  This doesn’t mean this single falls short of pleasing; quite the contrary.  It’s chock full of tasty riffs, youthful vocals, your recommended daily allowance of power chords and its delicious and nutritious to boot!  The vinyl even stays crispy in milk as a special bonus!

Jim Testa’s Glut and the punk zine Dumpster Dive also gave us brief mentions, respectively:

Pop/punk guitar rock with Green Day-like harmonies.  The vocals occasionally remind me of Guadalcanal Diary.


Tight rockin’ 70s rock Reo Speedwagon meets The Replacements heavy pop rock!

The New Jersey zines were also very good to us.  Adam from The Splatter Effect, who had written the great piece about the Melting Hopefuls show at Boo-Boo’s where Renee punched a guy, wrote a very nice review that covered everything there was about the record:

Produced by Melting Hopeful Ray, this single is chock full of energetic, melodic hard rock.  Not in the Bon Jovi sort of way, but more like what the Lemonheads did before they went completely pop.  “Mountain Man” features some smooth, powerful lead and backing vocals that help plant the hook in your head.  The song is about wanting a “frosty cold one.”  Head for the mountains, eh.

On the other side is “Belly,” which is a mid-tempo rocker and well-fleshed out by some slashing guitar work and over-layed melodies.  The backing vocals are not as present on this one but do help out occasionally, accenting phrases here and there.  The singer kind of sounds like John Waite (ex-Baby’s and solo star), but this is actually a plus, because his vocals work very well with the music and ultimately make both songs great rather than average.

Although I would never have drawn a comparison between Ralph and John Waite, I had to agree with the last line – his vocals were making Footstone great.

Our friends at Oculus also wrote a nice review.

Once you get past the puppet with a penis on the back cover of this 7″er (pun intended?), the listener is presented with some relatively aggressive pop.  Well, more of a bar pop (as opposed to bar rock).  Kinda band that one would see as an opening act at Maxwell’s (in Hoboken) on a Friday night.  The flip, “Belly,” is a bit more musically imaginative and more fun to listen to.  But hey, the A-side, “Mountain Man,” is no slouch.  Just not as much fun, is all.  A decent release.  Printed on inner groove: “Gimme inkie music.”

Well, it was “Gimme inkie rock,” but at least they noticed.

The long and short of it was that Footstone were really beginning to come into their own, and the record was actually doing very well.  In fact, between Footstone’s Wobbles and cuppa joe’s busy work, we had sold a few hundred copies through our distributors.  With “Allnighter” beginning to take off, it seemed like we suddenly were starting to generate some interest.  

When I got John Livingstone’s letter (about using a “Paid” sticker in the next issue of Insight), I got an idea – which was also based partially out of my recent argument with Rich.  I called John on the phone and introduced myself.  We spoke briefly, and then I told him we’d be happy to let him steal the idea if he gave Footstone some credit.  Then, I asked him if he’d be interested in interviewing the band.  

Surprisingly, he said yes to both.

~ by Al on March 18, 2009.

One Response to “gimme inkie rock.”

  1. […] Gimme Inkie Rock.  Press reviews for the Footstone Wobbles From Side To […]

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