Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'
Discarding the distorted punk-rock approach of their debut album,
Ghost Ship, The Sultans are back with what they describe as a
cleaner but still nautically-named sophomore effort,
Shipwreck, due out on Swami Records March 23.
The upcoming full-length leans toward '70s power-pop and big shiny
riffs, according to a press release from the group's label. Although
they cite an array of punk influences (Brit punks Disorder,
short-lived new-wavers The Nerves, raucous punk-rockers The Testors,
and punk pioneers The Ramones), The Sultans are bringing to the
surface their love for pop's inherent simplicity and rallying
strength on Shipwreck.
Led by the unmistakable, brash vocals of Rocket From the Crypt front
John Reis (also known as Speedo in RFTC and dubbed Slasher in The
Sultans), the group is completed by bassist "Black Velvet" (Reis'
brother Dean) and drummer Tony DiPrima. The Sultans proved themselves
to be ferociously original punk-rockers with Ghost Ship, which
was released on Sympathy for the Record Industry in 2000. The
attitude-drenched debut is built on an urgent, thrashing rhythm
section, a crunching sound and undeniable melodies. But now, with
Shipwreck, the San Diego trio test power-pop waters, stepping
up to the challenge of proving their prowess outside the realm of
gritty punk rock.
The economically-minded band recorded over pre-used tape from RFTC's
1995 full-length release, Scream Dracula Scream, when laying
down tracks for Shipwreck. The recording took just one
afternoon in the fall and according to the press release
Shipwreck was mixed two weeks later on a lunch break.
The thrifty band claims to have even used borrowed guitars for
recording so as not to wear out the strings on their own instruments.
Jenny Tatone [Thursday, March 4, 2004]