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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 12:01 UK
Introducing… The So So Glos

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Breaking each other's jaws, building their own venue and putting the other New York fakers in their place. Brooklyn's garage pop real deal just arrived, with a drill through their hand.

The so so glos
The So So Glos {L-R]: Ryan, Matt, Alex and Zach

Almost ten years ago now, Texan prog-rock unit …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead plucked a band from New York they liked and took them on a UK tour.

They were some nobodies called The Strokes.

Now, we're not staking a claim for The So So Glos being the next Casablancas and co, we're just saying, that's some pedigree.

At the bequest of …Trail last month The So So Glos played their debut UK shows and made a whole bunch of new fans.

Back home

But first a short re-wind. So So Glos are four brothers - via divorces, re-marriages and life's travails - Alex [bass/vocals], Ryan [guitar], Zach [drums] and Matt [guitar]. They started in explosive fashion.

"After we played our first show we got into a huge fight [with each other]," recalls Alex.

"There's only ever been one broken jaw though," smiles Ryan. "We recorded the first album with Alex's jaw wired shut - we got his jaw unwired and we recorded the vocals after."

The So So Glos, the facts


WHAT:Brooklyn brawlers making community garage-pop


FOR FANS OF: The Cribs, The Libertines, The Replacements, The Ramones


DOWNLOAD: Crystalised




LIVE: No UK dates confirmed
introducing




When they're not at each other's throats they're concocting spiky politico-garage pop.

"It's a dysfunctional family that's ever-growing but there's something beautiful about it," reasons Alex. "There's an energy that goes beyond blood."

So, The So So Glos you see, aren't so much as a band, as a gang, a real breathing brotherhood.

'Market Hotel'

Their home turf is The Market Hotel - a space they've converted into a home, practise room and venue for all age gigs.

"We got really injured building a lot of that stuff. I put a drill through my hand," says Alex.

"He went to the hospital and then he played that night - we stitched it up," adds Ryan.

It's a building that's already staged bands like The Black Lips and Titus Andronicus.

"It's been a good host for all these up and coming bands in Brooklyn. It looks like a shanty town, it was like Oliver us all sleeping there," adds Zach.

Alex: "It's just a really pragmatic way to live if you're an artist or musician."

NYC fakers

Whilst an abundance of bands have emerged from the vicinity in recent years [Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, The Virgins to name three] the city has attracted a few, what Ryan terms, 'transplants'.

So So Glos though are Brooklyn born and breed - not that it matters to them.

"It's just a spot on the map you know," points out Alex. "When all is said and done, we are from New York but whoop-dee-do."

In fact the band's name itself is born out of a reaction to NYC's pretentious gig-going hipsters.

The Kinks are the only reason me and Alex are alive, that's the only thing our parents had in common
Ryan, The So So Glos

"It's a phrase Ryan coined in one of our songs," says Alex. "That kind of too cool for school vibe which I'm sure goes on in the UK.

"In New York the fashionistas that walk around are too into themselves to even say 'Hi' to someone else and more into shining their shoes than anything else - they're So So Glos.

"This rehashing, these taking the attitude of some scenes that once were, without taking the meaning - the grittiness. We're putting the grit back into it."

Their sound is nothing if not gritty - see self-titled debut and Tourism/Terrorism - a charged mix of all their influences smelted together. That's, Buddy Holly, Elvis Costello, The Replacements and The Kinks.

"The Kinks are the only reason me and Alex are alive, that's the only thing our parents had in common," quips Ryan.

They also name check NYC's LE RUB, The Libertines and Titus Andronicus.

It's this lo-fi garage-pop which is peppered with lyrics about city life.

"We get slapped with the label as a political band and we do talk about that," concludes Alex.

"Being in check with humanity - that's politics I guess. When a bunch of kids are sitting down in a room and you tell them to stand up and dance I guess that's political. You become a power."

Not just a band then, but a community spirit - The So So Glos are agents of change.



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