Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Rondelles - s/t

The Rondelles s/t 7" (Rondelles, 1996)

My first encounter with the Rondelles was by chance. Los Huevos was on tour and were passing through Albuquerque. We didn't have a show but Scared of Chaka arranged for us to stay at some punk house they hung out at. Sometime after taking us to food, Dave took us to a very large club to check out a band that "we had to see." The band was the Rondelles and they were opening for Trans Am.

The club was empty and it was four dorks from Sacramento and Dave standing in front of a very big stage watching the cutest band on earth rip through a set of girl group meets garage pop punk rock. After the show I got a record, we watched a song of Trans Am (all I can remember is that they had a clear drum set), and then went to the punk house to drink & crash.

After that I paid attention to the Rondelles, loyally picking up their newest record and setting up shows for them in Sacramento. They were a band worth following. Their singles and first LP showed them to have a knowledge of girl group bands as well as garage punk classics. They had the smarts to filter that through a lo fi aesthetic. Their playing ability was good enough to pull off their ideas and wise enough not to stray from the simple. And the drummer doubling on Casio keyboard, playing it while drumming and as a percussion instrument, gave them a sound no one else had.

These songs are from their first 7", my favorite of the bunch. The 7"s that followed are also good and worth picking up, as is their first album. However, after the debut LP, they moved to Washington DC and somehow got infected with the suckiness that infests that town. They never got bad, just the Albuquerque charm was replaced by East Coast hip. They broke up a few years back and I haven't followed the former members endeavours. -Scott S.

Saw The Rondelles in Chicago back in '99. Oddly enough, they covered Supercharger's "Sooprize Package For Mr. Mineo" with Oakley taking over on vocals. By the way, his new band The Witnesses ain't that great. You're correct in stating The Rondelles never regained their charm.
Good band, never got the chance to see them, that first record of their's was/is a favorite of both me and my daughter.
This is fantastic. I'd never heard of this band but now am on the hunt for all their Albuquerque-era records.
Since I was looking at another post, this caught my eye.

This is a great single!

I picked it up in a free bin at K Records years ago. I ended up booking a show for them a year or two later, and when I moved to new york I saw them a few times before they broke up.

The Witnesses were great too. Oakley is a good guy. I used to see him at Manatobas alot, and around Stuy Town from time to time.
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