With a rakish frontman evocative of dead 70’s rock icons and taut live rhythm section, the Baltimore-DC area band AMFMS' music straddles a fine line between lo-fi basement tapes and vintage 80's college radio hooks; a strange place where fuzzy glam or psych seduces and then sleeps with post punk. Even with a name taken from old car radios with stations tuned far left of the dial, the band's debut tracks and possessed live shows go beyond their vintage analog trappings.
The group has recently announced national tour dates with appearances at CMJ in New York, SXSW in Austin, Firefly Music Festival 2016 and more.
"As a taste of potential trajectory, AMFMS' debut EP Captives is a solid issue of swagger and precision, textured guitars dress percussive excellence beneath a sequence of lyrics that alternate between realities and aspirations... promising stuff. - Artist Direct
"A snarling collision of glam, garage, alt and psych. Their anthemic single "Teenage Fight Song" manages to sound like the Strokes covering Fugazi and Mission of Burma" - Entertainment Weekly
"AMFMS are a band you should know ... the latest track 'The Girl' is reminiscent of classic 80's era Echo and the Bunnymen or the Cure" - KCRW FM Los Angeles
"Combining vintage 70's infused rock along with heavy rhythms to create a brooding anthemic sound, Baltimore / DC based rockers AMFMS are a band on the rise." - Spin
"AMFMS look back to 80's college radio for inspiration, calling to mind the Cure as much as early-era Radio head on their debut EP Captives ... the band takes post punk new places..." - PASTE magazine
Shawn Kyle - Vocals
Matt Rose - Drums
Sam Wetterau - Bass
Kitt Whitacre - Lead Guitar
Brandon McBride - Keyboard, Guitar
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Long Bio (TL;DR)
"A great song is above right or wrong." says Shawn Kyle, rakish front man for DC-Baltimore area band AMFMS. "I don't want to hear fiction. I want to hear something that is true, even if it hurts or makes me feel something I wasn't ready for … But it helps if you can sing along". Kyle's past left-of-the-dial touring and recording efforts have since been cited as influences by up and comers such as Benjamin Booker and name dropped by Lana Del Rey on record.
"I've still never listened to her song." he admits.
But it's no mistake the new band takes a name from the radios found in cars they grew up wrenching and necking in, while tuned to stations far left of that proverbial dial. With intoxicating mixtures of 80's college radio, post punk and nuggets era R&B garage that still somehow seem determined to escape the low-fi hipster trap; AMFMS' sound owes much to previous band members journeying in the psych and garage rock community, having toured and dosed with the Black Angels, Broncho, Night Beats and Growlers among others.
"No recording studio? No problem."
While looking for a "large empty room to record echo and drums in" members of the yet to be formed band were given the keys to what turned out to be an abandoned, empty and cold Georgian mansion outside of DC. Recording equipment was pieced together for an unknown project among these players who had become friends by crossing paths while touring in various other groups across America.
Out of these Exile on Main Street style sessions came unexpected tracks recorded live, with old vacuum tubes glowing; sometimes with as little as two microphones supplying the takes. When the smoke cleared, the speakers played songs straddling the line between basement tapes and primitive pop hooks, swaggering and shoe gaze, where a electric guitar's fuzzy glam seduces and sleeps with Americana, and strangely dark confessions hide in between the sing-along choruses of gang vocals.
After all, It does seem to help if you can sing along.