1956 The Band

by Mario Martin
April 2005

Milwaukee's 1956, the band..

Milwaukee's 1956, the band..

All too often, too much emphasis is put on those who create music rather than the music itself. Jim Morrisson saw it and performed whole concerts with his back to the audience. Trent Reznor saw it and performed most of his last tours’ shows behind a curtain. Slipknot saw it and began only going by band numbers behind masks. 1956 is an interesting paradox: similar, yet different.

Placing all the importance on the music, 1956 has been able to alienate the atypical image of the rock band whose visibility and publicity outshines the mediocrity of the music. That is not so with 1956. An assemblage of three men, all dedicated to the creation of strong rock music since 2001, 1956 enter the venue prepared for an aural, yet visceral, onslaught of sounds, pushed to the limits of conventional musicianship.

If you’re looking for comparisons, you can sonically imagine David Bowie’s songwriting in the vane of hard rock. What you’d expect Dave Grohl’s songwriting to be after a few drinks, that’s what 1956 parallels, passion meets creativity. In both visual images drawn here, you would see that there is a connection between the music and the listeners. This is no different. “We look to connect with and challenge listeners, and themselves,” says the band.

But that’s all fine and dandy when you’re listening to a CD recording that gets tweaked more than a supermodel’s nipples. The truest test of musicianship is live. As the band puts it, “It’s all about the chemistry between us, each other, and our instruments. All our parts are crucial to the collective.” After following 1956 from early on in their career, I recall the band playing at the now defunct Globe East. The music gelled so well that the listener is made to wonder where and how certain sounds are even made with a three-piece band. Regardless the source, the music prevailed and the lack of pretentiousness remained a welcome trait not often seen in music today.

Rock was young in the year 1956. Rock was raw, unpretentious, vital, brave and boundless back then. 1956 the band is very much the same.  After releasing the oft-troubled sophomore effort last year on Coptercrash Records, 1956 prevailed with TONIGHT WE KISS. Historically, the band followed one great recording with another (referencing their debut, THE GREAT SLEEP, also on Coptercrash Records). Historically, 1956 can be said to be a great year, yet a fading memory. 1956 the band can be said to be getting brighter, with sounds as resilient as the year itself.

Catch 1956 performing at Mad Planet with Milwaukee’s prodigal sons, The Mercy Kiss, on Sunday, April 17, 2005.

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